TikTokers Make Charles Manson’s Song a Cozy Fall Vibe – Rolling Stone
Pumpkin spice is in the air and on TikTok, the hygge aesthetic is reaching fever pitch. Videos of spooky still lifes and boots crunching in leaves have been circulating since July, and lately home decor videos have a distinctly autumnal aesthetic. Candles burn in the twilight and cups of coffee invite beside artfully placed blankets. Accompanying a growing number of these interior design videos is a squealing demo of an acoustic folk song that goes, “Home is where you’re happy, it’s not where you’re not. free”. It is clear that the first line evokes the main message that users want to convey: that the house, especially in the fall, should be the pinnacle of comfort and conviviality. “I liked how it sounded a bit older and I liked the lyrics,” says TikToker decorator Rose Adele, who asked that we not use her last name. “It sounded like he was talking about home, and as fall approaches, we’re more home.”
The singer, however, is none other than Charles Manson, who desperately wanted to become a musician, but is best known for inciting his hippie followers to break into people’s homes and brutally slaughter them. Several members of his “family” killed seven people in cold blood in August 1969, terrorizing the Laurel Canyon mob, vilifying the counterculture movement in the public eye and generally putting a serious damper on the era of peace. and love.
That hasn’t stopped his music from gaining a foothold on the platform, with some users completely unaware of the song’s origins. In a video, writer and food and travel influencer Gillie Houston posted a tour of her apartment that makes you want to climb through the screen and snuggle up with a good book. There’s golden sunshine streaming through a window, bookcases crowded to the ceiling, candles glowing among framed photos on a shelf above the bed. In the background, Manson’s song plays. One commenter said, ‘Why the Charles Manson song,’ and Houston replied, ‘Honestly, I recorded the sound of someone else’s video and didn’t realize it until after having used it… we can’t deny it’s a bop. (Houston did not respond to an interview request and later deleted the comment.)
Manson wanted a music career more than anything, but it didn’t work out. He learned to play the guitar during one of his many stints in prison before the murders and developed contacts on the music scene, including Terry Melcher, manager of A&R, and, more famously, Dennis Wilson of the Beaches. Boys, who later recorded one of his songs. . As he pursued a career in the industry, Manson also sought out different avenues of influence. He attracts runaways and social outcasts to himself, placing himself at the head of his own cult. Then the prosecution at his trial would later say he twisted the lyrics of the Beatles white album in signs that a race war was coming and had seven innocent people killed by a group of his followers to hasten his arrival. After Manson’s arrest, producer Phil Kaufman, who had met Manson in prison and encouraged his music, released an album of his songs titled Lie, which included “Home is where you are happy.” It didn’t sell, but that didn’t stop Manson, in prison, from sending some of his family members to hunt Kaufman for the profits.
In recent weeks, users have chosen “Home Is Where You’re Happy” to show off a vintage gallery wall, a beautiful pink houseplant, and a wicker pumpkin decoration. The song even supports an AI voiceover in a tutorial for building a fall centerpiece with materials you can buy at Michael’s and Home Depot. (Cue me, humming Manson in the aisles of a craft store, buying dried reeds.) Some posters acknowledged the song’s story. “I wish this song wasn’t such a banger,” one said in the comments. “This is a scary moment lol,” said another when a user asked about Manson’s choice.
The way TikTok audio is transmitted, it’s often not obvious where a sound is coming from. Rose, who posts budget home decor inspirations, shared her Manson-penned video with text telling her followers where she got items in her spacious, neutral-toned apartment. Several were from Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, including a rustic wooden coffee table, on which rested a newspaper and a coffee mug. She says she usually chooses sounds from other accounts that post content similar to hers. “I think I found this one through another account that made a similar fall mood video, which is so funny now,” she says. She didn’t know who the artist was until rolling stone reach. “I didn’t realize it was the Charles Manson,” she says. “I was really embarrassed but couldn’t help but laugh.”
From now on, she says, she’ll look more carefully at the sounds she chooses, but thinks that’s not the last time something like this will happen. “It’s really difficult because sometimes when you use quoted ‘original audio’, it’s actually not that person’s original audio; they took it from an online interview or someone else and just repurposed it,” she says. It can be difficult to follow. How many people bothered to understand why everyone was excited for a negroni sbagliato (with prosecco!) last week? “I think I’ll be more careful, but I’ll probably fall back on it,” she adds.
This fall isn’t the first time Manson’s songs have had a moment on the platform, and thanks to the speed of the algorithm and the obscurity of the content’s origins, it probably won’t be the last. . Over the summer, the dudes posted videos of their outfits tagged with Manson’s most famous song off Lie, “Look at Your Game, Girl”, a track that was later covered by Guns N’ Roses.
Rose says learning the history of the trending fall song got her thinking about the artist’s ever-present problem with her art. (See: R. Kelly, Marilyn Manson and countless other men.) “It’s really easy to categorize people, and it’s kind of shocking when they don’t fit into the category,” says- she. “Charles Manson has done some really evil things, so we expect him to be entirely evil, but here he is with a catchy song that isn’t evil at all. I don’t justify anything he’s done , I just think it’s interesting. The bad guys can still have talent.