Animals take center stage in a lot of people’s lives. And why not. They have also been at the center of some of the most memorable music we have. Songs with animals in the title sometimes get you thinking about your relationship with them.
They can be used metaphorically, or they can be literal. Likewise, they can convey deep meaning, or they can just be about cuddling up. There are even sometimes mythical creatures brought to life by the skill of the songwriter.
I have included songs about birds, reptiles, and other creatures as they also make up the animal kingdom. So let’s make a start. There is a lot to go through.
Top 120 Songs with Animals in the Title
Crocodile Rock by Elton John
This is a song he recorded in 1972 to be included on his forthcoming album, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player.
Elton John had recorded his album, Honky Chateau, at a Château studio in France in 1972. They went back there to record their next album, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player. This was a single that was taken from the album and released at the end of 1972 as a taster for the album, which would come out in early 1973.
It is a song that is designed to be nostalgic, and Taupin’s lyrics convey that message. Elton John adds some neo-Rock n Roll rhythm to the music to encourage the atmosphere of the words. What it does do is convey the youthful innocence of a time.
In some countries, that is all they seem to do – find something to sue someone about. Perhaps they are bored. But, this piece of musical fun took a hit when they said it was like a song from the 50s, “Speedy Gonzales.” This is because of the high falsetto that he used in the vocal.
So, anyone using any of the notes in a scale used before in a related order can be sued? Music has just ended. Pathetic people.
A Bit Of Fun
That is what the song is about, nostalgic fun. It was never meant to be taken seriously and isn’t a favorite of Bernie Taupin’s. Elton John has to include it in his stage set because the audience wants it. Otherwise, he probably wouldn’t.
Cat’s In The Cradle by Harry Chapin
This was taken originally from the album, Verities & Balderdash, released in 1974. I Have chosen to take it from the album Greatest Stories – Live. There is a reason for that.
Harry Chapin became one of my favorite singer-songwriters. His songs had meaning, and some were so real in terms of the experiences many people had. But, what came across most of all was his love firstly of music, and then of people.
This album was my first real experience of him and included some of his greatest work. “Cat’s in the Cradle” being one. A story that just typifies our lives and a lack of priority that, for some, has become a profession.
For many, this is one of his greatest works. But then, in such a short time, he gave us so many. And this is one of the most well known songs with an animal in the title.
Rocky Raccoon by The Beatles
This is a song with an interesting history that has too much detail to go into here. It was included on The Beatles’ White Album.
The song is a bit of a spoof of the folk singer, enforced by the rather weak McCartney American accent used at times. It was written by Paul McCartney with some lines added by John Lennon and British folk singer Donovan.
Having some fun…
Predominantly a McCartney, the composition takes from a poem called ‘The Shooting of Dan McGrew.’ Most of it was written during their sojourn in India. In the studio, Sir George Martin added the honky tonk piano, and John added the harmonica.
It is a song about a love triangle that goes a bit wrong for Rocky. Not the greatest work by them, but it is, after all, just a bit of fun. What the song does show is the variety and versatility in what they were able to produce as a band.
And, all told, it’s one of the most popular songs with an animal in the title.
Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran
Usually, this is an expression that is used to describe someone more than just hungry. It usually refers to food, of course, but it is also used to describe wanting something desperately.
Duran Duran was part of the “New Wave” movement popular in the early 1980s. This was the fifth single from their album, Rio. This song, though, is not about being hungry for food. They use the expression to describe being hungry for someone else’s love.
Of course, others suggest the title refers to something more dubious. Some have even claimed that it’s code for illegal activities. I won’t comment on that. Just know it is another of those engaging songs with animals in the title.
Old Fashioned Songs with Animal Themes
Okay, let’s get in the DeLorean and go back in time a little bit. They were writing songs that included animals in those days as well.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Gene Autry
This character first appeared in 1939. Initially, just a short story made for a coloring book given away at Christmas time. However, it did a little better than that. It made its first appearance on the screen in 1948, and the song was written in 1949.
It was recorded by Gene Autry, went to #1, and sold over two million in the first year. Perhaps the best-known version is the 1964 TV animated film, and it culminated in the 1998 film.
It is still as popular a song today as it has always been.
How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? by Lita Roza
A song that is indelibly printed on my mind. It was bought for my sister around 1955 when I was still very young. She played it to death, and I can still remember it. This song was written by Bob Merrill and originally recorded by Patti Page in America, and released in 1953.
In those days, record companies weren’t so good at distribution, so it didn’t arrive in the UK. The version we had was by Lita Roza, which reached #1 on the UK chart in 1953. It was one of the first songs sung by a woman to go #1 in the UK.
She sang with the Ted Heath Jazz Band, so we don’t have to think too hard about what she thought of the song. She later said she refused to do more than one take in the studio.
And, even though it was a big success, she refused to sing it to a live audience or anyone else. We can safely say she didn’t like it much. And not just her.
End of an Era…
In many respects, this song about an animal is what marked the beginning of a revolution. The Rock n Roll kind. Many younger folks, myself included, were through with music of this type and craved something more. Something with energy and edge.
Unsurprisingly, just one year later, “That’s Alright Mama” by Elvis Presley and Rock n Roll would take the world by storm. No doubt driven by the utter disdain much of the youth had towards the “puppy dog” style of their parent’s generation.
But enough pontificating. Back to more modern songs with animals in the title.
I Love My Dog by Cat Stevens
From the album Matthew & Son. Very few songwriters can wrap a deep message into a pretty tune. Cat Stevens was one of those. You can either just sit and listen to this as just a nice tune, or you can delve a little deeper.
He is talking to his partner, explaining how his dog’s love is unconditional, as a dog’s love is. And that he knows it will always be there. He then goes on to say her love might not be as committed as the dog.
It can sound a little harsh, but it depends on the context and how you take it. He could be emphasizing his love for his dog. Or, he could be saying that unconditional love is what I expect from you. A great song from a talented writer and a springboard for some great work that was to come.
Fox On The Run by Sweet
Time for a bit of Glam Rock. Although, that is a bit unfair with this lot. They were a lot better than that; well, two of them were. They were like a couple of other bands at the time, doing well with their rock-based style.
Like them, Sweet was hijacked to a certain extent for the sake of a record company jumping on the glam bandwagon. They agreed, but drummer Mick Tucker always knew they were a lot better than this. Still, a catchy little pop tune, and the first they were ‘allowed’ to write themselves.
The other kind of fox…
The song was not about a fox at all, well, at least not the animal. “A fox” is slang for an attractive woman, which is what the song is all about, and was included on a 1974 album, Desolation Boulevard.
Gradually, over their existence, the original band reverted to the ‘Who-like’ style they had created before they went “bubblegum.” ‘Foxy’ reached #2 in the UK and #5 in America.
A Horse with No Name by America
They sound like some Californian kids trying to copy Crosby Stills and Nash. In reality, their music was honed, and a lot of it, like this track, was written and recorded in West London. We were quite aware of them in the late 60s and early 70s.
Arthur Brown of the “The Crazy World of Arthur Brown” was helping them along the road in those early days with advice and demo time.
Their fathers were all stationed at the American base in South Ruislip, West London. We lived a mile or so away and had seen them play some early gigs. And, although we would nod in recognition when our paths crossed, that was all.
They Were Developing A Sound
They went to an international school in Bushey, ten miles away, so didn’t get involved with the local music crowd. But, even then, those harmonies were developing and, at the time, sounded great. Most people were very impressed. They sound just as good today.
The song was the first of a string of big records, and this comes from the album America Homecoming. Did I say they were trying to copy Crosby and crew? It should have been the other way round. In my view, they were better than Crosby and his crowd of egos.
That said, it is a very memorable song with the name of an animal in the title.
Running Out Of Space
As usual, I suppose, and so many still to include. Let’s just list a few I would have included before we go to the last two songs to finish.
- Dig A Pony by The Beatles.
- Honky Cat by Elton John.
- Black Dog by Led Zeppelin.
- Little Red Rooster by The Rolling Stones.
I am sure you could name a dozen more. But, let’s finish this list out in style.
I Am The Walrus by The Beatles
Composed by John Lennon, this was a song that was written for the TV film “Magical Mystery Tour.” It was also included on the 1967 Magical Mystery Tour EP.
John was partly influenced by Lewis Carroll’s 19th Century poem, “The Walrus and the Carpenter.” The other part was his amusement at all the ‘intellectual’ attention given to the lyrics of Beatles songs. Can’t write here what he called those people.
Work This One Out Then
His idea was then that if they want to start ‘intellectualizing’ the lyrics of songs, he’d give them something to work on. No doubt, they all sat down to work out what it all meant without realizing the joke was on them.
It probably should be mentioned that John, at this time, was taking LSD occasionally, which might have had an effect. So, that might be why it is one of the strangest animal songs ever written.
A Unique Distinction
This is the only song to hold the #1 and #2 spot at the same time in a recognized chart. How? It was the B-side of “Hello, Goodbye.” That went to #1, and the Magical Mystery Tour EP, including this song, was #2 at the same time.
Seagull by Bad Company
And so to the last, and in my opinion, best of them all. This was taken from Bad Company’s first album, Bad Company.
This was the first album Paul Rodgers made following the tragic split of Free. It became increasingly obvious that without Paul Kossoff, who was very ill, and Andy Fraser, who had fallen out with Paul Rodgers, Free was finished.
Bad Company partly filled the void for Paul. But, the music could be very pop-rock-oriented and a long way from the heights that Free reached. However, some very good songs came from this period, and “Seagull” was one of them.
Love Of Animals and Humanity
It is not widely known that Paul Rodgers is a very serious animal conservationist and humanitarian. His home is usually full of cats and dogs, and he also runs and funds animal sanctuaries.
I know what he thinks about ‘people,’ not his word to describe them, who kill animals for fun. And, I dread to think of what he is saying about what is going on in the world at the moment. But, that is Paul, and he is not afraid to make his point. We need more like him.
“Seagull” was written while sitting on a beach and watching the seagulls glide over the water in the wind. It remains one of my favorite tracks of anything he sang on.
It is just an acoustic guitar and ‘that’ voice. The bass comes in at the end with a little gentle percussion but is not played by Boz Burrell.
A Poignant End To The Song?
- Here is a man asking the question.
- Is this really the end of the world?
- Seagull, you must have known for a long time.
- The shape of things to come.
- Now you fly, through the sky, never asking why.
- And you fly all around ’til somebody.
- Shoots you down.
Blackbird by The Beatles
Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon
Octopus’s Garden by The Beatles
Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
Monkey Wrench by Foo Fighters
The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens
Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine
Rock Lobster by The B-52’s
Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones
Tusk by Fleetwood Mac
Black Cat by Janet Jackson
Bear Necessities by Phil Harris and Bruce Reitherman
Rat in Mi Kitchen by UB40
Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley & The Wailers
Runaway Horses by Belinda Carlisle
Walkin’ the Dog by Rufus Thomas
Eye of the Hurricane by The Alarm
The Love Cats by The Cure
Little Red Corvette by Prince
Monkey Man by Toots and the Maytals
Birdland by Weather Report
Walkin’ the Cow by Daniel Johnston
Cat Scratch Fever by Ted Nugent
Fishin’ in the Dark by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Blue Jay Way by The Beatles
Mr. Bojangles by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
I Wanna Be Your Dog by The Stooges
Butterflies by Kacey Musgraves
Silver Stallion by The Highwaymen
Rockin’ Robin by Bobby Day
Elephant Love Medley by Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor
Cat People (Putting Out Fire) by David Bowie
Fly Like an Eagle by Steve Miller Band
The Wolf by Mumford & Sons
Crawling King Snake by John Lee Hooker
I Am The Bullgod by Kid Rock
The Lion and the Lamb by Big Daddy Weave
Black Horse and the Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall
Big Bad Wolf by In This Moment
More 70 Songs With Animals In The Title
- Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band
- Barracuda by Heart
- Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle
- Love Is Like a Butterfly by Dolly Parton
- I Am The Elephant by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
- Old Turkey Buzzard by José Feliciano
- Fuzzy Little Hippy Girl by Seals & Crofts
- Crying Like a Wolf by Godley & Creme
- Run Like Hell by Pink Floyd
- Great White Buffalo by Ted Nugent
- Bullfrog Blues by Rory Gallagher
- Gorilla by Bruno Mars
- Black Swan Song by Athlete
- Badger by The Weepies
- Cheetah Sisters by The Cheetah Girls
- Butterfly by Crazy Town
- Bluebird by Paul McCartney and Wings
- Alligator by Of Monsters and Men
- Octopus’s Garden by The Beatles
- Gazelle by The Swell Season
- Year of the Cat by Al Stewart
- Cows With Guns by Dana Lyons
- Year of the Horse by Neil Young
- Snakes on a Plane (Bring It) by Cobra Starship ft. William Beckett
- A Wolf At The Door by Radiohead
- Wolves by Selena Gomez and Marshmello
- Hound Dog by Elvis Presley
- Pigs (Three Different Ones) by Pink Floyd
- Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of…) by Lou Bega
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
- Songbird by Fleetwood Mac
- Black Sheep by Metric
- The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) by Ylvis
- The Hummingbird by Seals & Crofts
- Mad Hatter by Melanie Martinez
- Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band
- Brass Monkey by Beastie Boys
- Goldfish by JJ Heller
- Bulldog by The Beatles
- The Bear by Randy Newman
- The Monkey Time by Major Lance
- Ride the Tiger by Jefferson Starship
- Killer Queen by Queen
- The Cat Came Back by Fred Penner
- The Lion’s Roar by First Aid Kit
- Black Swan by Thom Yorke
- Jackrabbit by San Fermin
- The Elephant Song by The Meters
- Kitten Moon by Deerhoof
- Snake Eyes by Mumford & Sons
- The Snake by Al Wilson
- I’m Like A Bird by Nelly Furtado
- Scorpions by Send Me An Angel
- Wolf Like Me by TV On The Radio
- Buffalo Stance by Neneh Cherry
- The Lion And The Wolf by Thrice
- Mosquito by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- Cat Power by The Greatest
- White Horse by Taylor Swift
- Coyotes by Don Edwards
- Antelope by The Low Anthem
- The Unicorn Song by Shel Silverstein
- Silver Fox by Michael Franks
- The Fishin’ Hole by Andy Griffith
- The Butterfly by Celtic Woman
- The Badger by The Consortium of Genius
- The Crane Wife 3 by The Decemberists
- The Sparrow and the Medicine by The Tallest Man on Earth
- The Whale by Electric Light Orchestra
- The Horses by Daryl Braith
Searching for More Great Music?
We can help with that. Take a look at our detailed articles on the Best Songs About Heroes, the Best Songs about Friday, the Best Songs About Ice Cream, the Best Songs About the Sun and Sunshine, and the Best Songs About Friendship for more great song selections.
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Songs With Animals In The Title – Final Thoughts
That was a journey through some wonderful music. A subject that, at first, you might think of as being quite ordinary. But, it takes you on a journey through emotions and metaphors. And it reminds us just how important animals are. All of them.
Until next time, happy listening.