Song Lyric Sunday — Werewolves

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams chose “animals.” And for my animals-themed song, I chose Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves Of London.” Hey, werewolves are animals, aren’t they?

“Werewolves Of London” was sung by Zevon and was written by Zevon, LeRoy Marinell, and Waddy Wachtel. The song was included on Zevon’s third solo album, Excitable Boy. It was the only song of Zevon’s career to reach the Top 40, peaking at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1978.

When Zevon was working with The Everly Brothers, he hired Wachtel to play in their backup band. At one point, Phil Everly asked them to write a dance song for the Everly Brothers called “Werewolves Of London.” Wachtel and Zevon were good friends and were strumming guitars together when someone asked what they were playing. Zevon replied, “Werewolves Of London,” and Wachtel started howling. Zevon came up with the line “I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand,” and they traded lyrics back and forth until they had their song.

The song was produced by Jackson Browne and featured backup vocals from Mick Fleetwood and John McVie of Fleetwood Mac. The lyrics tell the story of “a hairy-handed gent who ran amok in Kent.” He’s well-dressed, well-groomed, and “preying on little old ladies.”

Zevon died from lung cancer in 2003. Here are the lyrics to his song.

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain
He was looking for the place called Lee Ho Fook’s
Going to get a big dish of beef chow mein
Werewolves of London

If you hear him howling around your kitchen door
Better not let him in
Little old lady got mutilated late last night
Werewolves of London again
Werewolves of London

He’s the hairy handed gent who ran amuck in Kent
Lately he’s been overheard in Mayfair
Better stay away from him
He’ll rip your lungs out, Jim
I’d like to meet his tailor
Werewolves of London

Well, I saw Lon Chaney walking with the Queen
Doing the werewolves of London
I saw Lon Chaney, Jr. walking with the Queen
Doing the werewolves of London
I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s
His hair was perfect
Werewolves of London again
Draw blood

13 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Werewolves

  1. DailyMusings March 10, 2019 / 7:02 am

    Oh how I loved Warren Zevon. A life cut short from Mesothelioma. Thanks for sharing his voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. magnoliajem March 10, 2019 / 2:09 pm

    Have loved this song since it came out! The best line in rock: “Little old lady got mutilated late last night.” Teaching alliteration to the masses. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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