Relating the songs with the film: An American Werewolf in London


Hey there popcorn preaching fans and welcome to this special post in relation to my American Werewolf review a couple of weeks back. I mentioned that the songs may bare some relevance to the events of the film. Today I am going to be taking a look at each song in terms of placement and also how relevant each one is to the events taking place in the film at that current time. I felt it necessary as it seems to be a feature that I have never come across in film before and feel that it is something I would like to further document.


The first song is called Blue Moon. It accompanies the opening sequence in which we are introduced to not only our main character David, but also his soon to be zombie friend, Jack.

1. Lyrics

One thing that struck me on the second viewing of the film and more importantly when listening to the song was the way that it seemed to waver in pitch. As if emulating the howl of a wolf. The words in this opening song are a massive precursor to the opening 10 minutes of the film and compliment  it perfectly.

The Two lines that stood out the most were  in the chorus and they are as follows:

"I heard somebody whisper please adore me
And when I looked to the Moon it turned to gold"

I realise that there are many other lines I could have picked out of this song but what made these so apparent was the way that not only do the lyrics illustrate the strength of Davids  connection to the moon but also the way that his love of this object seems to be instinctive somewhat like a wolf. 

The connection between wolves and the moon is believed to be one that has originated from neolithic times, for a more detailed break down on why we associate wolves with the moon and the reason that they howl upwards towards the sky, be sure to read this article from howstuffworks.com. 

To further my argument I would mention that they repeat this song during Davids transformation thus strengthening his relationship with the monster and more importantly the moon.

Our second song is playing during Davids love scene with the beautiful nurse played by Jenny Agutter; who has been given the task of looking after him during his recuperation period. 

There are two significant things about this song and its placement:

1.Lyrics

Firstly, the lyrics in the song Moon dance, talk of many different themes, Attraction, Obedience  and desire to name but a few. Some of the lyrics I think best convey this are:

"And all the leaves on the trees are falling 
To the sound of the breezes that blow "

These lines describe how the leaves fall to the sound of the breeze much like that of how a wolf feels a compulsion to howl upon the appearance of a full moon. While there are various other lines in this song which relate heavily to the film, I think the most pertinent element with in this song is its title and the ambiguous meanings associated with the term 'Moon Dance.' You could interpret more literally in its translation to mean a dance under a moon, such as the one David is having with the nurse.  Equally Moon Dance could be seen as a precursor to Davids transformation and how he writhes and changes from man to beast.

2. Placement

Secondly,  it comes up during a scene where David is being intimate with our nurse character after he has been bitten, this is representing the idea that he is not devoted to the moon as of yet and that the beast with in is still waiting to escape. The song shows his human sides, last fight for survival; before the monster that is brewing with in him takes over. After this song has been played, we are then told that David is only a day away from a full moon thus triggering his transformation. 


1. Lyrics

The final famous song of the film is called 'Bad moon rising' and it basically represents the destructive nature of the Were Wolf itself. The song 'arises' just before Davids transformation as if foreshadowing the danger that is soon to become a reality. I feel that the most important lines in this song appear in the verse. They are repeated a total of four times and they go as follows:

"Don't go around tonight, 
Well, it's bound to take your life, 

There's a bad moon on *the rise. "

                                                                                               * = Side note

Although this verse may not tell us anything groundbreaking about the hidden Psyche of our wolf character or discuss the beasts relationships, the lines do act as a relevant precursor to the terrible events that are about to unfold.  

*As a little side note, I would like to point out that when the artist sings the last line it sounds more like he is saying 'Der riese' a German term that translates to mean the Giant, thus relating back to beats and monsters which is the theme of this whole films narrative.

I love this films raw nature and felt that it represented many positive elements about the  horror film genre. Additionally, I felt the way that the songs matched with the events taking place with in the film offered a great homage to the artists and writers of these short and catchy songs.

So, If you haven't already I would urge you to go and see American Werewolf in London and maybe take a look at my thoughts on the film in the previous post on the first page of my blog. 

Thanks for reading, ThePopCornPreacher.

If you think you have seen some other striking connections between the songs and this film please let me know in the comments below other wise be sure to show your appreciation by pressing plus 1 at the bottom of this post.