CaliforniaHerps.com

Songs With Herps



     





























































































































































































These are songs that mention reptiles and amphibians. A few are about herps, but most just reference a herp in some way or use a herp as a metaphor, and a few just use the sounds of calling Pacific Treefrogs. Some of these are good songs worth repeated listening, others are only curiosities, and some are just plain bad.

There aren't too many songs that are specifically about herps, but there must be a thousand songs with a mention of a snake in the lyrics, and another thousand mentioning alligators, frogs, lizards and turtles, etc. (Salamander mentions are rare, as most people hardly know what they are.) It would be pointless to try to include all of those songs on this list, especially since you can find lists like that on Wickipedia and elsewhere. So I will only list a few songs that I have heard and think are worth at least a listen, at least for the sake of novelty, if not the music. Links to song versions on YouTube are included if I can find them, but beware that the links might be broken since music videos are often removed from that site for copyright reasons.

The songs are listed alphabetically by artist, not by title. I'll add new songs to the list as I discover them. Let me know if there's something that's not here that should be. The lyrics come from the Internet, and we all know how unreliable that can be. (Except this little piece of it.) Also, some of these songs may contain explicit lyrics that are not mentioned in the descriptions here.

Here's a list of Songs That Mention California.


The lyrics quoted here are all the property and copyright of their owners and are provided here for educational purposes only.
Shortcut to Artist Last Name
 
Artist Title
(Click link to listen to song)
Description
 
A
Aerosmith Rattlesnake Shake Boston bad boy rockers Aerosmith cover the Fleetwood Mac song, adding their own lyrics. From the live album "Rockin' the Joint" released in 2005.


"You need some lovin'
You must have the blues
You fought your mind baby
Hey that's a good thing to do
Now do the shake
The Rattlesnake Shake
Now do the, do the shake
Yes, chuck away them
blues...chuck your blues"
America Ventura Highway America is a band comprised of American Air Force kids who met and recorded in England, then moved to Los Angeles. This is from their 1972 album "Homecoming." It's an upbeat soft rock classic with a catchy acoustic guitar riff from the band who have been to the desert on a horse with no name. I always wondered how those lizards got up in the air, but apparently they're supposed to be cloud formations. Thanks, internet, for spoiling my sense of wonder. This is one of the few songs about California, and herps. Or at least clouds that look like herps.


"Chewing on a piece of grass
Walking down the road
Tell me, how long you gonna stay here Joe?
Some people say this town don't look
Good in snow
You don't care, I know

Ventura Highway in the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger
Than moonshine
You're gonna go I know

'Cause the free wind is blowin' through
Your hair
And the days surround your daylight
There
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air

Wishin' on a falling star
Watchin' for the early train
Sorry boy, but I've been hit by
Purple rain
Aw, come on Joe, you can always
Change your name
Thanks a lot son, just the same

Ventura Highway in the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger
Than moonshine
You're gonna go I know

'Cause the free wind is blowin' through
Your hair
And the days surround your daylight
There
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air...."
Anonymous Sma Grodorna (Small Frogs) This is a Swedish folk song that is traditionally sung at the midsummer festival, where people dance around a maypole. It is also sung at Christmas time. Groups of people do a traditional dance where they hop around like a little frog while singing the song.


Swedish

Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se.
Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se.
Ej öron, ej öron, ej svansar hava de.
Ej öron, ej öron, ej svansar hava de.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.


English

The little frogs, the little frogs are funny to observe.
The little frogs, the little frogs are funny to observe.
No ears, no ears no tails do they possess.
No ears, no ears no tails do they possess.

Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.
B
Blind Lemon Jefferson That Black Snake Moan Blind Lemon Jefferson was a blues singer born blind in Texas probably in 1893 and popular in the 1920s. This country blues classi has been covered by many others including Samuel L. Jackson in the movie by the same name.


"Mmm, mmm, black snake crawlin' in my room
Mmm, mmm, black snake crawlin' in my room
Some pretty mama better come and get this black snake soon"

Bow Wow Wow Go Wild in the Country A wonderful sentiment that would be shared by all snakes, especially those living in sweater boxes and deli cups.

Malcolm McLaren, creator of the Sex Pistols, also created this band, to sell clothing. But this 1982 new wave hit has an African pop sound and squealing 13-year-old Anglo-Burmese girl singer Annabella (whom McLaren discovered working in a laundry) instead of Johnny Rotten.


"I don't like you, I don't like your town
I don't wanna like you, I'll shop around
I don't want you, I don't want your town
I don't wanna want you, I'll shop around, I'll shop around

I can get a tray, I don't need no hamburgers
No take-away, I want my own game
No bacon steak, no strawberry milkshake, I want a picnic
I'm sick, sick of seeing signs "To eat", walking down these dark lonely streets

Wild, go wild, go wild in the country
Where snakes in the grass are absolutely free
Wild, go wild, go wild in the country
Where snakes in the grass are absolutely free

I don't know you, I don't know your town
I don't wanna know you, I'll shop around, I'll shop around
I can get a tray, I don't need no hamburgers
No take-away, I want my own game
No bacon steak, no strawberry milkshake

I do better, hell, I do better
Sweet from the trees, naked in the breeze
But I got no boiled chicken, I wanna go hunting and fishing

Wild, go wild, go wild in the country
Where snakes in the grass are absolutely free
Wild, go wild, go wild in the country
Where snakes in the grass are absolutely free

I can get a plane, I don't need no suitcases, 'cos truth loves to go naked!

Wild, go wild, go wild in the country
Where snakes in the grass are absolutely free
Wild, go wild, go wild in the country
Where snakes in the grass are absolutely free"
Bow Wow Wow Where's My Snake? Unfortunately, this is a question every snake owner has asked many times about these slippery Houdinis. This is another upbeat 80's Afrobeat pop tune from  Annabella and Bow Wow Wow, already mentioned above.


"Where's my snake?
Everybody say
Where's my snake

"Where's my snake?
Everybody say
Where's my snake?"
The Breeders Sinister Foxx The Breeders are an alternative rock supergroup formed in the late 1980s. This song is from their album "Title TK" released in 2002.


"No one break for me
I just got life
I'm in beer class
Every Thursday night

I was choppered out of sea life
Bad advice filled the air
Valour
Ready
Fight
Go on, get the mayor

Jumped tank
And leavin'
Broth of thieves
Has anyone seen the iguana
Has anyone seen the iguana

No one broke for me
I just got life
I'm in cedars
Every single night

Swarmed and choppered
Out of sea life
Has anyone seen the iguana
Has anyone seen the iguana
Has anyone seen the iguana
Has anyone seen the iguana
Has anyone
Has anyone seen the iguana"
Oscar Brown Jr. The Snake In this great swingin' 60's R&B tune, a woman walking to work finds a half frozen snake by a lake. The snake begs her to take him in and she does, admiring his beauty. When she gets home from work, the snake has revived and she hugs it, and then it bites her. Of course.  A snake is cast as the villain once again.  Message: Don't go collecting hot snakes, ladies, stick to the non-venomous variety.


'On her way to work one morning
Down the path along side the lake
A tender hearted woman saw a poor half frozen snake
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew
"Oh well," she cried, "I'll take you in and I'll take care of you"

"Take me in oh tender woman
Take me in, for heaven's sake
Take me in oh tender woman," sighed the snake

She wrapped him up all cozy in a curvature of silk
And then laid him by the fireside with some honey and some milk
Now she hurried home from work that night as soon as she arrived
She found that pretty snake she'd taking in had been revived

"Take me in, oh tender woman
Take me in, for heaven's sake
Take me in oh tender woman," sighed the snake

Now she clutched him to her bosom, "You're so beautiful," she cried
"But if I hadn't brought you in by now you might have died"
Now she stroked his pretty skin and then she kissed and held him tight
But instead of saying thanks, that snake gave her a vicious bite

"Take me in, oh tender woman
Take me in, for heaven's sake
Take me in oh tender woman," sighed the snake

"I saved you," cried that woman
"And you've bit me even, why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I'm going to die"
"Oh shut up, silly woman," said the reptile with a grin
"You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in

"Take me in, oh tender woman
Take me in, for heaven's sake
Take me in oh tender woman," sighed the snake.'
Jimmy Buffett Off to See the Lizard Mr. Buffett leaves Margaritaville with another anemic pop ditty.


"I was raised by a maid who came from
Martinique
She wore geckos round her neck and bracelets on her feet
A superstitious woman from the land of sugar cane
She'd sing the sun to bed and dance out in the rain
Dance out dance out dance out dance out in the rain

She'd excite us with his legend that the
Africans had told
About a red iguana who turned lava into gold
We'd mount an expedition headin' out into the bay
Superstitious children playing pirate for a day Off to see the lizard

Off to see the lizard
Deja deja deja vu, believe it
And it will come true
Veja Veja Veja du
What works for me might work for you"
Bush Tetras Snakes Crawl The Bush Tetras were a minimalist post-punk all-female band from New York City. This song is from a 1980 single.

"Snakes crawl
Babies fall
Cars crash
Heads bash

Rats bite
Boys fight
Noses run
Girls have fun
...
Records spin
Flabby skin
Pigs feed
Full of greed Time flies We all die"
C
Calexico Ballad of Cable Hogue Calexico is an indie band from Tucson, named after the California border city. This song is a single from 2000 that's named after the herp-filled 1970 Sam Peckinpah comic western.


"I live out yonder where the snakes and scorpions run
Got myself a little goldmine to bank on
But one day my heart sank when I saw madame in town
I knew her love would be the death of mine

L'amour passait, l'amour obsolete
Pourquoi perdre sa vie a chercher l'or d'un coeur?
Je ne me noierai pas dans ce dasert mystique
Je ferme mes comptes et je repars

(Love is over and love is obsolete
Why waste your life searching for a heart of gold?
I'm tired of treading water in this mysterious desert
I'm cashing in my chips before I ride)

Do me a favor while I'm hanging here
Take this gold and go and hide
(don't twist too hard darlin' on your hangin' rope)
Don't worry I'll be free in no time

She promised me she would be there when I'd return
She didn't say she'd have a whole army there as well
She whispered, "je t'aime baby" as she fired that gun at me
(it's getting late and I'm running out of time)

I should've stayed way out yonder
Better off with the scorpions and snakes
Every act which has no heart will be found out in the end
Guess I'm a little late this time
Cause her love would be the death of mine
Mine, all mine"
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan Snake Song A nice cover of the Townes Van Zandt song described below from the Scottish singer-songwriter and her duet partner from the Screaming Trees.
Eric Church The Snake Eric Church is a country music singer-songwriter originally from North Carolina. This song is from his 2018 album "Desperate Man."


Rattlesnake said to the copperhead
"You give us vipers a real bad name
You prey on the weakest, in fact for no reason
No wonder we get blamed"
Copperhead laughed, said "Kiss my ass!
You can bark but there ain't much bite
You rattle that tail, but it's fear I smell
I think you're shaking out of fright"

Rattlesnake, copperhead
Either one of them'll kill you dead
We stay hungry, they get fed
And don't pass the plate around
Lie by lie, cheat by cheat
Venom in smiling teeth
They just run those forked tongues
And the whole world's burning down

Copperhead said to the rattlesnake
"If you ever wanna make it rain
We could team up, be twice as tough
Fear will be our game"
Rattlesnake said to the copperhead
"Y'know we were the original sin
And I bet you my rattle against your copper
That the bitch takes the apple again"

Rattlesnake, copperhead
Either one of them'll kill you dead
We stay hungry, they get fed
And don't pass the plate around
Lie by lie, cheat by cheat
Venom in smiling teeth
They just run those forked tongues
And the whole world's burning down

Rattlesnake said to the copperhead
"Ain't no way they'd win
'Cause the mice are sheep and the shepherd's asleep"
And the copperhead said "Amen"
Elizabeth Cook Snake in the Bed A 2010 song from the smart and quicky country roots rocker. I put a song of hers on the California list.


"There’s a snake in the bed, a snake in the bed
I dumped out my purse and there’s a snake in the bed
It’s little and it wiggles, got a shiny black head
Couldn’t be worse there’s a snake in the bed
My pocketbook was sittin by the slidin glass door
The one I thought didn’t work no more
I set it side me on the pull-out couch
The one I’d been sleepin on to get the bugs out
And Big Mama Thornton was singing along
With pretty young Elvis and the old hound dog
Heaven turned to big deceit when something slithered down my leg
And between my feet
I can’t imagine what the fuss is about
You’d think he’d have chosen a different route
I can’t shut up the words in my mouth
They started up north and they’re heading down south
The boy from next door came runnin up
He was sicker than me so the problem was
We balled up the sheet snake and everything
Kicked out the door and gave it a fling"
The Ry Cooder Band Hold That Snake Ry Cooder is an American musician/songwriter from L.A., who is best known for his slide guitar playing (check out his Paris Texas soundtrack) but he has worked in many genres including his work with the worldwide hit "Buena Vista Social Club" album of songs by Cuban musicians, and with African musician Ali Farka Toure. This song is from the soundtrack to the movie "Streets of Fire" released in 1984, which is set in a world that resembles the 1950s, so the music, including this song, evokes that era mixed with 80s roots music.


"I love my baby like a bull dog loves his bone
Last night she got crazy, called me up on the phone
Said, "Come on over, daddy
'Cause I hates drinkin' alone"

Said, "I had me a little and I had to have a little more
Try to get up, could not get out the door
And there's a big ole snake
That's crawlin' right across the floor"

My baby's not afraid to take a chance
Drinkin' whiskey starts her thinkin' about romance
That's when she wants what I keep in my pants

I know she's got a few tricks up her sleeve
When she gets hot it's not hard to believe
So I told my baby
Just what Adam said to Eve

Hold that snake 'til I make it
Hold on 'til your daddy gets there
Just grab his head and shake it

Tell him be ain't goin' nowhere
Take it easy but take it
But don't let go of that snake
'Til I make it"
Crazy Frog Axel F. It's amazing how many people and how many years were needed to make what has to be one of the most annoying songs in history.

It all started with the theme "Axel F." from the 1984 Eddie Murphy movie, Beverly Hills Cop. (Murphy's character in the movie was named Axel Foley.) The music was performed by Harold Faltermeyer (on some of those bad 1980's synthesizers that made New Wave sound so cheezy) and it became a huge International hit in 1985.

Next, a Swedish computer guy, Daniel Malmedahl, created a frog character in 1997 with a voice that said "ring ding ding" and sounded like a two-stroke engine.

Then, in 2003, another Swedish guy, Erik Wernquist, discovered Malmedahl's Crazy Frog sound and created 3D animation to accompany it, called "The Annoying Thing" which was later changed to "Crazy Frog."

Finally, in 2005, a group of DJs and Dance producers calling themselves Crazy Frog (I think, even I'm confused by now) remixed the "Axel F." theme with the Crazy Frog voice and other sounds, and somebody else made an animated music video for the song. That remix became a huge international hit in 2005.


"Ring ding ding daa baa
Baa aramba baa bom baa barooumba

Wh-wha-what's going on-on?
Ding ding
This is the Crazy Frog
Ding ding

Bem bem
...
Ring ding ding ding ding ding
Ring ding ding ding bem bem bem
Ring ding ding ding ding ding
This is the Crazy Frog
Break down

Ding ding
Br-br-break it, br-break it

Dum dum dumda dum dum dum
Dum dum dumda dum dum dum
Dum dum dumda dum dum dum

Bem bem

Dum dum dumda dum dum dum
Dum dum dumda dum dum dum
Dum dum dumda dum dum dum
This is the Crazy Frog...."
The Cure The Snakepit As I see it,in this song Robert Smith sees himself as a snake in the snakepit, instead of a victim, in this 1987 new wave goth dirge.


"Well we're a mile under the ground
And I'm thinking that it's Christmas
And I'm kissing you hard
Like I've got very important business
And no-one knows
And no-one sees us
Because they're drinking themselves senseless
And I'm writhing
And I'm writhing
And I'm writhing in the snakepit"
D
The Dead Milkmen Big Lizard Some 80's pop punk which should be required listening at every pet store that sells lizards.


"Big lizard in my backyard
Can't afford to feed it anymore
Big lizard in my backyard
Bustin' down my neighbour's door

I bought a big lizard
Only a dollar fifty
Well, that's pretty neat
Yeah it's ***** nifty
But I just can't afford to feed it"
Bo Diddley Who Do You Love? Bad old Mr. Diddley likes to use snakes to house and clothe himself in this early rock classic.


"I walk 47 miles of barbed wire,
I use a cobra-snake for a necktie,
I got a brand new house on the roadside,
Made from rattlesnake hide,
I got a brand new chimney made on top,
Made out of a human skull,
Now come on take a walk with me, Arlene,
And tell me, who do you love?"
The Doobie Brothers Cotton Mouth This song seems to conjure up a lazy country day in the South. Nothin' wrong with that.


"Red eyed momma keep cryin’
Blue eyed cat keeps a lyin’
Catfish keep his eye on the string
And that cottonmouth keep on windin’
Sing, sing, sing

Dark moon keeps hidin’
And ’gator, he keeps right on slidin’
And bullfrog, he ain’t mindin’
Oh, cottonmouth keep on windin’
Sing, sing, sing"
The Doors The End The moody 60's psychedelic rock classic that opened "Apocalypse Now" with lead singer Jim Morrison, "The Lizard King," who even has a prehistoric lizard named after him - Barbaturex morrisoni.


"There's danger on the edge of town
Ride the King's highway, baby
Weird scenes inside the gold mine
Ride the highway west, baby
Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake, the ancient lake, baby
The snake is long, seven miles
Ride the snake...he's old, and his skin is cold
The west is the best
The west is the best
Get here, and we'll do the rest"
Drilo Crocodylia Francisco "Drilo" Lozano is a musician and composer from Mexico who is a huge crocodile enthusiast. This is what he told me about this album:

"I composed an  album called Crocodylia where I wrote a piece of music for each of the living crocodilian species. I tried to reflect through the music the places where these reptiles live. For example: the composition for the Nile Crocodiles is  inspired by traditional Egyptian music, the one for the Cuban Crocodile is in a Latin music vein, and so forth going through Australia, India, North America, the Amazon and any other place where crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gharials are found."

Besides the YouTube link to the left, you can also listen to the album on other platforms:

Amazon Music
Spotify
Google Play
Apple Music
Tidal
Deezer
Duran Duran Union of the Snake Duran Duran is an English new wave band formed in 1978. This was a huge hit song from their 1983 album "Seven and the Ragged Tiger. I have absolutely no idea what it's about, or why they wore those silly haircuts, and jackets with the sleeves rolled up to their elbows, but I always think that the song should be called "union of the snakes" unless it's meant to refer to one of those pictures of a snake cut into many parts with the slogan "join or die."


"Telegram force and ready
I knew this was a big mistake
There's a fine line drawing
My senses together
And I think it's about to break

If I listen close I can hear the singers
Voices in your body coming through on the radio
The Union of the Snake is on the climb
Moving up it's gonna race it's gonna break
Through the borderline

Nightshades on a warning
Give me strength at least give me a light
Give me anything even sympathy
There's a chance you could be right

If I listen close I can hear the singers
Voices in your body coming through on the radio
The Union of the Snake is on the climb
Moving up it's gonna race it's gonna break
Through the borderline

The Union of the Ssnake is on the climb
Moving up it's gonna race it's gonna break
Through the borderline...."
E
Steve Earle Snake Oil Steve Earle is a country/rock/bluegrass singer-songwriter, actor, and writer mostly from Texas who has been recording from about 1975. This song is from his album "Copperhead Road" released in 1988.
I don't know about you, but I haveI always wondered how they get the oil out of a snake....


"Ladies and gentlemen, attention please
Come in close so everyone can see
I got a tale to tell
A listen don't cost a dime
And if you believe that we're gonna get along just fine
Now I've been travelin' all around
I heard trouble's come to your town
Well I've got a little somethin'
Guaranteed to ease your mind
It's call Snake Oil y'all
It's been around for a long, long time

Say, your crops'll burn if it don't rain soon
Ain't seen a drop since the tenth of June
Well I can open up the sky
People never fear
If you ain't impressed yet, just tell me what you wanna hear
Well you lost your farm so you moved to town
You get a job, they shut the factory down
Now you sit around all day long feelin' sad and blue
You need Snake Oil y'all, tell you what I'm gonna do"
F
Federal Civil Defense Administration Duck and Cover Starring Bert The Turtle, this hilarious song comes from a 1951 film that teaches schoolchildren to get under their desks to protect themselves from an Atomic Bomb explosion.


"There was a turtle by the name of Bert, 
and Bert the turtle was very alert,
When danger threatened him he never got hurt,
He knew just what to do.

He'd duck, and cover
duck, and cover.

He did what we all must learn to do,
You and you and you and you.

Duck and cover." 
Fleetwood Mac The Rattlesnake Shake From the late '60's or early '70's back when they were a blues band. It sure ain't about rattlesnakes, but it is a good blues rocker with a mean guitar riff so it's on the list.


"You need some love
You must have the blues
Ain't but the one thing
A good man can do
He do the shake
The rattlesnake shake
Man, do the shake
Yes, and jerk away the blues
Now, jerk it"
Nelly Furtado Turn Off the Light This pop hit from 2000 is not really a song about herps, it's a herp-assisted song - a song with frog call accompaniment. Pacific Treefrog calls are heard in the beginning and at the end of the song. In the middle they are also heard with some buggling sounds. At the very end, as the music fades and the voice disappears into a deep canyon of reverb, Pacific Treefrogs begin calling, fading out to the end of the song.
G
Grandaddy Broken Household Appliance National Forest A song from 2000 from the great Modesto Indie rock band who must be herpers who have herped a trash site or two. I'm pretty sure I've been to the National Forest they sing about. It has branches beside little-used roads on the outskirts of every town where people dump their garbage.


"Sit on the toaster like a rock
No need to worry about a shock
All of the microwaves are dead
Just like the salamander said
The refrigerators house the frogs
The conduit is the hollow log

Broken household appliance national forest
Air conditioners in the woods
Broken household appliance national forest
Mud and metal mixing good"
H
Tom T. Hall Sneaky Snake This is a really silly country novelty song - the sort of thing kids like. Check out the Dolly Parton TV show version on YouTube if you dare.


"Boys and girls take warning, if you go near the lake
Keep your eyes wide open, and look for Sneaky Snake.

Now maybe you won't see him, maybe you won't hear
But he'll sneak up behind you, and drink all your root beer.

And then Sneaky Snake goes dancin', wigglin' and a hissin'..."
PJ Harvey Snake Polly Jean Harvey is a singer-songwriter etc. from England who started out around 1988. This song is from her 1993 album "Rid of Me." In this wonderfully dark, distorted screamer, Eve tries to explain how the snake lied and tricked her, but it's too late.


"You snake
You crawled
Between
My legs
Said "Want
It all?
It's yours
You bet
I'll make
You queen
Of everything
No need
For God
No need
For him
Just take
My hand
You'll be
My bride
Just take
That fruit
Put it
Inside"
You snake
You dog
You fake
You liar
I've burned
my hands
I'm in
the fire"
Clarence Frogman Henry I Ain't Got No Home He can sing like a man, he can sing like a girl, and he can sing like a frog, and he demonstrates it in this song.


"I ain't got no home
No place to roam
I ain't got a home
No place to roam
I'm a lonely boy
I ain't got a home

I ain't got no sister
I ain't got a brother
I ain't got a father
Not even a mother
I'm a lonely boy
I ain't got a home

Woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo

Well, I got a voice
And I love to sing
I can sing like a bird
And I can sing like a frog
I'm a lonely boy
I ain't got a home

I ain't got a girl
I ain't got a son
I ain't got no kin
I ain't got no one
I'm a lonely frog
I ain't got a home"
John Hiatt Snake Charmer John Hiatt is an American singer/songwriter who's been in the business since 1972, with more than 20 albums to his name. This is a rock song that sounds like it was written to accompany a pole dancer at a strip club. It's got the combination of testosterone rock and sleazy lyrics that you often hear in those places. Or, so I've heard.... The song is from the soundtrack to the 1985 movie "White Nights" which I haven't seen, but the soundtrack is all over the place, including an Oscar-winning song by Lionel Richie, a song from Porgy and Bess, songs by Nile Rogers, Lou Reed, Robert Plant, Bach, Chopin, and this pole dance anthem.


"Bye bye
I Got news for you
It's all right
Bad girl whatya gonna do
My My
Long blond hair
Short black dress
Standing there unimpressed

She's a snake...charmer, yeah
She's a snake...charmer

I wanna look, I'm a basket case
I get shook
Where to look, to investigate
I'm hooked

Close enough to hear her sighs
Close enough to get a rise

She's a snake...charmer, yeah
She's a snake...charmer

Bad boys checking out
Each others hair style
She ain't gonna last in this room for the reptiles
Hair comes up
blood starts to rush
Music getting
heart to pound
Three drinks and I'm on my knees
I can't think
She says "what's wrong with you"
And I shake
So much more
Now I'm just a little worm

She's a snake...charmer, yeah
She's a snake...charmer"
Sterling Holloway Trust in Me
(The Python's Song)
This song is from the movie "The Jungle Book." It's an unusual song, since it's supposed to be sung by a snake, and snakes don't get to do many vocal performances. But it has flute music, of course - you can't have music about snakes without those stupid snake-charmer flutes, and it las lots and lots of sibilance. It's based on the old myth that snakes hypnotize their victims. You'll never trust a snake again after hearing this one.


"Trust in me, just in me
Shut your eyes and trust in me
(Hold still please)
You can sleep safe and sound
Knowing I am around

Slip into silent slumber
Sail on a silver mist
Slowly and surely your senses
Will cease to resist

Trust in me, just in me
Shut your eyes and trust in me"
John Lee Hooker Black Snake John Lee Hooker is a blues musician born either in 1912 or 1917 in Mississippi. This is a country blues song from 1959.


"It's a mean black snake suckin my rider's tongue
It's a mean black snake suckin my rider's tongue
And if I catch him down he won't come back no more

And he crawl to my window and he crawl up in my bed
He crawl up to my window crawl up in my baby's bed
He is a mean mean black snake been sucking my rider's tongue..."

Get me some toad frog's hips
Mix it up together
Gonna whip it up good
I bet you my bottom dollar
He won't suck my rider's tongue no more

Mean mean mean black snake,
Been crawling round my back door.
Been crawling round my back door.

He worry me all through the day,
He worry me all night long.
He worry me all through the day,
He worry me all day long.

I bet you my bottom dollar,
I'm going to kill that black snake.
He won't suck my rider's tongue no more
He won't suck my baby's tongue

That mean mean black snake
He won't bother me no more"
John Lee Hooker Crawling King Snake This country blues classic needs no explanation. Howling Wolf covered it, along with the Doors, and lots of other musicians.


"You know you caught me crawlin' baby
When the grass was very high
I'm just gonna keep on crawlin' now baby until the day I die,

Because I'm a crawlin' king snake baby, and I rules my den
Don't you hangin' around my mate, wanna use her for myself."
Harlan Howard The Everglades The 1961 country song that became a hit for the Kingston Trio about a nice young man who killed a man and became a fugitive in the Everglades, not knowing that the jury declared the killing was in self defense. Not much about herps really, but it's worth listing because of the gators line in the chorus.


"Now, the posse went in and they came back out. They said he'll die and there ain't no doubt.
It's an eye for an eye so the debt is paid. He won't last long in the Everglades. A man can't live in the Everglades.

Where a man can hide and never be found and have no fear of the bayin' hounds.
But he better keep movin' and don't stand still. If the 'skeeters don't get him then the 'gators will. Runnin' like a dog through the Everglades."
Dick Hyman Doin' the Chameleon This is a song from Woody Allen's movie "Zelig" released in 1983 composed by Dick Hyman and sung by Bernie Kuce, Steve Clayton and Tony Wells. Hyman wrote other lizard-themed songs for the movie which is about a man named Leonard Zelig who was called the human chameleon, including Leonard The Lizard, Chameleon Days, and Reptile Eyes.


"There's a brand new dance from up the river
Just jerk your head and shake your liver
You're doin' the chameleon

Make a face just like a lizard
And feel that beat down in your gizzard
You're doin' the chameleon

Stick out your tongue the way the reptiles do
Tryin' to catch a fly
Inflate your lung like big crocodiles do
Hey hey, my oh my

Throw your best gal right down on the floor
She'll be thanking you for more and
You're doin' the chameleon

If you hold your breath till you turn blue
You'll be changin' colors like they do and
You're doin' the chameleon

Wiggle like a salamander
Go this way that way all the yander
You're doin' the chameleon

Stick out your tongue the way the reptiles do
Tryin' to catch a fly
Unflate your lung like big crocodiles do
Hey hey, my oh my

Shake your shoulders move your feet around
Get right down and kick your feet around
You're doin' the chameleon
Vo de o do"
J
Jethro Tull Salamander 1976 acoustic guitar Prog Rock complete with a flute solo and salamanders walking by your window. This is more about the myth that salamanders can withstand fire (which probably derived from sightings of salamanders coming out of logs that were thrown on fires.)


"Salamander -
born in the sun-kissed flame.
Who was it lit your candle -
branded you with your name?
I see you walking by my window
in your Kensington haze.
Salamander, burn for me
and I'll burn for you."
Jethro Tull Bungle in the Jungle Brit folk blues prog rock from 1974 which always makes me think about snakes eating kittens.


"Let's bungle in the jungle --- well, that's all right by me.
I'm a tiger when I want love,
but I'm a snake if we disagree.
The rivers are full of crocodile nasties
and He who made kittens put snakes in the grass.
He's a lover of life but a player of pawns ---
yes, the King on His sunset lies waiting for dawn
to light up His Jungle
as play is resumed.
The monkeys seem willing to strike up the tune."
Lonnie Johnson Black Snake Blues Another classic blues song from 1928. Victoria Spivey, Clifton Chenier, Fats Waller, and many more have their own versions of the song. Victoria Spivey sings the YouTube version while Lonnie Johnson plays the guitar over at the link to the left of here.


"Ahhhh, ahhhh, ahhhhhh, huh huh,
Ahhhhh, huh huh, hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmmm.
Something keep a moanin', I don't know what it is.

In my path lays a black snake, ‘bout 8 or 9 inches.
Here me screamin', man I ain't dreamin'.
In my path lay a black snake, ‘bout 8 or 9 inches long.
Got my axe and mean to kill him, before he sucks my rider stone.

When my right eye winks, on my knees I begin to crawl.
When my right eye winks, on my knees I begin to crawl.
It will be hell to tell the capt'n, if I catch another man kickin' in my stall.

Ohhh, want my black snake to come back home.
Hmm, wonder if my black snake will come back home.
Wonder if he's been [with] another woman, Lord since he been gone.

There's no use a worryin', a baby ‘bout the time being, early in the morning, late every night.
There's no use a worryin', baby ‘bout the days being long.
The black snake has got the best of you, can't roll him from home."
K
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Rattlesnake King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is an insanely-prolific psychedelic band from Australia. This song is from the band's 2017 album "Polygondwanaland" one of five albums they released that year. You'd think their songs would be short because of that, but not this one at nearly eight minutes. Don't miss out on the not-quite-state-of-the-art snake effects in their video.


"Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me
Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me
Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me
Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me Isolation

Trepidation
Don't fear nothing
Snake is bluffing
Whips his tail
Sends you running

Rattlesnake
, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me
Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me
Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me
Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me

Vegetation
Aggravation
Found him hiding
Snake is smiling
Whips his tail
Leaves you riling

Rattlesnake
, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me
Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me
Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me
Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me

Rattle, rattle rattle
Rattle, rattle rattle
Rattle, rattle rattle

Hibernation
Altercation
Don't get angry
Snake is cranky
Whips his tail
In a frenzy

Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me
Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me
Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me
Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me

Rattle, rattle, rattle
Rattle, rattle, rattle
Rattle, rattle, rattle

I'm the serpent
Devil's servant
Time to meet your end
Fangs are ready for the strike
Deadly razor sharp
Poison with a single spike
While you're immobile
Screaming like a maniac
After my attack
Crying like a baby child
In exile
Sweat drips out of every pore as
I bite you more and more and more and
Take one last look at your captor
And hear my tail rattling 'til your death
Rattling 'til your death

Rattle, rattle rattle
Rattle, rattle, rattle

I'm the serpent
Devil's servant
Time to meet your end
Fangs are ready for the strike
Deadly razor sharp
Poison with a single spike
When youre immobile
Screaming like a maniac
After my attack
Crying like a baby child
In exile
Sweat drips out of every pore as
I bite you more and more and more and
Take one last look at your captor
And hear my tail rattling 'til your death
Rattling 'til your death

Rattle, rattle, rattle
Rattle, rattle, rattle
Rattle, rattle, rattle

Isolation
Trepidation
Don't fear nothing
Snake is bluffing
Whips his tail
Sends you running

Rattlesnake
, rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattles me"
The Kingston Trio The Everglades This popular folk group of the early 60's had a hit with this cover of the Harlan Howard song discussed above.
Krokus Rattlesnake Rumble Krokus is a heavy metal band from Switzerland that was big in the U.S. in the 80s. This song is from their Dirty Dynamite album released in 2013. Apparently the singer has the hots for his rattlesnake mama and begs to be struck in the heart for another dose of poison.


"Standing at your window
Honey I've been here before
Waiting for the chance
Darlin' I'm checkin' your door

I want you in the day
I need you in the night
Come on
I'm rollin' on the floor
Don't keep me hangin' on
So long, that's right

Mama... I got the rattlesnake rumble
Mama... I got the rattlesnake blues

Try to hold you close
Baby you keep slippin' away
Need another dose
Strike me in the heart again

Please don't be so cruel
Come and kiss away my pain
Oh yeah
Take me in your arms
Let me feel your magic charm tonight
Alright"
M
The Magnetic Fields Boa Constrictor This is one of the 69 Love Songs from the great 3 volume 1999 concept album. This one is 58 seconds of sweet female vocal with nice pizzicato acoustic guitar.

"I spend my evenings alone
talking to your picture, babe
Love is wrapped around my heart
like a boa constrictor, babe

My mother should have murdered me
What jury would convict her, babe
for love is wrapped around my heart
like a boa constrictor, babe"
Aimee Mann Simple Fix Aimee Mann is a singer/songwriter originally from Virginia. This song is from her 2017 album "Mental Illness."


"Here we go again, around and round
Here we go again, around and round
We're babies passing for adults
Who've loaded up the catapults
And can't believe the end results
So here we go again

Here we go again, it's obvious
Here we go again, the two of us
We've just become our worst mistakes
The rattles off two rattlesnakes
The antidote that no one takes
So here we go again

But let's call a spade a spade
I’m going nowhere
I’m stuck in this hole, afraid to make a move
So once more around the track, another lap
And I think I can get it back, to where we prove:

There's a simple fix for the wrong mix
It's a simple fix for the wrong mix...."
Del McCoury Band Snake in the House Nice use of the shedding skin metaphor. Cheaters always seem to be snakes, even in Bluegrass tunes like this one. See the Charlie Pride song for another perspective on this.

"There's a snake in the house, and he's been sheddin' skin, leavin' behind, signs of where he's been. Now I'm tellin' you if it's the last thing that you do, there's a snake in the house, get it out!"
John McCormack
(and many others)
Molly Brannigan Thanks go to Carola Haas for telling me about this traditional Irish song with a salamander reference. Apparently, there is only one salamander in Ireland, the Common Newt - Triturus vulgaris, so it must be the cool and determined amphibian to which the brokenhearted singer refers.


"Ma`am dear, did ye never hear of pretty Molly Brannigan?
In troth, then, she`s left me and I`ll never be a man again.
Not a spot on my hide will a summer`s sun e`er tan again
Since Molly`s gone and left me here alone for to die.

The place where my heart was you`d aisy rowl a turnip in,
`Tis large as all Dublin, and from Dublin to the Divil`s glen:
If she`d wish`d to take another, sure she might have left mine back again
And not have gone and left me here alone for to die.
… … … … … ...

I`m cool an` determined as any salamander, ma`am,
Won`t you come to my wake when I go the long meander, ma`am?
I`ll think myself as valiant as the famous Alexander, ma`am
When I hear ye cryin` o`er me, `Arrah! why did ye die?` "
Dave Matthews Band Alligator Pie An upbeat rock song about a tasty new herp snack that's especially good when you're stranded on the roof in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, a victim of faulty levee construction.


"Floating in the lower nine
Waiting for a boat to throw me a line
See my Stella smile
Sitting on the roof eating alligator pie
First day the water rise
Second day the sun is high
Third day Stella cried cause night times dark as a dead man's eye's

Tell me when help is gonna come
Stella said daddy when you gonna put me in a song?"
Maude Mills Black Snake Blues Another blues about that mean black snake. Maybe I should put something up by the heavy metal band Whitesnake, just to even things out.


"Oh, I ain't gonna tell you no more,
I said oh, I ain't gonna tell you no more,
Stay away from my window,
don't you knock at my door.

It's a mean black snake that's carried me to this gate,
Taught me my mistake, treated me hard to take,
It's a mean black snake that's doing me this way.
If I ever go back south, I'm going back there to stay."
Meat Puppets The Monkey and the Snake A sort of country punk song from the great Phoenix band from their Sewn Together album released in 2009.


"This is the story of the history of night
From the beginnin' it has never seen the light
It takes a while to never understand
And holds the gift of darkness in it's hand

This is the story of a monkey and the snake
The monkey hit that sucker with a rake
The snake then bit the monkey on the hand
And now the monkey's singin' in a band"
Nicki Minaj Anaconda I like Nicki Minaj's music, but this is nothing more than an obscene rap song about men preferring women with big butts. Released in 2014, it's in the venerable tradition of Sir-Mix-A-Lot's "I Like Big Butts" and The Black Eyed Peas "My Humps" and possibly a thousand other rap songs. Neither the song nor the video are safe for work, for kids, or for anybody without a sense of humor. And, no, the Anaconda referred to here is not really a snake at all, it's the usual male cliche metaphor, but the parody version of the song shows an angry Sir-Mix-A-Lot impersonator with a giant hungry Anaconda snake that loves "juicy butt steak" so it eats the Nicki Minaj impersonator who has been rapping about her butt implants and how stupid the official video is. I find it more entertaining than the original video.


"My Anaconda don't...
My Anaconda don't...
My Anaconda don't want none unless you got buns hun

Boy toy named Troy used to live in Detroit
Big dope dealer money, he was getting some coins
Was in shootouts with the law, but he live in a palace
Bought me Alexander McQueen, he was keeping me stylish
Now that's real, real, real,
Gun in my purse, bitch I came dressed to kill
Who wanna go first? I had 'em pushing daffodils
I'm high as hell, I only took a half a pill
I'm on some dumb s***

By the way, what he say?
He can tell I ain't missing no meals
Come through and f*** him in my automobile
Let him eat it with his grills,
He keep telling me to chill
He keep telling me it's real, that he love my sex appeal
He said he don't like 'em boney, he want something he can grab
So I pulled up in the Jag, and I hit him with the jab like...
Dun-d-d-dun-dun-d-d-dun-dun

My Anaconda don't...
My Anaconda don't...
My Anaconda don't want none unless you got buns hun

Oh my gosh, look at her butt
Oh my gosh, look at her butt
Oh my gosh, look at her butt
(look at her butt)
Look at, look at, look at
Look, at her butt...."
Motley Crue Rattlesnake Shake A Heavy Metal cover of the Fleetwood Mac blues rock song discussed above.
Motorhead Love Me Like a Reptile A high-energy classic from one of the early English Heavy Metal bands. I've been waiting 25 years for the followup - "Amplex Me Like an Amphibian." What's the hold up, Lemmy?
In the same vein, Motorhead also recorded "Snake Bite Love"


"Knew I had to bite you baby when I first laid eyes on you,
That moment turned me on, I can't believe it's true,
And I like to watch your body sway,
I got no choice, I'm gonna twist your tail,

Love Me Like A Reptile, I'm gonna sink my fangs in you
Thunder lizard, stony eye, you got me hypnotised,
Hot tongue breaks in and out and I can't believe my eyes,
And your soft white belly, next to mine, Scaly baby, see you shine,

Love Me Like A Reptile, you're murder in disguise,
Black mamba, murderer disguised

Baby you're a rattlesnake, you know the way I feel,
Feel you crawling up my back, you've got no love to steal,
You know I've got my eyes on you,
You're petrified, gonna stick like glue,
Love Me Like A Reptile, shock you like an electric eel"
The Mountain Goats Birth of Serpents A 2011 song with references to both herps and California from John Darnielle who started performing in Claremont in 1991. I think we've all seen those rooms with heat lamps full of sweater boxes and baby snakes...


"Let the camera pull back till the fullness of the frame is clear and plain
Peer into the screen until you see it all like a vision in a crystal ball

Let it all fill with smoke
Is this somebody's idea of a joke? Let the fixer work until the silver's washed away
And take the picture from the tray
Look hard at what you see and then remember you and me
And let the truth spring free
Like a jack-in the box
Like a hundred-thousand cuckoo clocks
From the Oregon corners to the Iowa corn
To the rooms with the heat lamps where the snakes get born

Crawl through the tunnel and follow, follow the light north west
See that young man who dwells inside his body like an uninvited guest
See the tunnel twist
Clutch your birth rite in your fist
Let the camera do its dirty work down there in the dark
Sink low, rise high, bring back some blurry pictures to remember all your darker moments by
Permanent bruises on our knees
Never forget what it felt like to live in rooms like these
From the California coastline to the Iowa corn
To the rooms with the heat lamps where the snakes get born"
N
Willie Nelson Down in the Everglades Willie sings of lazing around getting high, drinking Gatorade (of course) and watching eagles fly in the Everglades.


"There ain't gonna be no hurry 
There ain't gonna be no rush 
Just a lazy style like a crocodile 
Playin' in the mangrove brush
I'll float on down the river 
Let the speed boat speed away 
I'll drift around making gator sounds 
Down in the Everglades" 
P
Neyla Pekarek The Attack Neyla Pekarek is a singer-songwriter from Colorado, formerly with the band The Lumineers. This unintentionally hilarious song is from Pekarek's 2019 album "Rattlesnake." It reminds me of the nature run amok horror movies where animals attack people for no apparent reason - The Birds, Frogs, Rattlers, Arachniphobia, Them, Jaws, The Swarm, Piranha, etc.

Pekarek based the songs on the album on the story of a Colorado woman named Katherine Slaughterback, who got the nickname "Rattlesnake Kate" in 1925 after she reportedly killed 140 rattlesnakes, claiming that she had to kill them to protect her three-year-old son. It's easy enough to avoid even a mass migration of rattlesnakes without shooting them and bashing them with a wooden 'No Hunting" sign, so she must have had a panic attack or else she just took advantage of the situation to collect a lot of snakeskins. Slaughterback is usually seen in photographs with the rattlesnakes all strung on a rope beside her, or in phoos wearing clothing made of rattlesnake skin, including jewelry made of rattles. She was later known to make money selling rattlesnake souvenirs and selling rattlesnake venom. Despite being either a hysterical killer or someone making a profit from killing wildlife, she has become a symbol of a strong pioneer woman, and several other songwriters have written songs about her.

You can look at a picture of Kate with the snakes here,
and watch a video about her here.


"Rattlesnake Kate known Kate Slaughterback
Got her nickname when she was lookin' for ducks and then a rattlesnake attacked
She saw just one snake then two then ten
Pulled out a twenty two rifle and the massacre began
Before too long she had no bullets left
Grabbed a sign right out of the ground and clobbered them to death

Aaaa aaaa aaaaa
She killed those snakes
She killed those snakes
She killed those snakes

Aaaa aaaa aaaaa
It's a snake attack
It's a snake attack
A rattlesnake attack

Two long hours no time to think or doubt
Got that sign in her hand punch those motherf***ers out

Little baby Ernie and her horse were safe and sound
She clobbered snake after snake bashed their heads into the ground

Aaaa aaaa aaaaa
She killed those snakes
She killed those snakes
She killed those snakes

Aaaa aaaa aaaaaa
It's a snake attack
It's a snake attack
A rattlesnake attack

It's a snake attack
It's a snake attack
A rattlesnake attack

Look to the left
Look to the right
You're dead, you're dead, you're dead
With just one bite

Look to the front
Look to the side
And don't forget your back
Yes they'll have your hide

Look to the left
Look to the right
You're dead, you're dead, you're dead
With just one bite

Look to the front
Look to the side
And don't forget your back
Yes they'll have your hide

Look to the left
Look to the right
You're dead, you're dead, you're dead
With just one bite

Look to the front
Look to the side
And don't forget your back
Yes they'll have your hide Rattlesnake Kate alive and well
Exhausted and passed out in that rattlesnake hell
Returned the next day to claim her prize
Those rattlesnake skins she would wear with pride

Aaaa aaaa aaaaa
She killed those snakes
She killed those snakes
She killed those snakes

Aaaa aaaa aaaaa
It's a snake attack
It's a snake attack
A rattlesnake attack"
Neyla Pekarek Better Than Annie This is another song from Pekarek's album "Rattlesnake" described above.


"They called her a sharpshooter, her name up in lights
She won old Butler's heart in the crowds each night
But Oakley, she's got nothing on me
Throw her in a snake pit and you'll see what I mean

'Cause I'm better, better, better than that showbiz queen
I'm better, better, better than that showbiz queen
No Annie Oakley's got nothing on me

Buffalo Bill, he saw something in her
Was it a pretty face, or girlish charm, or a certain swagger
If it really was shooting, put your money on Kate
'Cause just in two little hours, I murdered a hundred and forty snakes

'Cause I'm better, better, better than that showbiz queen
I'm better, better, better than that showbiz queen
No Annie Oakley's got nothing on me

Don't tell me she's the queen of the West
When she's spittin' and cussin' and drinkin' and hustlin' and causing a mess
Little sureshot, I've got news for you
I built my own house with my own two hands and lived in a chicken coop...."
Phish The Lizards This is part of Phish's Gamehendge saga, from 1988. You can dig into the meaning here: http://phish.net/song/the-lizards/history but you don't need to in order to enjoy it. It's almost ten minutes of up-tempo exuberance even though it's about a guy who comes from the land of Doom where, sadly, all the lizards have died. You'll contemplate the sadness of it all while you dance....


"Passing through the corridor I came upon an aging knight
Who leaned against the wall in gnarly armor
He was on his way to see the king
Wilson Wilson Wilson

He led me through the streets of Prussia talking
As he tried to crush a bug that scurried underneath his boot heel
He said there was a place where we should go
So he led me through the forest to the edge of a lagoon by which
We wandered 'til we reached a bubbly spring
The knight grew very quiet as we stood there
Then he lifted up his visor and he turned to me and he began to sing

He said I come from the land of darkness
I said I come from the land of doom
He said I come from the land of Gamehendge
From the land of the big baboon
But I'm never never going back there
And I couldn't if I tried
'Cause I come from the land of Lizards
And the Lizards they have died
And the Lizards they have died
And the Lizards they have died
And the Lizards they have...

He told me that the Lizards were a race of people practically extinct
From doing things smart people don't do
He said that he was once a Lizard too...
His name was Rutherford the Brave and he was on a quest to save
His people from the fate that lay before them.
Their clumsy end was perilously near
The Lizards would be saved, he said, if they could be enlightened
By the writings of the Helping Friendly Book
In all of Prussia only one existed
And Wilson had declared that any person who possessed it was a crook

He said I come from the land of darkness
I said I come from the land of doom
He said I come from the land of Gamehendge
From the land of the big baboon
But I'm never never going back there
And I couldn't if I tried
'Cause I come from the land of Lizards
And the Lizards they have died
And the Lizards they have died
And the Lizards they have died
And the Lizards they have...

The Helping Friendly Book, it seemed, possessed the ancient secrets
Of eternal joy and never-ending splendor
The trick was to surrender to the flow
We walked along beneath the moon
He lead us through the bush 'till soon
We saw before our eyes a raging river
He said we could swim it if we tried
And saying this the knight dove in forgetting that his suit of arms

Would surely weigh him down and so he sunk
And as his body disappeared before me
I bowed my head in silence and remembered all thoughts that he had thunk

He said I come from the land of darkness
He said I come from the land of doom
He said I come from the land of Gamehendge
From the land of the big baboon
But I'm never never going back there
And I couldn't if I tried
'Cause I come from the land of Lizards
And the Lizards they have died
And the Lizards they have died
And the Lizards they have died
And the Lizards they have…"
Cole Porter You're The Top This classic is from the 1934 musical "Anything Goes." There is a verse at the very end, which is rarely ever sung, with a great line about a frog. Singers tend to end the song four or five verses earlier.


"At words poetic, I'm so pathetic
That I always have found it best,
Instead of getting 'em off my chest,
To let 'em rest unexpressed.
I hate parading my serenading
As I'll probably miss a bar,
But if this ditty is not so pretty,
At least it'll tell you how great you are.

You're the top! You're the Colosseum,
You're the top! You're the Louvre Museum,
You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss,
You're a Bendel bonnet, a Shakespeart sonnet,
You're Mickey Mouse.
You're the Nile, You're the Tow'r of Pisa,
You're the smile on the Mona Lisa.
I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,
But if, Baby, I'm the bottom,
You're the top!
... ... ... ...

You're the top! You're Mahatma Ghandi.
You're the top! You're Napolean brandy.
You're the purple light of a summer night in Spain,
You're the National Gall'ry, You're Garbo's sal'ry,
You're cellophane.
You're sublime, You're a turkey dinner.
You're the time of the Derby winner.
I'm a toy balloon that is fated soon to pop.
But if, Baby, I'm the bottom,
You're the top!
... ... ... ...

You're my thoist, You're a Drumstick Lipstick,
You're the foist in the Irish svipstick,
I'm a frightened frog that can find no log to hop,
But if, Baby, I'm the bottom,
You're the top!"
Charlie Pride The Snakes Crawl at Night This could be an anthem for anyone who's been cheated on, or for anyone who likes to drive backroads at night hunting for snakes. It's a cheezy country classic from one of the few successful African American Country singers who recorded it in 1966. Written by Fred B. Burch and Mel Tillis, it was also recorded by Porter Wagoner in 1966.


"Oh the snakes crawl at night, that's what they say
When the sun goes down, then the snakes will play

I watched that car pull right in my driveway
Then I saw a shadow slipping from my house
So I hurried straight and looked in her room
And I found out that it was my loving spouse

Oh the snakes crawl at night, that's what they say
When the sun goes down, then the snakes will play

So I waited in the shadows until morning
and the gun I held was trembling in my hand
No I did not plan to give them any warning
For the devil on my shoulder had command

Oh the snakes crawl at night, that's what they say
When the sun goes down, then the snakes will play

Well the trial in a little while was over
and they sentenced me to die right away
But before I leave this courtroom please Your Honor
There's something more I'd like to say

Oh the snakes crawl at night, that's what they say
When the sun goes down, then the snakes will play...."
R
Rathergood.com The Axolotyl Song This is a silly novelty song that kids should love - especially the crazy video with a singing Mexican salamander dancing with maracas. Joel Veitch, a British web animator, singer-songwriter owns Rathergood.com, so I expect he wrote and recorded this song. A neotene that metamorphs does not become a new species, as he sings, but since his video shows Ambystoma tigrinum, or mavortium as the transformed animal, maybe he really does mean that the bottle made him change species.


"I used to be an axolotl, I did what axolotls do,
I breathed through gills, my skin was mottled,
I know you don't believe it's true.
But then one day I found a bottle, filled with salamander goo,
I drank a little, then a lotl. I necked the whole ungodly brew....
Now I'm a....

SALAMANDER! SALAMANDER! SALAMANDER!
LA LA LA LA!
SALAMANDER! SALAMANDER! SALAMANDER!
LA LA LA LA!
SALAMANDER! SALAMANDER! SALAMANDER!
YEAH YEAH YEAH!
SALAMANDER! SALAMANDER! SALAMANDER!
YEAH!

At first I loved my change of species, embraced my metamorphic fate,
I breathed through lungs, I walked the earth,
I took a salamandy mate,
But now-a-days I'm melancholic, I miss my neotenic state,
I rue the day I drank that bottle, I can't go back now it's too late…"
Rattlesnake Annie Rattlesnakes and Rusty Water Rattlesnake Annie is Annie McGowan, a singer-songwriter originally from Tennessee who has been recording music since 1974 with a lot of success around the world. This is an acoustic country-folk song off her 1980 album also titled Rattlesnakes and Rusty Water. The song ends with the sound of a rattlesnake rattling, as all good songs should.


"If I could only be all the things inside of me
Then I'd lay down by your side and be contented
I love to hold your face but sometimes I hear my name
Being called from some far off places

I can't find the line I'm supposed to be walking
And it don't take no fool to see
I done tried that high rollin' ride
Rattlesnakes and rusty water, Lord they're good enough for me.

I've played in fancy bars and drove big old cars been accepted socially
But they took my time and my peace of mind nearly made a wreck out of me.

Wrong and right and dark and light is individuality
And it makes a possum run across my grave every time I see them sellin' Jesus on TV.

Can't find the line
I'm supposed to be walking
And it don't take no fool to see
'Cause I done tried that high rollin' ride
Rattlesnakes and rusty water, Lord
They're good enough for me

Can't find the line I'm supposed to be walking
And it don't take no fool to see
I done tried that high rollin' ride
Rattlesnakes and rusty water, lord they're good enough for me.
Rattlesnakes and rusty water, y'all they're good enough for me."
R.E.M. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight There's really nothing much about sidewinders here, just a bunch of nonsense lyrics and a very catchy pop arrangement from the great Georgia indie band. The singer tells someone to call him on the pay phone. (Remember those?) That's followed by a lot more nonsense about stupid signs, instant soup, blackeyed peas, candy bars, falling stars, Nescafe, and the Cat in the Hat, along with a great slurred-together chorus. Don't try to make sense of it, just enjoy this 1992 pop gem - one of REM's greatest hits.


"....If I don't pick up, hang up, call back, let it ring some more.
If I don't pick up, pick up...

The sidewinder sleeps, sleeps, sleeps in a coil...."
The Replacements Rattlesnake This is not one of the better songs by this great hard rocking band from Minneapolis, one of the best bands of the 80's, but singer Paul Westerberg is a rattlesnake, and that's all I need.


"Cruisin' on my belly all night long
You gotta hold on
You gotta hold on
You got a rattlesnake
Say I'm a rattlesnake

Cruisin' on my belly all night long
You gotta hold on
You gotta hold on
You got a rattlesnake
I'm a rattlesnake
I'm a rattle, rattle, rattle
I'm a ra, a ra, a ra...
A ra, a ra, a ra..."
Rihanna California King Bed Rihanna sings about flipping a board line in March in the Valley of Bricks and finding a huge "bed" of aberrant California Kingsnakes...
Or not. This is really just another song about the super-king-sized bed, but I think my version would be more fun.


"Chest to chest
Nose to nose
Palm to palm
We were always just that close
Wrist to wrist
Toe to toe
Lips that felt just like the inside of a rose
So, how come when I reach out my finger
It feels like more than distance between us

In this California king bed
We're ten thousand miles apart
I've been California wishing on these stars
For your heart for me
My California king"
David Rovics Alligator Song As a herper, you have to like this guy: The inspiration for his folk novelty song comes from a scientific journal article ("Reduction in Penis Size and Plasma Testosterone Concentrations in Juvenile Alligators Living in a Contaminated Environment", by Guillette et al., published in General and Comparative Endocrinology, 1996.)


"Everybody's getting cancer
At a geometrical rate
Maybe it's something you drank or breathed
Maybe it's something you ate
Perhaps this doesn't concern you
Hey, we've all gotta go sometime
But maybe I can tell you something
To make you change your mind

The alligator *** are shriveling up
Soon they'll all be through
Yeah, the alligator *** are shrinking fast
And it will happen to you
It will happen to you, boys
It will happen to you
The alligator *** are shriveling up
And it will happen to you

They're an indicator species
Like canaries in the mine
They're the first to kick the bucket
When things might otherwise seem fine
So let's be frank and honest
As the situation begs
Boys, what are you gonna do
About that thing between your legs"
S
St. Vincent Rattlesnake Retro synths are added to her usual inventive guitar sounds on this song from her 2014 St. Vincent release. Annie Clark told NPR that she stripped down to her boots one night while alone on a friend's ranch in the Southwest US, (she had probably been reading too much Carlos Castaneda) when she heard what sounded like a rattlesnake rattling - a terrifying sound to anyone whose understanding of them comes from Hollywood's portrait of the relentlessly evil buzzworms. (I admit the sound has made me jump more than once, even while fully-clothed.) I wonder how long it was before the panic attack stopped and she realized it was only her cell phone vibrating?


"Follow the power-lines back from the road
No one around so I take off my clothes
Am I the only one in the only world?

I see the snake holes dotted in the sand
As if Seurat painted the Rio Grande
Am I the only the one in the only world?

Sweating sweating no wind whipping behind me
Sweating sweating no one will ever find me

The only sound out here is my own breath
And my feet stuttering to make a path
Am I the only one in the only world?

Is that the wind finally picking up?
Is that a rattle sounding from the brush?
I'm not the only one in the only world
Running running running rattle behind me
Running running running no one will find me
Running running running rattle behind me
Running running running no one will ever find me...."
The Saints (I'm) Stranded This Austrailan band was one of the first and best punk bands. This classic is from their 1977 album (I'm) Stranded. It's not really about herps, it just starts with an absurd metaphor about a snake making a phone call, but that's good enough for this stupid list.


"Like a snake calling on a phone
I've got no time to be alone
Some one coming at me all the time
Babe I think I'll lose my mind

'cause I'm stranded on my own
Stranded far from home
All right

I'm riding on a midnight train
But everybody just looks just the same
The subway light a dirty reflection
I'm lost babe I got no direction

'cause I'm stranded on my own
Stranded far from home

Stranded, I'm so far from home
Stranded, yeah I'm on my own
Stranded, you've gotta leave me alone
'cause I'm stranded on my own
Stranded far from home "
Shel Silverstein Boa Constrictor This is the 1962 folk song that has been covered by people such as Peter, Paul and Mary, Johnny Cash, and thousands of grade school classes. There are a lot of variations on the end, but in all of them, the singer never gets to finish the song.


"I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor
I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor
I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor
And I don't like it very much!
Oh no, oh no, he swallowed my toe,
he swallowed my toe
Oh gee, oh gee, he's up to my knee,
he's up to my knee
Oh fiddle, oh fiddle, he's reached my middle,
he's reached my middle
Oh heck, oh heck, he's up to my neck,
he's up to my neck
Oh dread, oh dread, he swallowed my.... schlirppp!"
Siouxsie and the Banshes Burn Up Siouxsie and the Banshees were an English rock band formed in 1976. This song is from their album Peepshow, released in 1988. This song is rare in that it is about a salamander. It plays with the myth that salamanders can live in fire.


"A crumpled future in your fist
The killing streak ascends sun-kissed
And the firestarter from within
Pokes out from fever blistered grin

King Salamander -- that's his name
A desert maker -- that's his aim
The benign cremator, branding iron in his hand
Eager and willing to torch the land

All fire and brimstone
This jack-o-lantern
He likes to watch the buildings burn

His ardour smoulders -- phosphorous flies
He radiates with urgence to hypnotize
Stoke the furnace -- feed his need
This thirst for fire is all he sees
He's the blazing rubber making tracks
The blue touch paper at your back

All fire and brimstone
This salamander king
He basks whilst all around him burns

'Giddy-up, burn-up, not fade away'
These words ignite and pave his way
'Giddy-up, burn-up, stoke it up and turn it up'
He sings these words in fervid frame

All fire and brimstone
This jack-o-lantern
He likes to watch the pyres burn

Jack be nimble -- jack be quick
Jack jump over the candlestick"
Sturgill Simpson Turtles All The Way Down A country song by Sturgill Simpson from his 2014 album "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music" based on the ancient myth that the earth is flat and rests on the back of a giant turtle which is itself standing on the back of a larger turtle, ad infinitem. In other words, the universe consists of Turtles all the way down.


"I've seen Jesus play with flames in a lake of fire that I was standing in
Met the devil in Seattle and spent 9 months inside the lion's den
Met Buddha yet another time and he showed me a glowing light within
But I swear that God is there every time I glare in the eyes of my best friend
Says my son it's all been done and someday yer gonna wake up old and gray
So go and try to have some fun showing warmth to everyone
You meet and greet and cheat along the way

There's a gateway in our mind that leads somewhere out there beyond this plane
Where reptile aliens made of light cut you open and pull out all your pain
Tell me how you make illegal something that we all make in our brain
Some say you might go crazy but then again it might make you go sane

Every time I take a look inside inside that old and fabled book
I'm blinded and reminded of the pain caused by some old man in the sky
Marijuana, LSD, psilocybin, and DMT they all changed the way I see
But love's the only thing that ever saved my life

So don't waste your mind on nursery rhymes
Or fairy tales of blood and wine
It's turtles all the way down the line
So to each their own til' we go home
To other realms our souls must roam
To and through the myth that we all call space and time"
Sturgill Simpson Pan Bowl This is another song from Simpson's great 2014 album in which he longs for the simpler happier days when he was young playing outdoors "wild as a rattlesnake." And who doesn't?


"I'd give anything to go back
Days I was young.
All the way back to Pan Bowl
I sit down on the lakebed
Stair at the sun.
Then I'd walk out in the water
Let it cleanse my soul.
Spend my days up on quicksand
There I would play.
Wild as a rattlesnake
Right from the start.
I'd push off the ---
Swing all day.
Well she was the first girl that ever broke my heart.

Miss the days when this old life
Free from all the pain and strife.
And all the sorrow it has brung.
I'd give anything to go
All the way back to Pan Bowl.
All the way back to days when I was young."
Elliot Smith Twilight Th song isn't about herps, but it uses Pacific Treefrog sound effects. There are a few calls at the beginning, and they start coming in again about 30 seconds before the track ends with a long long fade.
Jim Stafford Spiders and Snakes This was a country music hit from 1974 about a terrible and ignorant girl who refuses a heartfelt romantic gift. And worse, she puts an animal from the class Amphibia into classes Reptilia AND Arachnida! What a Loser.


'I remember when Mary Lou said
"You wanna walk me home from school"
And I said, "Yes, I do"
She said, "I don't have to go right home
And I'm the kind that likes to be alone
As long as you would"
I said, "Me, too"

And so we took a stroll
Wound up down by the swimmin' hole
And she said, "Do what you want to do"
I got silly and I found a frog
In the water by a hollow log
And I shook it at her
And I said "This frog's for you"

She said, "I don't like spiders and snakes
And that ain't what it takes to love me
You fool, you fool
I don't like spiders and snakes
And that ain't what it takes to love me
Like I want to be loved by you" '
T
Three Dog NIght Joy to the World Hoyt Axton wrote this nonsense song, and Three Dog Night had the number one hit back in 1971. It has been covered by various artists.
Mmmm, Bullfrog wine. Take that Napa Valley. I wouldn't mind finding a wine-loving bullfrog like Jeremiah, instead of the kind that eats up all our native animals.


"Jeremiah was a bullfrog,
he was good friend of mine.
I never understood a single word he said
but I helped him drink his wine.
He always had some mighty fine wine.
Sing it
Joy to the world
all the boys and girls
now, joy to the fishies in the deep blue sea
and joy to you and me."
Throwing Muses Snakeface This is from the alt rock band's 1995 album University.


"Not another drive-in movie
You know you can't sit still
Move me

Snake, snake
Face out an open window
Water in my eyes, beat me to it
Meet me here next time

One more button undone
You talk too loud, I'm talking to you
Talk it into the ground
Move me

Snake, snake
Face out an open window
Fire in my eyes, beat me to it
Meet me here next time"
V
Mamie Van Doren Salamander They don't get much cheezier than this 50's rocker from the blonde bombshell who sang "The Girl Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll." This one is a real rarity - a pop song that uses a salamander as a simile. But poor Mamie does not appreciate the Order Caudata. I think she should give this guy another chance. Some wonderful person put up a clip of her singing this song in the 1957 movie "Untamed Youth" on YouTube. In this version she sings "You're as slimy baby as a salamander, instead of slippery."


"You may think you're handsome baby
You may think you're smart
You may think you're so good lookin'
You can steal my heart

You're as slippery as a salamander
Slip and slide away
You're as tricky as a salamander
I don't want you today.

Jiggle and wiggle and wriggle and rock!
Jiggle and wiggle and wriggle and rock!
Jiggle and wiggle and wriggle and rock!
Slip and slide away

Jiggle and wiggle and wriggle and rock!
Jiggle and wiggle and wriggle and rock!
Jiggle and wiggle and wriggle and rock!
I don't want you today

You're so sure you're my desire
But you should be told
Even with a blazen fire
You would leave me cold

You're as slippery as a salamander
Slip and slide away
You're as tricky as a salamander
I don't want you today.

Mander mander, salamander
Mander mander, salamander
Mander mander, salamander
Slip and slide away

Mander mander, salamander
Mander mander, salamander
Mander mander, salamander
I don't want you today
(Salamander)
I don't want you today
(Salamander)
I don't want you today
(Salamander)
I don't want you today"
Sharon Van Etten Serpents Sharon Van Etten is an American singer-songwriter from New Jersey based in Brooklyn, New York. This is a dark but uptempo electric rock song from her 2012 album "Tramp." One of my favorites off that album, despite the fact that she apparently has never had expereince with real snakes, only the cliche kind that crawl around in your mind and represent all that is evil.


"You enjoy sucking on dreams
So I will fall asleep with someone other than you
I had a thought you would take me seriously
And listen on

Serpents in my mind
I am searching for your crimes
Everything changes
In time
You'll stay frozen in time
Collagen girls,
Controlling minds.
You hold the mirror well
To everybody else

Serpents in my mind
Trying to forgive your crimes
Everyone changes in time.
I hope he changes this time."
Townes Van Zandt Black Widow Blues "I got a black widow spider for a mama lord,
Got a diamondback rattler for a pa
Well I got me a woman down in New Orleans
Got a friend in Arkansas
Got a mornin' full of make believe
Got an evenin' full of time
I got the hands for the lady gonna make you grieve
Lovin' gonna make you mine...."
Townes Van Zandt Snake Song The late great Texas singer-songwriter sings us a snake's eye view in this folk blues tune.


"You can't hold me
I'm too slippery
I do no sleepin'
I get lonely
You can touch me
If you want to
I got poison
I just might bite you

Lie in circles
On the sunlight
Shine like diamonds
On a dark night
Ain't no mercy
In my smilin'
Only fangs and
Sweet beguiling"
W
M. Ward He Asked Me to Be a Snake and Live Underground A very short but very good upbeat acoustic guitar tune about sympathy and redemption and snakes and bald eagles. Or something.


"Oh, redemption is a pure signal
It's high in the pines like a bald eagle
But I've only seen it once or twice
He wanted me to follow but I fell down
And he asked me to be a snake and live underground

I know sympathy is a pure signal
It's high in the pines like a bald eagle
But I've only seen it once or twice
He wanted me to follow but I fell down
And he asked me to be a snake
And he asked me to be a snake
And he asked me to be a snake and live underground"
Sonny Boy Williamson II Fattening Frogs for Snakes A 1957 hit from the great Mississippi blues singer.


"It took me a long time, to find out my mistakes
Took me a long time to find out my mistakes
(it sho' did man)
But I bet you my bottom dollar,
I'm not fattenin' no more frogs for snakes."
Al Wilson The Snake See the description of Oscar Brown Jr's version, above.
I think this one might be the original.
Both are excellent. Al Wilson's version is considered a classic of Northern Soul.
Wu-Tang Clan Black Mamba Heavy hip hop from Vol. 2 of the soundtrack of Kill Bill with lots of nice snake wordplay. In the movie Bill's code name is Snake Charmer and the members of his Deadly Viper Assassination Squad are named after snakes - California Mountain Snake (they must have forgot the "king" in front of "snake"), Sidewinder, Copperhead, Cottonmouth, and Black Mamba. If you look up the lyrics to the song online, you'll find lots of mistakes because the transcribers don't know anything about snakes - "cobra" becomes "coma", "fer-de-lance deadly snake" becomes "fertile lands' deadly state" etc.


"Yo unbreakable steel sword swingin', face the Black Mamba
Deadly Vipers, squeeze ya life out like anacondas
... ... ... ...
... test the Black Mamba, in a spit like the cobra
Fill his Copperhead with the hollow tip lead
Yo.. who wanna dance with the fer-de-lance deadly snake?
Cottonmouth sticky from the (...?)
Blowin' smoke through the Viper Pit
Hold a listener tight, mic constrictor
Words from the Gita, swift as Krishna"
Z
Frank Zappa Baby Snakes Frank Zappa was an experimental American Musician who worked with rock, pop, jazz, fusion, and other styles in the more than 60 albums he made with his band "The Mothers of Invention" and as a solo artist. This is from Zappa's 26th album, Sheik Yerbouti, released in 1979. As a fan of snakes and as a sound engineer, I can't help but enjoy the image of snakes synced up by SMPTE timecode, an idea that could only have come from the genius that was Frank Zappa.


"Baby Snakes
Late at night is when they come out
Baby Snakes
Sure you know what I'm talkin' about
Pink 'n' wet
They make the best kinda pet
Baby
Baby
Snakes
I Look around
An' there's a couple right near me
Baby Snakes
Maybe I think they can probably hear me
Pink 'n' wet
I'll take all I can get
Baby
Baby
Baby Sna-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-kes, Yeah
They live in a ho-ho-hole
(Tiny hole)
That is usually empty
(Usually empty; tiny too)
They live by a code
(Dit dit dit dit)
That is usually SMPTE
Which stands for Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers
Maybe I think
That is what keeps them in sync
They're wet 'n' they're pink
I think I'll give 'em a, give 'em a,
Give 'em a drink
Baby Sna-a-a-a-a-akesssss"







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