Halloween Playlist: 13 Songs about Wolves, Werewolves and Shapeshifters

Thirteen songs are enough to anchor a good party mix. Not everything here are tracks you’ll love but mix and match. It’ll all turn out OK. The idea of these themed playlists is that a lot of folks end up with lame costumes, not because they can be anything but because they can’t choose. Help them. Throw a Halloween party with a specific theme. This playlist is for a lycanthropic party. Show movies with the sound turned down. Serve theme-related snacks – for werewolves, I’m thinking lamb and that means gyro sandwiches. You got the idea. Run with it.

1) (The Obvious) – Werewolves Of London (2007 Remastered) by Warren Zevon off “Excitable Boy” or “Genius.” It’s the obvious track because everyone knows it and it’s clearly related to the theme. It’s got the same name at least as a classic werewolf movie, though as with all of Zevon’s tunes, he was likely referring to something else entirely. Give in. It’s got to go on the mix somewhere. At least the live version linked here has enough novelty and verve to remind us what made the song a classic in the first place.

2) Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival. This tune was linked forever to the werewolf mythos through “American Werewolf in London.” If you don’t want to be SO obvious about it, use the very servicable cover version of Bad Moon Rising by Raspuntina.

3) “Hungry Wolf” by X off Under The Big Black Sun. Classic X, driving beat, tight harmonies that made it almost as much as folk as punk. Personified wolves.

4) Will the Wolf Survive? by Los Lobos (get it? “the wolves”) A band from the other side of L.A. uses wolves as a metaphor for the difficulties of human life. Relatively profound lyrics and a catchy tune.

5) She Wolf by Shakira off the album of the same name. A bouncy latino-pop track from that lady who, I swear, has an extra vertebra in her spine.

6) Dire Wolf (Remastered LP Version) by the Grateful Dead. The studio version is on “Working Man’s Dead” and that rendition at least has relatively clear lyrics for those unfamiliar with the tune. A gabillion live recordings as well, most of them with a bit more verve and life. A jaunty rhythm and an odd, singable chorus “Don’t murder me.” the song tells tale of a card game with a 600 pound wolf.

7) Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf. This has no explicit werewolf references, other than the “wolf” in the band’s name which is actually an artsy reference to a German novel. Blue Oyster Cult does a version and live they used to ride a motorcycle onstage. The idea of a biker gang of werewolves actually has been turned into a movie “Werewolves on Wheels (1971)”

8 ) “My Werewolf Mama” by Lenny Bruce – This track often is played by Dr. Demento but I wrestled including it because it’s just so darned corny.

9) I’m a Werewolf, Baby by The Tragically Hip from their first EP Tragically Hip – The Hip are a solid act. Their lyrics are literate, their music is blues-y and raucous rock and their fan base is rabid– that is, if you’re from Canada. North of the border they’re more popular than the Beatles but in the U.S. hardly anyone has heard them. This track isn’t their best tune by far but heck, it fits on the list.

10 ) Lil’ Red Riding Hood by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs – I knew this song primarily through a version my brother in law would croon. Research it unearthed some fun details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lil’_Red_Riding_Hood

11) “Du riechst so gut” by Rammstein – This track is a bit of a stretch but the video is all over the RotK├Ąpchen (er, little red riding hood, in German) thing. If you’ve got the ability, stream the video too. The title translated is “you smell so nice.”

12) Werewolf by the Five Man Electric Band. Obscure track from the mid 1970’s that I think I can bet no one at the party will have heard. Tells the tale of a boy gone feral and his family’s attempts to cope. Using a gun.

13) I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1989 Digital Remaster) by the Cramps. Heck, if you’re pressed for time, you could drop on a whole album of the Cramps. There’s a movie link of course to Michael Landon (Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie) in the title role.

And one to grow on:

“Little Pig” by Dale Hakwins — “I’m a wolf and I wanna come in…”

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