The Most Disturbing Song of All Time: Clint Holmes’ “Playground In My Mind” (1972)

You know how these theoretical questions always come up at parties, like “what song would you kill yourself to?” or “if you could replace the soundtrack to Fern Gully with one album from the 1978-1985 Factory Records catalogue what would you choose?” I never have an answer for those. I have lots of ideas, but as soon as the question is posed I enter a temporary coma.

Well right now, while I’m of sound mind, I want to submit Clint Holmes’ 1972 ode to Satan, “Playground In My Mind” as the most disturbing song of all time.

My Dad once owned, and probably still owns, a Sounds of the ’70s compilation from one of those mail order CD clearinghouses of the 1990s. This compilation was filled with many gems, including one of my genuine, un-ironic, favorite songs of all time, Looking Glass’ “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl).” I was willing to suffer through the endlessly depressing “Wildfire,” but “Playground in My Mind” crossed the goddamn line. It haunted my childhood. I have no idea why someone would commit this song to record in either analog or digital format. It is the sound of a horrific repressed memory.

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