General Question

EmpressPixie's avatar

What is Hungry Like the Wolf about?

Asked by EmpressPixie (14721points) October 13th, 2008

Hungry Like the Wolf is an incredibly catchy Duran Duran song, but what is it about? It might seem obvious to you, yet my group of friends has three different theories! Please, share your interpretation of this vitally important song.

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15 Answers

bodyhead's avatar

Using heroin.

These people don’t agree with me. They say that it’s about looking for a sex partner

marinelife's avatar

Mine would be that the singer wants a woman—badly. The song uses the metaphor of the wolf or werewolf prowling at night, scenting a woman, giving off his scent of hunger.

susanc's avatar

It could be about hunger without specifying hunger for What.

marinelife's avatar

@susanc Actually, the lyrics leave little doubt what the singer is hungry for:

“Dark in the city, night is a wire
Steam in the subway, earth is a fire
Do-do do do, do do do, do do do, do do do, do do
Woman you want me, give me a sign
And catch my breathing even closer behind
Do-do do do, do do do, do do do, do do do, do do

In touch with the ground
Im on the hunt Im after you
Smell like I sound, Im lost in a crowd
And Im hungry like the wolf
Straddle the line, in discord and rhyme
Im on the hunt Im after you
Mouth is alive with juices like wine
And Im hungry like the wolf”

susanc's avatar

Marina, I bow to your greater knowledge, you are clearly right on.

bodyhead's avatar

@Marina only if you take the lyrics completely literally. You are assuming that the woman isn’t a metaphor for anything. I choose to think he’s actually hungry for heroin.

Technically the woman could be a metaphor for anything, even food. Duran Duran could be hungry for food.

marinelife's avatar

No, I don’t pretend to know. I was interested in bodyhead’s answer. I just thought the juxtaposition of “woman you want me” and “I’m on the hunt; I’m after you” was persuasive that it was more than a generalized hunger.

Also, these things are always somewhat open to interpretation. i wonder what Duran Duran says about it.

gailcalled's avatar

For an older take, here’s what the Brothers’ Grimm said

marinelife's avatar

Here is an article from SUNY that claims it is part of a culture of songs fromt eh 80s exploring the edges of eroticism (in this case bestiality and lycanthropy):

“Duran Duran’s song “Hungry Like The Wolf” (1982) explores the theme of lycanthropy, a form of bestiality which itself is an expression of the broader theme of eroticism in the sense of broaching the possibility of unusual, tabooed, or “perverse” sexual activities.”

bodyhead's avatar

It could still explore the theme of lycanthropy and eroticism via the expression of a metaphor which has nothing to do with the two. I’ve been disillusioned a few times by song meanings so I now assume that almost every song is about doing drugs.

Cloud Nine – The Temptations
That Smell – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Shoot to Thrill – AC/DC
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds – The Beatles (reference to LSD)
White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
Mary Jane’s Last Dance – Tom Petty
Mother’s Little Helper – Rolling Stones
Space Oddity – David Bowie
Purple Haze – Jimmi Hendrix
Tonight’s the Night – Neil Young
Bicycle Race – Queen

Some are just a lot more obvious then others.

breedmitch's avatar

I’d say it’s about sex, but I’ve often thought that Duran Duran’s lyrics were “just this side” of dada poetry.
I sold the Renoir and the TV set. Don’t want to be around when this gets out

thermisius's avatar

Personally I have always viewed this song as being a song about a werewolf. It justs sounds like a werewolf stalking a girl in a city amongst a crowd then when the time is right he breaks from the crowd and chases her into some desolate part of the city. The heavy breathing could be her running from him and the moaning could be her getting torn apart. Also, the part where he says,” I’ll be upon you by the moonlight side” and ” I howl and I whine i’m after you” just adds to my suspiscions that this song is about a werewolf. Of course it could be interpretated many ways such as a song about lust,predatory rape, desire for a relationship, but I personally find it more correspondent with a werewolf on the hunt of a female human.

Strauss's avatar

@breedmitch Interesting! I always thought the name of the group was a little dada-esque

breedmitch's avatar

The name of the group comes from the 1968 Roger Vadim film Barbarella staring Ms. Jane Fonda. Duran Duran is a character in the film.

starsan's avatar

I personally feel its about the desire to perform acts on her. my mouth is alive with juices like wine? he could either be talking about the werewolf eating her and drinking her blood, or he is talking about eating her out. but no one here has pointed out the woman quite OBVIOUSLY moaning throughout the later half of the song. and very loudly by the end. that right there kindaaaa tells you what’s going on.

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