Werewolf Gimmick


Beat the Champ


April 7, 2015



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Werewolf Gimmick is the ninth song on Beat the Champ.


I was not there for rehearsal, I don’t need it any more
When I show up just in time to pop you can clear the goddamn floor
Empty out the locker room, let me find my space
Let him who thinks he knows no fear look well upon my face
Nameless bodies in unremembered rooms
Know how a man becomes a beast when the wolfbane blooms 

Sail past all the grasping hands, floodlights white and hot
Bring my vision into focus, find out what I’ve got
Some sniveling local babyface with an angle he can’t sell
Full werewolf off the buckle like an angel straight from hell
Nameless bodies in unremembered rooms
Run howling through the carnage when the wolfbane blooms

Half the city sound asleep and safe inside their beds
Get lost inside my thoughts and nearly tear his face to shreds
Blood pooling on the canvas as the atmosphere gets hushed
Bring your heroes to the wolf’s den, watch them all get crushed
Get told to maybe dial it back backstage later on
Everyone still in this building right now: dead before the dawn
Nameless bodies in unremembered rooms
The pure at heart go putrid when the wolfbane blooms

Comments by John Darnielle About this SongEdit

  • "there’s a song on our new album about a werewolf, or a guy who thinks he’s a werewolf, or who at least persuades onlookers and co-workers that if he’s not actually a werewolf he’s as close as we’re gonna get in this world" John Darnielle's Tumblr
  • “We haven’t been playing this one too much for fear of passing out.... [removes earplug] At the same time you’re supposed to protect your ears.... Nah, I gotta protect them, this one’s as loud as a motherfucker." [audience member: "Live hard, die young!"] “Yeah, it’s a little too late for that, man. I have news for you: sometimes, sometimes it turns out the slogan you didn’t know you were living by was: ‘live hard, live long.’ The slogan begins to stretch: ‘live hard, live long, feel pain, go on, wake up, keep going, keep going, keep going. Grow old, keep going, outlive all friends, last man alive, unending desert, so many stars, limitless, endless stars, throne standing alone in the desert, and yourself [inaudible]. This is about none of that business. I just sort of got distracted for a minute by the undeniable fact of my own, uh, you know, eternal existence. [laughs] This is a song about a wrestler whose whole deal is like, people aren’t sure whether he’s actually gonna legit eat your face or not. That kind of wrestler is the ones like: ‘You know, I think that guy’s really out of his mind. I don’t think that guy really cares.’ And these other wrestlers, you can see them, like, takin’ a, taking a bump but they’re not actually getting hit because they’re pretty and they want to protect themselves. But you see the occasional wrestler, no, he doesn’t give a fuck. He’s here to get hurt because he intends to die young. That’s in his plan, right, is that at some point he will die and he won’t be very old and that will be the end of all that and he won’t care anymore, so why not just go ahead and take a couple of real bumps right now? It’s called 'Werewolf Gimmick'”. -- 2015-04-07 - Cat's Cradle - Carrboro, NC
  • "This is a song about those times in your life when you say, 'This job isn't working, I gotta pull out my werewolf gimmick.' It's called 'Werewolf Gimmick.'" -- 2015-04-23 - Mr. Small's - Millvale, PA

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