Who doesn’t love animals, right? Puppies, rabbits, kittens, and hamsters, you name it.
Due to the affection the public has for these adorable creatures, they have been used as subjects in pop culture. In music, animals such as horses, tigers, snakes, sharks, birds, and others have been adapted in songs to represent an entity, an experience, or simply the animal itself.
Let’s have a look at songs that have animal elements in them:
Top 25 Songs About Animals
1. “White Horse” by Taylor Swift
White horses are often associated with princes, ridden by the knight in shining armor who’s coming for rescue. The white horse in the song symbolizes love as a fairytale, but sometimes it just appears like that because that’s what we choose to see. The song actually tells the story of a girl who is disillusioned with her fantasies and realizes her partner is not the one she deserves.
The song by Taylor Swift won the Grammy Awards for Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance at the 2010 Grammy Awards.
2. “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry
Dark Horse is a term used in events or competitions to describe a person that appears not much of a threat but ends up being the best among the group. Katy Perry’s song sure did hold up to its name. It became number 1 in the Billboard 100 and was one of the first music videos to reach 1 billion views.
The song is about a girl (Katy) confronting her suitor of what to expect of her and their relationship. But it’s not just that, it’s also about Katy warning her soon-to-be-boyfriend of things that will happen to him if he dares to cheat or hurt her in even the slightest way.
3. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
No list of songs about animals is complete without this one! “Eye of the Tiger” is specifically written for the movie Rocky III which is about a boxer who has to prepare for a big fight. The tiger here metaphorically describes his competitive attitude, having eyes burning with passion. Like a tiger who dominates, he also wants to reign in his field.
The tune of the song matches its lyrics. Listening to the song will give you that rush as well. The song won Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 25th Annual GRAMMY Awards.
Next: 21 Songs About Unity
4. “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” by Ylvis
This song has been played so many times that it became more of a meme than a song! If you haven’t heard this song by Ylvis, what you see (or hear) is really what you get. The song starts by enumerating sounds of typical animals, resembling a nursery rhyme.
As Ylvis reaches the chorus, he has this sudden desire of knowing what a fox would sound like, and this curiosity was maintained up to the end of the song. So, what does the fox say, is it “Gering-ding-ding”, “Wa-pa-pa-pow”, “Hatee-ho”, or “Joff-tchoff”? The mystery of the fox still goes on, but here’s a clip of a red fox producing his own sound.
5. “I Know Places” by Taylor Swift
There might be no animals in the title, but it’s another song about foxes! Unlike Ylvis who took a literal approach, Taylor used foxes in her song as a metaphor.
In this song, Taylor associates herself and her lover with wolves. Meanwhile, the mainstream media are hunters hungry to get every detail of their love story for the daily news. Taylor did a nice job choosing fox as the animal, since you can see how sly they were, trying not to get caught in the song.
6. “Fireflies” by Owl City
If you know and rave of this song, you definitely passed the vibe check! The melody of the song coupled with its lyrics will light you up like fireflies. There have been speculations that Owl City wrote this song to describe the insomnia he is experiencing.
On the lighter side, Fireflies is a song about wishing that the innocence and purity of our youth come with us even during our adulthood. Fireflies resemble dreams, ideas, and things that we knew as children. Did you keep these fireflies in a jar, tucked under your pillow or cabinet, like Owl City?
7. “Dance Monkey” by Tones and I
Dance Monkey, a track we’ve all heard and loved on Tiktok, is about the pressures that producers and the music industry impose on performers. Tones and I sing about how the music industry expects artists to keep releasing major singles in order to make money as described in the lyrics “and I’ll make you do it all over again.”
Dance monkey is a term used to describe someone being manipulated or controlled by someone for personal or public interest. In this song, the one in control is the music industry, while the dance monkey is—you guessed it—the artist. Bonus points for Tones and I for including some schemes or remarks that these industries use to convince their talents to go the extra mile, such as “Oh my god, I see the way you shine,” “you make me wanna cry,” “I’ve never seen anybody do the things you do before,” and so on. Take a look at Songs About Monkeys next.
8. “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj does not fail to put something on the table, but this time she served her butt in golden cutlery. If you like booties and hyped-up songs, Anaconda is the song for you. To keep this short, unlike the anaconda described in the song which is very long, the song is about a guy who only likes to date and make out with girls who have large bottoms. Nicki, who obviously qualifies, had an encounter with this guy. To see what it means, go ahead and watch the music video. Bootylicious indeed.
9. “Baby Shark” by Pinkfong
Every child you know might have sung this song while clapping hands together, dancing happily with the beat. The song introduces a family of a shark who is ready for a hunt. Their presence makes their prey run away until they are safe at last. That is how the song ends.
Next: 19 Songs About Friday
10. “Skyline Pigeon” by Elton John
This ballad by Elton John is about the desire to be free from imprisonment. It speaks about the longing to be unrestricted, like a skyline pigeon that should be flying off the horizon. While many interpretations can be drawn from this song, one is being freed from wedlock, another one is to be uncaged from the past and pursue dreams left behind. Try to listen to the song and feel that liberation from anything that confines you.
11. “Mary Had A Little Lamb”
This classic nursery rhyme has been sung for ages. It is about Mary who has a lamb that is always tailing wherever she goes. There is actually a real story behind it. It was inspired by Mary Sawyer who was born on a farm in Sterling, Massachusetts. She was helping with the farm chores when he found a lamb rejected by its mother. Later, she took the lamb into her care. Whenever she goes, the lamb follows.
12. “Puppy Love” by Paul Anka
This classic pop love song screams the pureness of love one can give at a young age despite others questioning its seriousness. How brave are you to write a song for your crush? Well, ask Paul Anka how he did it.
He had courageously written and sung this song for his crush, Annette Funicello, also a performer. According to the song, what he felt for her at a young age is not puppy love, contrary to what others think.
13. “Wolves” by Selena Gomez
Another bop on this list is Selena Gomez’s Wolves. The song tells a story of a girl who went out of her comfort zone and a distance just to be with someone. What’s interesting about this song is that the guy Selena wants was hostile and dangerous to her, but she still kept chasing after her like a wolf wanting meat. Love does make you do stupid things.
14. “Three Little Pigs”
Who do you think you are among the three little pigs, the one who chooses to build a house out of hay, the one who prefers sticks, or the one who uses bricks? Common sense dictates anyone would rather be the third pig, with the house made of bricks.
The moral of the nursery rhyme is that hard work pays off. The first two pigs were lazy and did not spend ample time and effort to secure the quality of their houses. The third pig strategically chose bricks and did not mind putting much effort into building his sturdy home. In the end, it was the hard work of the third pig that saved them all from the hungry wolf.
15. “Black Swan” by BTS
BTS was able to express their fears through their song Black Swan, the first single from their album Map of the Soul: 7. The message of the song is about being scared of losing the passion you have for your passion. Despite the language barrier, since the song is written in Korean, you can feel from the song how passionate they are about their music.
16. “Butterflies” by Kacey Musgraves
Have you felt that weird sensation as if butterflies are roaming inside your stomach? That could be romantic excitement. If you want to recall that feeling of being on cloud nine, try to listen to this very sweet song by a country singer, Kacey Musgraves.
The song has a dreamy kind of vibe; it invokes a floaty feeling as if you are magically revealing yourself as a butterfly from your chrysalis, things you feel when you are in love.
17. “Peacock” by Katy Perry
You think this song is about the beautiful bird? Sorry to ruffle your feathers, but it isn’t one of those typical songs about animals. Listen again and take another guess. Katy Perry spends three minutes and fifty-two seconds glorifying a male’s private part.
The songwriting is spot-on and the beat is very catchy, especially the line which goes “I want the jaw dropping, eye popping, head turning, body shocking. I want my heart throbbing, ground shaking, show stopping, amazing.” Such a hysterically suggestive song.
18. “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
Ho ho ho! Sounds like Christmas! We’re positive you know our friend Rudolph, the reindeer with the red and shiny nose. He is the most famous among all Santa’s reindeers. Have you memorized their names? They are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and our all-time favorite Rudolph. The Christmas season may still be a few more months away, but in case you want to relive the spirit, here’s the video:
19. “High Horse” by Kacey Musgraves
When someone tells you to get off your high horse, what that really means is to stop your arrogance. That’s what Kacey is trying to say but make it classy and chic. This throwback disco song will make you dance away your annoyance with that arrogant person in the room who’s riding that high horse.
20. “Blackbird” by Paul McCartney
Blackbird is one of the most respected songs to be ever produced not only because of their great voices but mainly due to their intention in writing it. Even if you’re not free, if you dwell in darkness, if your wings are shattered and your eyes are sunken, the lyrics Paul McCartney had written poetically suggest that you should always try to rise, soar, and follow the light that shines even in the darkest night.
At the end of the song, you can notice that the band uses bird noises instead of any other instrument to emphasize that blackbirds, which are used as a symbol to signify black people, are the voices that matter.
Next: 25 Songs About Breathing
21. “Copycat” by Billie Eilish
This song was brought to life by one of Billie Eilish’s experiences. In one interview, Billie Eilish revealed that there was this girl who copied everything about her—the way she dresses, talks, acts. She was so enraged that she got on a phone call with her brother-producer Finneas, and boom, Copycat was born. A copycat, as everyone knows well, is someone who imitates another person, which perfectly fits the description of the girl Billie Eilish’s eye is on.
22. “Winter Bear” by V (Kim Tae-Hyung)
BTS’ V appears to be addressing a romantic interest at the start of “Winter Bear.” However, as the song develops, the lyrics grow more symbolic and hence more difficult to understand. Bears hibernate in the winter, as many of us are aware. They sleep for several hours at a time.
In this song, V also notices the addressee and remarks that this person “sleeps so happily,” reminding him of a “winter bear.” In the song’s single stanza, he employs this metaphor in a way that could be taken as directed at a lover.
23. “Animals” by Maroon 5
It isn’t a Maroon 5 song if it is not about the s-word. Their song Animals portrays a man that is unable to control their sexuality and is about to go wild after a girl. The girl, on the other hand, is trying her best to distance herself from the guy.
But like an animal, the guy is chasing after her with all his senses on the loose. There has been an ongoing debate about the meaning of this song. What is your take on this?
24. “Black Widow” by Iggy Azalea (feat. Rita Ora)
No, it’s not Black Widow from the Avengers. It’s the actual spider. In the song, there is a guy who entranced a girl with his charming words and deceptive actions. Later, the girl realized that the guy was only toying with her feelings and emotions for fun.
Outrageous as she should be, she wants to take on the guy like a black widow, which is reputable for being one of the deadliest spiders on the planet.
25. “City Dove” by Tori Kelly
There’s no better way to end this list but with Tori Kelly’s vocals in City Dove. It is about finding hope even in the most desperate of times, and finding grit and holding grip even when all the situations beg for you to let go.
It’s been shown in numerous research that interacting with animals, especially cute ones, can boost one’s mood, relieve stress, and even lower blood pressure. While a cuddly and cute animal may not be within reach, listening to songs about animals may be the closest you can get to these creatures right now. Unless, of course, the song isn’t about the animal itself! But still, it will remind you of adorable bears, delightful fireflies, or—yikes!—terrifying spiders!