Werewolf – Lyrics Interpretation

One of my favorite musicians and singer/song writers of all time is Fiona Apple. For me, I deem her as a sort of contemporary version of Nina Simone. In her own right, she has a style that is unique and an impeccable sense of musicality. In a land of synthetic music, I must retreat to quiet corners to envelope myself in the wonderful therapy of voice and piano; Berlin is not known for lyricism.

This song (like virtually everyone of hers) holds an especially indelible place in my heart as Apple writes many verses about the tumult of requited love that never seems to end, in some semblance of Marilyn Monroe Syndrome – being the invisible Madonna and Whore that every man dreams of until they experience the nightmare of the fantasy becoming reality.

I posted this song a few times and on one occasion a friend asked me to interpret the lyrics (he is German and works with words as a profession and is a musician himself) so he has vested his interest in my acumen in regards to the definition of this beautiful aria.

Fiona Apple – “Werewolf”

I could liken you to a werewolf the way you left me for dead
But I admit that I provided a full moon
And I could liken you to a shark the way you bit off my head
But then again I was waving around a bleeding, open wound

But you were such a super guy ’til the second you get a whiff of me
We are like a wishing well and a bolt of electricity
But we can still support each other, all we gotta do’s avoid each other
Nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key
Nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key

The lava of the volcano shot up hot from under the sea
One thing leads to another and you made an island of me

And I could liken you to a chemical the way you made me compound a compound
But I’m a chemical, too, inevitable you and me would mix
And I could liken you to a lot of things but I always come around
‘Cause in the end I’m a sensible girl, I know the fiction of the fix

But you were such a super guy ’til the second you get a whiff of me
We are like a wishing well and a bolt of electricity
But we can still support each other, all we gotta do’s avoid each other
Nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key
Nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key
Nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key
Nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key

————————————————————————————————————————–

[Reference: Werewolves in Popular Culture and Literature]

I could [liken] you to a werewolf the way you left me for dead 
But I admit that I provided a [full moon] 

[liken]
liken |ˈlīkən|verb [ trans. ]
(liken someone/something to) point out the resemblance of someone or something to : they likened the reigning emperor to a god.
ORIGIN Middle English : from like 1 + -en 1 .

[full moon]
Werewolf creatures transform from human beings depending on their state of power and experience, but primarily change into the creature, wolf-like state during the full moon – hence “howling at the moon”.

wolf-howling-full-moon
And I could liken you to a [shark] the way you bit off my head 
But then again I was waving around a [bleeding, open wound] 

[shark]
Obviously the freshwater fish (with family in saltwater habitats); Various Orders, Subclass: Elasmobranchii – this is a play on words [see: pun] in accordance to another definition:

shark 2 |ʃɑrk| |ʃɑːk|noun informal
1: a person who unscrupulously exploits or swindles others : Coleby was a shark, not the sort of man to pay more when he could pay less [with adj.
See also loan shark
2: an expert in a specified field : a pool shark.

Sharks are typically known to be attracted to the presence of bloodshed.
But you were such a [super guy] ’til the second you get a [whiff] of me 

Another twofold theory here: “super guy” could be in reference to Superman, the DC Comics hero with super powers that are weakened by the presence of Kryptonite.

And also the Werewolf reference returns as Werewolves (like wolves and dogs) are known for their extraordinary sense of smell.

[whiff]
whiff |(h)wif|noun
a smell that is only smelled briefly or faintly : I caught a whiff of peachy perfume.
We are like [a wishing well and a bolt of electricity]

A multifaceted statement in regards to electricity conductivity – perhaps the best example of this is Benjamin Franklin and his famous Kite Experiment experience in initiating the definition.

The word “electricity” is used in some romantic forms to describe chemical attraction and lust, and when met with an opposing force, can cause an opposite and powerful effect.

The term “wishing well” is used as an extreme symbol of the wish or hope at hand – in reference to love and lust, traditionally a steep or shallow man-made water storage facility built in a natural environment in which one drops a coin and makes a wish (superstitiously).

But we can still support each other, all we gotta do’s avoid each other

A comment on supporting each other – knowing true feelings – all the while avoiding them in order NOT to face the impossible explosion of love and lust.

[avoid]
avoid |əˈvoid|verb [ trans. ]
keep away from or stop oneself from doing (something) : avoid excessive exposure to the sun | the kind of place that Robyn would normally haveavoided like the plague.
Nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key 
Nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key 

In orthodox music composition, songs usually begin or end in a note from the major scale.
The repetitiveness of this verse throughout the song harkens to the unpredictability of love and lust and the sometimes abrupt ending (or beginning or re-ending or re-beginning) of the rhythm of a relationship.

The lava of the volcano shot up hot from under the sea 
One thing leads to another and [you made an island of me]

Typically, volcanoes are the result of the geological (earth science) phenomenon of tectonic plates, in that in the end, the “island” is left alone, surrounded by water – but full of hot magma that explodes from the volcano…also a typical saying of “being left out to sea”  – a quintessential paradigm in romantic literature etc.

And I could liken you to a chemical the way you made me [compound] a compound

[compound]
compound noun |ˈkämˌpound|
a thing that is composed of two or more separate elements; a mixture :the air smelled like a compound of diesel and gasoline fumes.• (also chemical compound) a substance formed from two or more elements chemically united in fixed proportions : a compound of hydrogen and oxygen.

But I’m a chemical, too, [inevitable] you and me would mix

[inevitable]
inevitable |inˈevitəbəl|adjective
certain to happen; unavoidable : war was inevitable.• informal so frequently experienced or seen that it is completely predictable : the inevitable letter from the bank.

noun ( the inevitable) a situation that is unavoidable.

And I could liken you to a lot of things but I always come around 
‘Cause in the end I’m a sensible girl, I know the [fiction of the fix] 

[fiction of the fix]
“Fiction” in reference to an article of writing that describes imaginary events and people – thus the fix (or solution) is based upon or lives as a lie.
But you were such a super guy ’til the second you get a whiff of me 
We are like a wishing well and a bolt of electricity 
But we can still support each other, all we gotta do’s avoid each other 
Nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key 
Nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key 
Nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key 
Nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key

-Louis DeVaughn Nelson
http://www.facebook.com/HokumArts

The song is referenced here in my latest film from my Self = Portraits series

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