Appreciating all that makes America special

Song: “Werewolves of London”

For some reason, and certainly not because of the intelligence and irresistibility of the lyrics, Werewolves of London only made it up to number 21 on the chart. Uploaded by

This song would be worthy of inclusion as a Great American Thing at any time of year. But during this season, it’s especially relevant. It was only a modest chart hit (made it only to number 21), and that was the best Warren Zevon did in his career. But he’s a bigger talent than that suggests, and this is a better song by far than number 21.

Waren Zevon. Uploaded by

The repeating piano hook of this song is irresistible, but what really makes it work is its imaginative and witty lyrics. From the alliterative (“Little old lady got mutilated late last night”) to the historic (“I saw Lon Chaney, Jr. walking with the Queen”), it’s so easy to listen to, and to sing along with. Especially the howled werewolf’s cry, “aa-oooh!” Even the throw-away line at the end: “Draw blood.”

But the most memorable line is “I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s. His hair was perfect.” You’ve got to love that, it’s the un-pop song. Aa-oooh!

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