Werewolves were the focal point for this unit. To start, what is a werewolf? Wikipedia states, “A werewolf, man-wolf, Wolf Man, or lycanthrope is a mythological or folkloric human with the ability to shapeshift into a wolf or a therianthropic hybrid wolf-like creature, either purposely or after being placed under a curse or affliction (e.g. via a bite or scratch from another werewolf). Werewolves were seen to take the vulnerabilities of young girls. Although this was interpreted differently across literature and pop culture, there was a common thread in them all, werewolves were deceiving. Type “werewolf” into Google and you get 53.6 million hits on different links describing werewolves. The third hit states, “Werewolf: A party game for devious people.” How did the werewolf devious and cunning persona translate to popular culture from literature?
Sam the Sham & The PharaohsEdit
To start, the story of Little Red Riding Hood was told to young children everywhere. It was a life skills story, the moral was don’t talk to strangers. You never know who is lurking around and could cause you harm. Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs took the moral and reputation of the werewolf to different interpretation. The song preys on the fact that young, attractive women trust the wolf, offering bits of information on their life. “You are sure looking good. You’re everything a big bad wolf would want.” This lyric begins to tell the underlying meaning of the song. The song goes on to discuss how there is a trust there because of the wolf, a man, is in a sheep suit, “I’m gonna keep my sheep suit on Until I’m sure that you’ve been showing That I can be trusted walking with you alone.” The song then goes on to describe attractive facial features of the woman and how they would attract a “wolf.” Suggesting the woman is the reason why the wolf is attracted to them. The song ends with the wolf justifying that his charm could be seen by the end of walking with Lil’ Red. “Even bad wolves can be good…Maybe you’ll see things my way before we get to grandma’s place…You’re everything that a big bad wolf could want. Owo? I mean bad! Ba?” The song ends with the wolf blowing his sheep cover.
The song considers a different spin on the werewolf that has grown with popular culture. In the song, there is a flip on the meaning of the werewolf. The wolf should be trusted and the attractive features of a woman bring in the “bad wolves” in a sexual way. Overall, the song is a spin on the classic tale, switching the actions of the wolf in the story, evil and bad, to the features of the woman attracting the wolves. In the video of Lil’ Red Riding Hood (linked below), there is a Betty Boop cartoon that is playing with the song in the background. This shows the sexual nature of the song, Betty Boop is one of the more sexual cartoons of pop culture. Could other pop culture music have interpreted other classic stories in a sexual way?