The eerie tones of "Possum Kingdom" capture a dark and sinister narrative, making the song one of Toadies frontman Vaden Todd Lewis' biggest hits. It's not just the repetitive chorus of a man asking, "do you wanna die?" that gives the track its haunting and hypnotic quality — it's also the cryptic lyrics, references to a secret pact and a dark plan, and more that make the song so enthralling.
It's hard to pin down exactly what's going on in Possum Kingdom Lake, an isolated oasis amid the limestone-flecked Palo Pinto Hills and Brazos River valley near Graham. The 1,500-acre park, which was named for the Morris Sheppard Dam that's located inside the park, has earned a reputation as a place with a dark and mysterious past. Rumors of vampires and serial killers have swirled around the lake, and the area is rife with legends about Comanches and Anglo settlers.
According to Lewis, the story behind the song revolves around a man who is lured by a girl into a darker, underground world. The song echoes the eerie feel of a cult, which is why it's so effective at creating tension and fear.
It's no wonder that the song has remained an honest-to-goodness alternative rock classic in the 20 years since its release. It's a thousand times more Pixies than "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and it reaches an emotional depth that Nirvana could only dream of. But after "Possum Kingdom" landed the Toadies on the list of 90s one-hit wonders, the band struggled to build upon its success.