10 Songs With Animal Titles

Many subjects have been the inspiration for songs, primarily love and relationships, but what about animals? The 1960s British Invasion of music brought us bands with names like The Animals, The Yardbirds, Herman’s Hermits, and, of course, The Beatles. American bands soon followed with The Turtles, Iron Butterfly, Steppenwolf, and let’s not forget The Monkees.

Here are ten great songs featuring the name of an animal in its title.

A Horse with No Name – America (1972)

A trio of American expats living in England during their youth formed a band that would become America. This song was their biggest hit, reaching number one on the charts. Band member Dewey Bunnell wrote it while visiting the U.S., primarily the Southwest region. He got inspiration from the desert images.

Shock the Monkey – Peter Gabriel (1982)

Thankfully, the song is not about animal testing but about human jealousy and addiction. It’s Peter Gabriel’s first Top 40 song.

Teddy Bear – Elvis Presley (1957)

Elvis Presley Look-Alike
Elvis Presley Look-Alike

When Elvis first sang this in his film “Loving You,” he was sent many stuffed teddy bears throughout his career. It was actually the B-side to his single release of “Loving You.”

Stray Cat Strut – Stray Cats (1982)

Here’s a prime example of a band naming themselves after an animal, more specifically, cats. This American band from Massapequa, New York, pays further homage with their rockabilly style to the tale of a cat on the prowl.

Crocodile Rock – Elton John (1972)

Lyrics by Bernie Taupin and music by Elton John this was one of many number-one hits for Elton during the 1970s. The song takes place in the ’50s and ’60s when the dance “Crocodile Rock” was popular. Later on, when the fad fades away, his girl leaves him, too.

Blackbird – The Beatles (1968)

Paul McCartney became motivated on this track, off the White Album, during the civil unrest and race riots in the U.S. The blackbird in the song represents the blacks. In British slang, the term “bird” refers to a person, usually a girl. Near the end of the song, you hear a bird singing, most likely some early sampling taking place.

White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane (1967)

If ever there was a song with drug references, this is it. Grace Slick was inspired by the classic book “Alice in Wonderland.” Slick mentioned many children’s tales allude to substances altering reality. Naturally, the white rabbit is one of many characters in the Lewis Carroll tale “Go Ask Alice.”

Gorilla – Bruno Mars (2013)

The only 21st-century song on the list, its lyrics do not shy away from drugs, sex, and rock n’ roll. Mars used a gorilla on the album cover. It became a mascot during the making of his album “Unorthodox Jukebox.”

I Am the Walrus – The Beatles (1967)

John Lennon’s inspiration for the walrus came from a poem, “The Walrus and The Carpenter,” which is from the “Alice and Wonderland” sequel, “Through the Looking-Glass.” Other influences for the song’s oblique lyrics came from a childhood nursery rhyme: “Yellow matter custard, green slop pie, all mixed together with a dead dog’s eye. Slap it on a butty, ten foot thick, then wash it all down with a cup of cold sick.”

Black Dog – Led Zeppelin (1971)

This Zeppelin classic has nothing to do with a canine, lyrically. Robert Plant had other things in mind when referencing the song’s title. However, there was a nameless black dog hanging around the recording studio at the time.

These ten songs with animal names in their titles are more than just catchy tunes; they are a testament to the creative fusion of music and nature. Each song uniquely captures the essence of the animals they are named after while also reflecting the personal, societal, and artistic influences of the times. This collection not only entertains but also offers a glimpse into the diverse ways in which animals have inspired and enriched the world of music.

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