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Werewolves and Emotion

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[ Little Red Ridin’ Hood”]  is a rock song that was produced and released by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs in 1966. It elaborates on the classic fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood and contradicts the moral of the original story. Charles Perrault’s version reinforces the idea that young attractive women should avoid talking to strangers. Doing so, he argues allegorically, will save them from being preyed upon by sexual predators and those with bad intentions. “Lil Red Ridin Hood” offers a different perspective on the werewolf. The song portrays the big bad wolf as being an infatuated individual with an urge to protect a pretty woman. The song reinforces a more holistic understanding of the werewolf.

Carl Larsson - Little Red Riding Hood 1881

Perrault's fairytale labels werewolves(symbol in this case for strangers) as being dangerous and foreign. The werewolf in Sam the Sham falls victim to this stereotype. The song is narrated from an omniscient point of view. It explains why the werewolf is attracted to the, “little big girl”, his intentions, and his justifications as to why the girl should fall for him too. He has to pretend to be something that he’s not in order to win the trust of Lil Red Riding Hood. His intentions are caring, genuine, and protective. He is attracted to her full lips and big eyes, and is concerned for her safety. “You’re everything a big bad wolf could want”(2:24-2:29).  He does not violate her or trick her like in the original tale. He proceeds to walk with her to her grandmothers so that she isn’t preyed on by other wolves. He pretends to be a sheep, admires her, and attempts to make a connection with her or win her over. This werewolf is in love, to an extent, not maliciously trying to violate and harm the girl.

Little Red Riding Hood - Sam The Sham & The Pharoahs ( with lyrics )02:47

Little Red Riding Hood - Sam The Sham & The Pharoahs ( with lyrics ).wmv

The concept of werewolves being slaves to strong emotions is further reinforced in the 1957 melodrama/drama I was a Teenage Werewolf. The main character Tony has anger issues.  A sadistic scientist manipulates and amplifies his emotions in order to create a monster. His anger consumes him and functions in a similar manner to love in “Lil Red Ridin’ Hood”. This suggests that a monster/werewolf is created from intense uncontrollable emotions rather than bad intentions.

References:

I Was a Teenage Werewolf. Herman Cohen. American International Pictures, 1957. Film

Perrault, Charles. Little Red Riding Hood. University of Pittsburg, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

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