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Witch Wolf
Written by James Young, Ray Brandle
Lead Vocals by James Young

Reoccurring symptoms
Answer the baleful howl
Bringing me dreams of darkness
The doer of all that's foul
Raping the minds of infants
Sower of unplanted seeds
Full moon warrior
Doer of sordid deeds

Witch Wolf
Night Rider
Why do you call for me?

Thirteenth hour madman
Bringing my soul to fire
Visions of my sweet Beulah
To torment soon retire

Witch Wolf
Night Rider
Why do you call for me?

Got my one-way ticket
on this hell bound train
I can't seem to stop falling
I bear the wrath of Cain

Witch Wolf
Night Rider
Why do you call for me?



Interpretation

A "Witch Wolf" is a werewolf. The use of the word "Witch" is appropriate to that translation because witches are commonly associated with both magic and with evil, characteristics of a werewolf. It may also be a way of suggesting that the "Witch Wolf" is a particular type of werewolf known as an Alpha Wolf, which is a werewolf that is the first of its line, infecting other werewolves. Many Alpha wolves were reputed to have originated from sorcery (voluntarily or involuntarily), although they could also originate by other means such as a curse. The chorus seems to support the interpretation in the first verse to mean that the author is transformed into a werewolf by "the baleful howl" because in the chorus he is agonizing over why the Witch Wolf (alpha werewolf) is calling for him via the howl.

The first three lines taken together say that the "reoccuring symptoms" are resulting from "the baleful howl" and that these "symptoms" bring "dreams of darkness." This suggests that the "symptoms" are the terror brought on by hearing the werewolf's howl (real or imagined) and that the terror brings nightmares. On another level, the word "symptoms" are often associated with the side-effects of medical conditions, and a human's transformation into a werewolf, according to legend, is the result of a disease called lycanthropy.

There is also a legend that says that a person inflicted with lycanthropy will transform into a werewolf not only under the full moon, but also upon hearing the sound of a howl. Perhaps, then, the "reoccuring symptoms" that "answer the baleful howl" are the transformation into a werewolf upon hearing the howl, resulting in "dreams of darkness" that are not nightmares resulting from terror so much as the nightmares resulting from memories of the evil, destructive thoughts of the person while a werewolf that later surface while the person sleeps. As mentioned before, the chorus suggests that this interpretation is the primary one.

It would be truly terrible nightmares that would be characterized as "raping the minds of infants" since rape is one of the more powerful words in the English language and since infants are the most innocent and vulnerable of victims. Perhaps, the line is referring to a true invasion of a telepathic nature (similar to Freddy Kruger in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies several years later), but I am unaware of any werewolf legends involving telepathy or mind-control. Perhaps, also, it is recounting the "rape" of the mind that occurs when the person transforms into a werewolf and assumes that evil persona, something which would be especially traumatic in the mind of an innocent infant infected with the disease.

"Sower of unplanted seeds" suggests that this is unnatural, and a werewolf is indeed unnatural. A werewolf is also a "Full moon warrior" since the transformation of a human with lycanthropy into a werewolf is triggered in legend by the full moon. Finally, there is no doubt that a werewolf is a "doer of sordid deeds" given the atrocities with which they are often associated.

The use of the number 13 is consistent with superstitious interpretations of 13 as a number associated with bad luck, witches, and evil. Also, even though the 13th hour is actually 1pm in a 24 hour time system, the term in this context creates a mental image of the middle of the night, one hour past midnight (12). While in werewolf form, the person is a "madman" who brings his "soul to fire" by damning himself to Hell with his actions.

The "sweet Beulah" of which the author has visions is probably a reference to an idyllic land called Beulah near the end of life's journey in Bunyan's _Pilgrim's Progress_. Bunyan probably originally selected the name in reference to a verse from the Bible (Isaiah 62:4):

No longer will they call you Deserted,
or name your land Desolate.
But you will be called Hephzibah,
and your land Beulah;
for the Lord will take delight in you,
and your land will be married.

His "visions" of Buelah are soon retired "to torment," meaning he is tormented by the realization that Beulah (Heaven) is no longer something which he can look forward to.

His "one way ticket on this hell-bound train" is a reflection of the belief that werewolves are irrevocably damned once they taste of human blood. Thus, cycle continues ("I can't seem to stop falling"). He ends by equating his curse and his damnation with "the wrath of Cain," the son of Adam and Eve who was the first murderer in human history (according to the Bible Cain murdered his brother Abel in a rage of jealousy).


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