The best songs about animals capture the many personalities and behaviors of our furry friends in all their wonderful glory.
These great songs often use animals to represent human characteristics and the struggles we experience in our daily lives and relationships.
Continue reading for a complete breakdown of the best animal-themed songs ever made.
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The 27 Best Songs About Animals
Animals have been the subject of great songs for decades, from classic rock and roll songs of the 1950s to best-selling pop songs that topped the charts.
We’ve made sure this playlist covers all genres of music, so there’s something here to cater for all tastes in music and animals.
Let’s get down to business and begin our list of the 27 best songs about animals:
27. “Hungry Like The Wolf” – Duran Duran
Duran Duran used an animal as a metaphor for something quite different in their song “Hungry Like the Wolf.”
Here, the wolf stands in for his desire for a woman the singer is chasing and is eager to spend quality time with.
While “Hungry Like the Wolf” was a success in the UK, it was a bigger hit in America thanks to the music video which aired on MTV.
26. “Shock The Monkey” – Peter Gabriel
Another iconic pop artist from the 1980s weighed in on great songs about animals with the track “Shock the Monkey.”
Released on the Peter Gabriel self-titled album from 1982, this time the metaphor revolves around jealousy.
Peter Gabriel released many songs throughout the 80s, including one of the best songs about searching, “In Your Eyes.”
25. “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)” – Ylvis
Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis released one of the funniest songs about animals in 2013. with “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)”.
Featuring a ridiculous music video with the comedians dressed like furries, it’s a gimmicky but nevertheless fun pop song.
“The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)” was recorded for their late-night talk show before being released as a single.
24. “My Lovely Horse” – The Divine Comedy
From a Scandinavian comedy song about Foxes to one about a lovely horse, which was featured on the Irish comedy series Father Ted.
This track was written in conjunction with the Divine Comedy and the series’s writers.
It’s as stupid as the sitcom characters that sing it and a great parody of terrible songs from the Eurovision song contest.
23. “Crocodile Rock” – Elton John
One of Elton John’s lesser-known songs, “Crocodile Rock,” has been covered by artists including Baha Men, Larkin Poe, and Taron Egerton.
A lively rock song, it was featured on the Elton John album, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player, which was released in 1973/
Throughout his career, John enjoyed many hits, including one of the best songs of all time, “Your Song.”
22. “Free Bird” – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Perhaps one of the most recognizable songs about animals is “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, a signature song from their live shows.
It’s a deceptively simple rock ballad that would eventually become something of a Southern Rock anthem.
The band released “Free Bird” in 1973, and its solo is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitar solos of all time.
21. “Black Cow” – Steely Dan
Steely Dan’s “Black Cow” isn’t actually a song about cows, but more likely about a root beer float or milkshake.
The lyrics explore the experiences of a man and woman who have split up but keep bumping into one another.
While “Black Cow” received considerable radio play, Steely Dan didn’t release it as a single.
20. “Dog Days Are Over” – Florence + The Machine
“Dog Days Are Over” is one of the more perky and upbeat songs about animals you can listen to.
Written and performed by Florence and the Machine, it’s a song about liberation posing as an animal song.
The band released “Dog Days Are Over” as part of their album Lungs, with their 2010 version reaching over 100 million YouTube views.
19. “White Rabbit” – Jefferson Airplane
“White Rabbit” is among the most popular songs about animals released in the 1970s and has been featured in many hit movies.
The song takes its inspiration from Alice in Wonderland, with many interpreting it as a song about drugs.
Jefferson Airplane released “White Rabbit” in 1968, before which they were known as Jefferson Starship.
18. “Slow Cheetah” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers takes on an oxymoron with the title of their rock classic “Slow Cheetah.”
This song describes the struggle of fitting in, with some fans also reading it as a song about struggling with addiction.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers released many great songs over the years, with several releases landing on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the 1990s.
17. “Monkey On My Back” – Aerosmith
Sticking with the rock music genre with “Monkey on my Back” by Aerosmith, released in 1989.
As with “Slow Cheetah” this is a song that uses animals as an analogy for struggling with addiction and rehabilitation.
Aerosmith has enjoyed many successes, including writing one of the best songs about life you can listen to, “Dream On.”
16. “Barracuda” – Heart
One of the most popular songs released by Heart, “Barracuda,” was first released by the band in 1977.
This is a song all about a woman who’s fed up with her partner, so she takes matters into her own hands.
Released on the album Little Queen, “Barracuda” has been covered several times since.
15. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” – The Tokens
Few songs with animals in the title are as iconic as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens.
Solomon Linda recorded the song in Zulu, with the Tokens following it up with the number-one hit English version.
The world-famous line “oh wimoweh” is a misheard version of “Uyimbube,” which translates to “you are a lion.”
14. “War Pigs” – Black Sabbath
“War Pigs” by Black Sabbath is all about war, more specifically the Vietnam War, and was released in 1970.
It’s been covered by Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne and was a powerful anti-war anthem when it was first released.
Black Sabbath has enjoyed many hits over the years, including one of the best songs about heaven, “Heaven and Hell.”
13. “Black Swan” – Andrew Stockdale
Another great rock song about animals is “Black Swan” by Andrew Stockdale, released on his 2013 album Keep Moving.
This song is about the struggles people experience when they try to escape from a past they want to leave behind.
It’s an often-overlooked song from an artist who deserves wider recognition for his talent.
12. “My Pet Snakes” – Jenny And Johnny
Jenny and Johnny tackle animal songs with “My Pet Snakes,” another of the more obscure songs to be featured on this playlist.
The lyrics explore the ongoing struggle people have with fighting their inner demons and working on becoming better people.
“My Pet Snake” was released by Jenny and Johnny on their album I’m Having Fun Now, which they released in 2010.
11. “Karma Chameleon” – Culture Club
Another hugely popular song about animals is “Karma Chameleon,” a pop hit from Culture Club released in the 1980s.
Played in clubs around the world throughout the decade, it’s the biggest hit they released and still widely played today.
Nominated for a Brit Award for Best Selling Single, the song was featured on the Culture Club album Colour by Numbers.
10. “Very Ape” – Nirvana
Grunge rock band Nirvana takes a typically abrasive approach to the topic of animals with their wonderful song “Very Ape.”
This song comes from the perspective of Cobain as he sings about macho men who are “very ape and very nice.”
Nirvana’s success was reflected in their Grammy Award nominations, including their win for Best Alternative Music Performance.
9. “Wild Horses” – The Rolling Stones
“Wild Horses” was initially written for Keith Richard’s son before being reworked to discuss Mick Jagger’s failing relationship.
The lyrics talk about a man trying to put across the depth of his love, even as the relationship falls apart around him.
Recorded in 1969, “Wild Horses” wasn’t released until 1971, when the band featured the track on their album Sticky Fingers.
8. “Ice Station Zebra” – Jack White
After enjoying a huge amount of success while serving as frontman for the White Stripes, Jack White went solo and continued to release hit songs.
One such solo song was “Ice Station Zebra,” which features White’s lyrics narrating about the titular animal.
If you’re wondering where Jack White got the idea for “White Rabbit,” the title actually comes from the novelist Alistair McLean.
7. “Dead Horse” – Hayley Williams
Like Jack White, Hayley Williams previously served as a singer for a band before tackling her solo career.
“Dead Horse” is a great example of her post-Paramore work and is about how relationships can sometimes feel like a dead horse.
It was released in 2020 to critical and commercial acclaim and was featured on the Hayley Williams album, Petals for Armor.
6. “I Am The Walrus” – The Beatles
It’s not surprising that a band named after an animal has produced one of the best songs with animals, “I Am The Walrus.”
Taken from the album Magical Mystery Tour and released in 1967, it’s a song about a man who is slowly losing his mind.
The Beatles were arguably the biggest band on the planet at the height of their fame and released one of the best karaoke songs you can listen to, “Hey Jude.”
5. “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” – Elvis Presley
“(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” sees Elvis Presley on fine form with another rock and roll classic from his discography.
Written by Kal Mann and Bernie Lowe, it was recorded for the soundtrack to the Elvis movie, Loving You.
“(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” was released in 1957 and proved to be a big hit for Presley, and was his first number-one single released in the US.
4. “Zebra” – Beach House
Beach House has taken a strong leaf out of the 1980s with their dreamy synth-pop approach to music, as is evident in “Zebra.”
A laid-back song that mentions black and white horses in the lyrics, it’s the perfect song about animals to listen to in the summer.
With many great songs in their discography, Beach House released one of the best songs about rain you can listen to today.
3. “High Horse” – Kacey Musgraves
The title for Kacey Musgraves contribution to songs with animals in the title is an analogy that refers to someone who thinks they’re better than everyone else.
“High Horse” is also about what happens when a relationship runs its course and it’s time for both parties to move on.
Released in 2018 as a single from her album Golden Hour. “High Horse” has also been streamed on YouTube over eight million times.
2. “She Wolf” – Shakira
Released in 2009, “She Wolf” is another hugely popular release from iconic pop singer Shakira.
Released on the album of the same name, “She Wolf” was a huge hit around the world and racked up an astonishing 300 million YouTube views.
It’s all about discovering freedom and releasing your inner animal, with a nod to the classic story Little Red Riding Hood.
1. “Eye Of The Tiger” – Survivor
Few people haven’t heard of the song “Eye of the Tiger,” which shot to the top of the charts after it was featured in the movie Rocky III.
It’s a song that urges the listener to never give up and give what it takes to overcome the odds and emerge victorious.
This Grammy Award-winning classic song has been used to motivate people to strive to be their best ever since it was first released in 1982.
That’s a wrap on this playlist exploring the best songs about animals you can listen to, whether you’re a rock fan or prefer modern pop music.
As well as featuring songs that are literally about animals, this playlist features many great tracks where animals serve as a metaphor for human emotions.
There’s no doubt the animal kingdom will continue to inspire musicians and songwriters for years to come.
What’s the best song about animals, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.
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