The music, like the writing in the books themselves, is morose for comic effect. Some of the songs' lyrics have something to do with the story itself and are often implicitly written in the voice of one of the corresponding book's characters; for example, "When You Play the Violin" is apparently in the voice of one of the book's five orphans, most likely Klaus, while "Dreary, Dreary" appears to be an ode to Beatrice, Lemony Snicket's ill-fated love interest. Others' connections seem to be in name only; for example, "Shipwrecked (song)", The Ends song, is about a man who decapitates his ship's crew in an attempt to be shipwrecked on an island with his true love, only to discover that there is no island anywhere nearby.
The album has 13 tracks, each one corresponding to the respective book of the series, plus two bonus tracks: "Walking My Gargoyle" (the theme originally intended to be from The Carnivorous Carnival) and "We Are the Gothic Archies".
- "Scream and Run Away" – 2:25
- "In the Reptile Room" – 2:14
- "The World Is a Very Scary Place" – 2:25
- "Dreary, Dreary" 2:41
- "When You Play the Violin" – 3:53
- "This Abyss" – 3:06
- "Crows" - 2:41
- "Smile! No One Cares How You Feel" – 1:51
- "Freakshow" – 2:56
- "How Do You Slow This Thing Down?" – 3:11
- "A Million Mushrooms" – 1:58
- "Things Are Not What They Appear" – 3:46
- "Shipwrecked" – 2:37
- "Walking My Gargoyle" – 2:38 (bonus track)
- "We Are The Gothic Archies" – 2:56 (bonus track)
- Stephin Merritt - vocals and lyrics
- Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) - accordion
- John Woo - electric sitar
- In The Bad Beginning - Rare Edition, Lemony mentions 'Dreary, Dreary' as a song he can play on the accordion.
- The song collection is of heatedly debated canonicity, despite Handler's involvement in its creation. The aforementioned mention of 'Dreary, Dreary' would point towards the songs existing in-universe, and many do indeed seem like they might have been composed or appropriated by Lemony (beginning with Scream and Run Away, a denunciation of Count Olaf that does not shy away from mentioning him by name). However, not all songs fold so neatly into the Averse, and some prefer to see them as artistic fancies inspired by atmospheres and concept from the series, but not part of it.