[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 May, 2004, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
Minor hit tops song lyrics poll
Warren Zevon
Zevon's lyrics were "vodka-fuelled", according to his son
A minor hit by late singer-songwriter Warren Zevon has the best opening lyric, beating rock greats such as Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones.

His song Werewolves of London won the accolade in a vote by listeners to Jeremy Vine's show on BBC Radio 2.

A werewolf is searching for beef chow mein around the Soho area of London in the introductory line of the song.

Bill Haley and The Comets' Rock Around The Clock and Little Richard's Tutti Frutti were runners-up in the poll.

His "a wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom" took third place in the poll, which attracted 16,000 votes.

Presenter Jeremy Vine said of Zevon's song: "Once you've heard Werewolves of London, you'll never forget it."

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand, walking through the streets of Soho in the rain. He was looking for the place called Lee Ho Fook's, going to get a big dish of beef chow mein
Opening line of Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London

"I think it's won because it takes an image and does something quite extraordinary with it," he added.

Zevon's son Jordan accepted the accolade and remarked that the lyric may have been "fuelled by a little too much vodka".

Zevon died of lung cancer in September 2003 at the age of 56.

He did not score any hits in the UK but was better known across the Atlantic for songs including Werewolves of London.

Thirty-year career

In a career that spanned 30 years, Zevon worked with a whole host of artists including Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and Neil Young.

He was also the Everly Brothers' musical director during the 1970s, and fronted REM for a number of songs under the name Hindu Love Gods.

His song came top of the Radio 2 poll, which was whittled down to a shortlist of 16 tunes.

This included Every Day Is Like Sunday by Morrissey, Lynryd Skynryd's Freebird and the Manic Street Preachers' Design For Life.

Singer Zevon dies of lung cancer
08 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
Warren Zevon has cancer
12 Sep 02  |  Entertainment


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific