As I sat down to choose songs with animals in the title, I initially panicked because the ones that first came to mind were all kid’s songs. But, after some hard scratching and hard thinking (and a little help from a website or two), I put together a list worthy of your attention. I am pretty certain you don’t want to be reminded of Nellie the elephant, or how much is that doggie in the window, so here’s my pick of songs with animals in the title.
1. I Am the Walrus – the Beatles
I have always loved this song. It comes from the Beatles period I would describe as kooky. It was a phase of theirs I never really enjoyed but this song stands out because its lyrics are just so weird. One of the very few songs with animals in the title they did, some would say the album it is on is the best of the Beatles – it’s a track on Magical Mystery Tour, along with classics such as Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields Forever, and All You Need Is Love.
2. Buffalo Soldier – Bob Marley
Instantly recognizable as a Marley song as soon as his sultry voice kicks in, it is also one of his biggest hits and one of his most popular songs. The lyrics refer to the US cavalry regiments made up of black soldiers who fought in the Indian wars post 1866. Marley recasts the significance of the events, reframing it as a symbol of black resistance.
3. Union of the Snake – Duran Duran
I’ll happily confess to being a “Durannie.” For anyone too young to know, this British band were one of the spearheads of the New Romantics movement and were in part responsible for the pseudo-pirate fashion trend that followed. (Eek – frilly shirts!) Duran Duran were known for the crazy amounts they spent on their videos, which were always shot in incredible locations. They also did other songs with animals in the title, like Hungry like the Wolf and the album Seven and the Ragged Tiger.
4. Bulls on Parade – Rage against the Machine
I love how the songs with animals in the title are hardly ever about the animal, but they are being used symbolically, as references to points the lyricists wants to make. In a typical RATM rant against corporate America, the bulls here are alluding to various themes of American might and politics and the country’s approach to military action.
5. Rock Lobster – the B52s
I am being totally self-indulgent here. This would definitely be in my top 10 tunes on my MP3 player if I were going to be marooned on a desert island. Freaky, funky and funny, to me it really sums up everything about this band. Trust me when I say it doesn’t matter one jot what the song is about. This is one of those songs with animals in the title that is merely to be loved and enjoyed. It’s uber-camp and uber-fab.
6. Love Cats – the Cure
If there’s ever a post punk/new wave song that can be labeled as cutesy, it’s this one. The Cure are a British Band fronted by Robert Smith, a man known for smudged red lipstick and wild hair, which he once claimed he made so messy with a mixture of Coca Cola and soap.
7. Bat out of Hell – Meat Loaf
You should have known that no list of songs with animal titles could be complete without this one. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying this man can knock out a song and this will remain a total classic for decades to come. Time to confess – who can sing along to most of the lyrics to this one?
8. Dog Days Are over – Florence and the Machine
If you like songs with animals in the title where you can delve deep into the lyrics and decide for yourself what the mysticism represents, check out this one. People have found a simple loved and lost story in the lyrics, whilst others find deep symbolism referring to the bible, egos, muses and even the riddle of the Sphinx.
9. Monkey Gone to Heaven – the Pixies
The first American release for The Pixies and a track on the acclaimed Doolittle album, it is widely believed the song has an environmentalism theme, expressing thoughts on the destruction of the ocean and man’s effect on the wildlife of the world (i.e. the monkey has gone to heaven). Black Francis has stated it is also about man being confused about his place in the universe.
My short list is over, so now I am looking to our lovely readers to share their favorite songs with animals in the title. Over to you, ladies!