CaliforniaHerps.com


Songs With Herps (Reptiles and Amphibians)


(Alphabetically Listed by Band Name / Artist Last Name)



     
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Full List of Herp Songs
with Comments and Lyrics
Short List of Herp Songs
Listed by Song Title
Short List of Herp Songs
Listed by Artist Name


These are songs that mention reptiles and amphibians, aka herps. A few are all 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 necessarily 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 band name or artist last name, 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. 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.
Shortcuts to Band Name or Artist Last Name

(Ignore "The" or "A" etc.)
 
Artist Title

(Click the link to listen to the 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
Wendy Jane Bantam
Rattlesnake Kate I have described the story of the Colorado woman nicknamed "Rattlesnake Kate" who reportedly killed 140 rattlesnakes and made a dress from their skins under the song by Neyla Pekarek. This is another song about Kate from Wendy Jane Bantam's album "Summer Devil" released in 2017.


"Rattlesnake Kate, Rattlesnake Kate
This is a story about Rattlesnake Kate
Rattlesnake Kate, Rattlesnake Kate
Wore a rattlesnake dresssssss

Rattlesnake Kate, Rattlesnake Kate
Born on a dirt farm down by the lake
Rattlesnake Kate, Rattlesnake Kate
Killed a hundred forty snakes with a garden rake

Way back when in the olden days
Women were sold for a bale of hay
Sold rattles and skins to make her way
Stored the venom in a hide-a-way

Shipped her son to Califor-ni-aaaay
Rattlesnake Kate saved the day

Rattlesnake Kate, Rattlesnake Kate
Fought the snakes and the earth did quake
Rattlesnake Kate, Rattlesnake Kate
Wore a rattlesnake dress

Rattlesnake Kate, Rattlesnake Kate
This is the legend of Rattlesnake Kate
Rattlesnake Kate, Rattlesnake Kate
Wore a rattlesnake dress"
The Beatles
Happiness is a Warm Gun This is from the album "The Beatles" better known as "The White Album," released in 1968. The song is made up of four sections, each with a different style and sound. According to the "Genius" site about song lyrics, the first section was made up of phrases thought up by John Lennon and Derek Taylor during an acid trip. The lizard on a window pane line supposedly is something Derek Taylor remembered from when he lived in Los Angeles. But I wonder if was actually something Lennon or someone else remembered seeing in India, where the songs for this album were written. In the 1960s non-native geckos that could climb on glass had not yet colonized California as they have now, and the native lizards in L.A. could not climb on windowpanes, but climbing geckos were very common in India. Whether the song is about shooting heroin, or a woman shooting an unfaithful man, I'll let you decide.


"She's not a girl who misses much
Do do do do do do, oh yeah
She's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet hand
Like a lizard on a window pane
The man in the crowd with the multicoloured mirrors
On his hobnail boots
Lying with his eyes while his hands are busy
Working overtime
A soap impression of his wife which he ate
And donated to the National Trust

I need a fix 'cause I'm going down
Down to the bits that I left uptown
I need a fix 'cause I'm going down

Mother Superior jumped the gun
Mother Superior jumped the gun
Mother Superior jumped the gun
Mother Superior jumped the gun
Mother Superior jumped the gun
Mother Superior jumped the gun

Happiness is a warm gun (bang, bang, shoot, shoot)
Happiness is a warm gun, momma (bang, bang, shoot, shoot)
When I hold you in my arms (ooh, oh, yeah)
And I feel my finger on your trigger (ooh, oh, yeah)
I know nobody can do me no harm (ooh, oh, yeah)
Happiness is a warm gun (bang, bang, shoot, shoot)
Happiness is a warm gun, momma (bang, bang, shoot, shoot)...."
The Beatles
Hey Bulldog Here's another John Lennon song with a herp cameo in it . It's from the album "Yellow Submarine" released in 1969. It's worth a listen just to hear the Beatles bark and howl. There's also a good grungy version of the song by Skin Yard, released in 1991.


"Sheepdog
Standing in the rain
Bullfrog
Doing it again
Some kind of happiness is measured out in miles
What makes you think you're something special when you smile?

Child-like
No one understands
Jack knife
In your sweaty hands
Some kind of innocence is measured out in years
You don't know what it's like to listen to your fears

You can talk to me
You can talk to me
You can talk to me
If you're lonely, you can talk to me

Big man (yeah)
Walking in the park
Wigwam
Frightened of the dark
Some kind of solitude is measured out in you
You think you know me, but you haven't got a clue

You can talk to me
You can talk to me
You can talk to me
If you're lonely, you can talk to me

Wahoo woof! Woof!
Hey bulldog! Hey bulldog!
Hey bulldog! Hey bulldog!...."
Beck
Dead Melodies Beck is a Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/producer from Los Angeles active since 1989. This song is from his 1998 album "Mutations."

"Where will you go
When this day is over
A gambler's purse
Lays on the road
Straight to your door
Snakes have gone crazy tonight
Winding their way out of sight

A laugh, a joke
A sentiment wasted
Seasons of strangers
They've come and gone
Doldrums are pounding,
Cheapskates are clowning this town
Who could disown themselves now

Engineer, slow down this old train
Cinders and chaff
Laugh at the moon
Night birds will cackle
Rotting like apples on trees
Sending their dead melodies...
To me"
Big Thief
Sparrow Big Thief is an indie rock band based in Brooklyn, N.Y., since 2015. It includes vocalist Adrianne Lenker, who has also released solo albums. This song was released in 2021. Again with Eve the apple and the snake. Personally, I have found snakes to be unreliable guides. They usually try to lead me into a hole.


"Wrapped in the wings of a sparrow
Beak is as sharp as an arrow
Sings in a whispering whistle
Sleeps in the ivy and thistle

Owls out swooping and howlin’
Deep in the midnight a’ prowlin’
Mama the scream of the eagle
Threading my heart through the needle

Threading the blood through the apple
Sucking the juice from the apple
Eating the seeds of the apple
Bearing the tree of the apple

Trapped in the weeds like a scarecrow
Stuck to the wind like velcro
Distantly hearing the bell toll
Warbling chime through the meadow

Mama the scream of the eagle
Threading my heart through the needle
Threading the blood through the apple
Eve sucked the juice from the apple

Nakedly running I saw her
Boy chasing after to stall her
I wish I’d have spoken to call her
Before she found fabric to shawl her

Breasts bound and burdened with fiber
Adam came trembling beside her
And he said, he said

“She has the poison inside her
She talks to snakes and they guide her
She has the poison inside her
She talks to snakes and they guide her
She has the poison inside her
She talks to snakes and they guide her”

She has the poison inside her
She talks to snakes and they guide her"
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"

Blitzen Trapper
Furr Blitzen Trapper is an indie folk/alternative country bandbased in Portland, Oregon. This song is from the album "Furr" released in 2008. Rolling Stone ranked it #4 on their list of the best singles of 2008. But don't ask me why the singer, who has turned into a wolf, compares himself to a rattlesnake....


"Yeah, when I was only seventeen
I could hear the angels whispering
So I drove into the woods and wandered aimlessly about
Until I heard my mother shouting through the fog

It turned out to be the howling of a dog
Or a wolf to be exact
The sound sent shivers down my back
But I was drawn into the pack and before long

They allowed me to join in and sing their song
So from the cliffs and highest hills
Yeah, we would gladly get our fill
Howling endlessly and shrilly at the dawn

And I lost the taste for judging right from wrong
For my flesh had turned to fur
Yeah, and my thoughts they surely were
Turned to instinct and obedience to God

You can wear your fur like a river on fire
But you'd better be sure if you're making God a liar
I'm a rattlesnake, babe, I'm like fuel on a fire
So if you're gonna get made
Don't be afraid of what you've learned...."
Bow Wow Wow
Go Wild in the Country 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 the snide growling of Johnny Rotten.

I'm sure the part about snakes in the grass being absolutely free would be appreciated by all those pet snakes those living in terrarius, sweater boxes and deli cups. Mine sure tried to escape enough times.


"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? It's a question asked many times by every snake caretaker. This is an upbeat 80's Afrobeat pop tune from Annabella and Bow Wow Wow, already mentioned above, but I can't find much informatio about the song and it's not from any of the band's albums or EPs that I can find. The 1984 movie "Scandalous" featured a live performance of the song, so maybe it was written for the movie. I can't understand a lot of the lyrics and the only lyrics I can find online for the song are for an entirely different song. Obviously, someone published the wrong lyrics and all of the lyrics sites just copied the mistake. But no worries, the best part is the chorus, which is repeated many times, and that's easy to understand:


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

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

A um ah um ah aay a aay
A um ah um ah aay a aay
A um ah um ah aay a aay
A um ah um a aay.... "
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. If the lyrics make sense to you, congratulations.


"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 Oscar Brown Jr. was a singer-songwriter from Chicago who started his career in 1960. He wrote and recorded this song in 1963 but it became a hit later in 1968 for Al Wilson. 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 to the ladies: stick to collecting only 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 Jimmy Buffett is a singer-songwriter originally from Mississippi who cashed in on his big hit song "Margaritaville" and created a restaurant chain with the same name, making him one of the world's richest musicians. Not bad for someone who calls his music "drunken Carribean rock 'n' roll" or "Gulf and Western." This song is from his 1989 album of the same name.


"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 north of Mexicali. This song is a single from 2000 that's named after the herp-filled 1970 Sam Peckinpah comic western. Why is some of it in French then repeated in English? Je ne sai pas.


"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 Isobel Campbell is a singer-songwriter from Scotland and a former member of Belle & Sebastian. Mark Lanegan is a singer-songwriter from Washington State, the former frontman for the band Screaming Trees. This is a very nice cover of the Townes Van Zandt song described below from the duo's third collaboration album "Hawk" released in 2010.
Cardi B (featuring Megan Thee Stallion)
WAP Cardi B is a rapper from New York City. Megan Thee Stallion is a rapper originally from Houston. This rap song about a saturated feline, released in 2020, has got to be the most explicit song ever to reach #1 on almost every international music chart. (France didn't love it. Vive la France.) I don't dare post most of the lyrics, but in one less unsafe-for-work section as Cardi B explains the attributes she looks for in a man she compares what she needs and doesn't need with two differently-sized types of snakes. (It should be "Gartersnake" not "Garden snake" though that only matters to us herp nerds.) But she better be careful - the bite of a King Cobra can kill an elephant. The video is also full of snakes, including an animated gold snake door handle that strikes out at you and a room full of snakes.


"...Look, I need a hard hitter, I need a deep stroke
I need a Henny drink, I need a weed smoker
Not a Garden Snake, I need a King Cobra
With a hook in it, hope it lean over

He got some money, then that's where I'm headed
Pussy A-1, just like his credit
He got a beard, well, I'm tryna wet it
I let him taste it, and now he diabetic
I don't wanna spit, I wanna gulp
I wanna gag, I wanna choke
I want you to touch that lil' dangly thing that swing in the back of my throat...."
Clifton Chenier
Black Snake Blues Clifton Chenier was a zydeco musician from Louisiana who started recording his songs in 1954. There are a lot of songs with the same title, but as far as I can tell, he wrote this version.


"Black snake is in my room
Black snake is in my room
I ain't gonna tell nobody but that
Black snake is in my room

Please baby won't you please come home
I said please won't you please come home
I ain't gonna tell nobody but that
Black snake is in my room

I wonder what black snake is doing in my room
I wonder what black snake is doing in my room
I'm not gonna tell nobody but that
Black snake is in my room"
Eric Church
Homeboy Eric Church is a country singer-songwriter from North Carolina and Nashville. This is from his album "Chief" released in 2011.


"You were too bad for a little square town
With your hip-hop hat and your pants on the ground
Heard you cussed out mamma, pushed daddy around
You tore off in his car
Here you are runnin' these dirty old streets
Tattoo on your neck, fake gold on your teeth
Got the hood here snow, but you cant fool me, we both know who you are

Homeboy your gonna wish one day you were sittin' on the gate of a truck by the lake
With your high school flame on one side, ice cold beer on the other
Ain't no shame in a blue collar forty, little house little kids little small town story
If you don't ever do anything else for me just do this for me brother, come on homeboy

I's haulin' this hay, Uncle Joe's farm
Thought of us bare foot kids in the yard
Man it seems we were just catchin' snakes in the barn
Now you're caught up in this mess
I can use a little help unloadin' these bales
I can keep ya pretty busy with a hammer and a nail
Ain't a glamorous life, but it'll keep you outta jail
And not worry us all to death...."
Eric Church
The Snake This song is the lead single from Church's 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 b**ch 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 Elizabeth Cook is a country singer/radio host from Florida. This song is from her 2010 album "Welder."


"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 well 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" movie and 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...."
Culture Club
Karma Chameleon Culture Club are a new wave band formed in England in 1981 fronted by singer Boy George. This 1983 song was one of their most successful singles, reaching #1 in America and in the UK and selling millions of copies. I know it's not really about a real chameleon, it's just comparing someone to the lizard's ability change its appearance, but it's still an undeniably classic herp song.


"There's a loving in your eyes all the way
If I listen to your lies, would you say
I'm a man (a man) without conviction
I'm a man (a man) who doesn't know
How to sell (to sell) a contradiction
You come and go, you come and go

Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon
You come and go, you come and go
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams
Red, gold, and green, red, gold, and green

Didn't hear your wicked words every day
And you used to be so sweet I heard you say
That my love (my love) was an addiction
When we cling (we cling), our love is strong
When you go (you go), you're gone forever
You string along, you string along

Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon
You come and go, you come and go
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams
Red, gold, and green, red, gold, and green

Every day is like survival (survival)
You're my lover (my lover), not my rival
Every day is like survival (survival)
You're my lover (my lover), not my rival

I'm a man (a man) without conviction
I'm a man (a man) who doesn't know
How to sell (to sell) a contradiction
You come and go, you come and go

Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon
You come and go, you come and go
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams
Red, gold, and green, red, gold, and green...."
The Cure
The Snakepit The Cure are a rock band formed in England in 1978 fronted by singer-songwriter Robert Smith. This goth rock song is from the album "Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me" released in 1987.


"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 their selves senseless

And I'm writhing
And I'm writhing
And I'm writhing in the snakepit

Well I'm out in a car
And it's just full of stupid girls
And I've forgotten how to speak
And I just can't remember a word
And my eyes feel like they're bursting
And they're splitting like plums

And I'm writhing
And I'm writhing
And I'm writhing in the snakepit"
D
The Dead Milkmen
Big Lizard The Dead Milkmen is a punk rock band formed in Philadelphia in 1983. This song is from their 1985 album of the same name. It should be required listening at every pet store that sells lizards.


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

I bought a big lizard, only a dollar-fifty
Well, that's pretty neat, yeah, it's f**kin' nifty
But I just can't afford to feed it
And you should see the way it s**ts

I've got a big lizard in my backyard
Can't afford to feed it anymore
Big lizard in my backyard
Bustin' down my neighbor's door

I was knocked outta bed
Late last night
I was woken up by the sound of dynamite
I ran downstairs to find an Army man
He says "We gotta blow up those things we don't understand!"

There's no more big lizard in my backyard
I won't have to feed him anymore
No more lizard in my backyard
They shipped his ass to El Salvador!

Was knocked outta bed
Late last night
I was woken up by the sound of dynamite
I ran downstairs to find an Army man
He said "We gotta blow up those things we don't understand!"

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

I bought a big lizard, only a dollar-fifty
Well, that's pretty neat, yeah, it's f**kin' nifty
But I just can't afford to feed it"
Bo Diddley
Who Do You Love? Bo Diddley was a singer-songwriter from Mississippi who began his career in 1943 and helped to create rock 'n' roll. This was released as a single in 1956 and is one of his most popular songs. It has been covered by George Thorogood, Ronniew Hawkins, The Woolies, Tom Rush, and Quicksilver Messenger Service.


"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?

[Chorus]
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

Tombstone hand and a graveyard mine
Just 22 and I don't mind dying

[Chorus]

I rode around the town, use a rattlesnake whip
Take it easy Arlene, don't give me no lip

[Chorus]

Night was dark, but the sky was blue
Down the alley, the ice-wagon flew
Heard a bump and somebody screamed
You should have heard just what I seen

[Chorus]

Arlene took me by my hand
She said, "Oohwee Bo, you know I understand"

[Chorus]"
The Doobie Brothers
Cotton Mouth The Doobie Brothers are a rock band from San Jose, active since 1970. This is a more upbeat cover of the Seals and Crofts song listed below from their second album "Toulouse Street" released in 1972.
The Doobie Brothers
Snake Man This song is from the band's second album "Toulouse Street" released in 1972.


"Well, I'm worried
Snake man's on my trail
Oh, Lord, I'm worried
Snake man's on my trail
And I only come outside
To pick up all the U.S. mail
A black eagle
Flies through my back yard
A black eagle
Flies through my back yard
Perches on my window
Lord, what a fearsome sight"
The Doors
Celebration of the Lizard The Doors were an experimental rock band formed in Los Angeles in and fronted by Jim Morrison. They were one of the most controversial, influential, and successful bands of their era - 1965-1973. This is not a song, it's a performance piece with 17 minutes of psychedelic poetry intoned over music with occasional singing, but it's where the line "I am the Lizard King, I can do anything" comes from, giving Morrison the nickname "The Lizard King" which led to some scientist naming a prehistoric lizard after him - Barbaturex morrisoni. It was performed live and included on the album "Absolutely Live" released in 1970.


"Lions in the street and roaming
Dogs in heat, rabid, foaming
A beast caged in the heart of a city
The body of his mother
Rotting in the summer ground
He fled the town
He went down South and crossed the border
Left chaos and disorder
Back there over his shoulder
One morning he awoke in a green hotel
With a strange creature groaning beside him
Sweat oozed from its shining skin
Is everybody in? Is everybody in?
Is everybody in?
The ceremony is about to begin
Wake up!
You can't remember where it was
Had this dream stopped?
The snake was pale gold, glazed and shrunken
We were afraid to touch it
The sheets were hot dead prisms
And she was beside me
Old, she's no, young
Her dark red hair, the white soft skin
Now, run to the mirror in the bathroom
Look! she's coming in here
I can't live through each slow century of her moving
I let my cheek slide down, the cool smooth tile
Feel the good cold stinging blood
The smooth hissing snakes of rain
...  ...  ... 
The mansion is warm at the top of the hill
Rich are the rooms and the comforts there
Red are the arms of luxuriant chairs
And you won't know a thing till you get inside
Dead President's corpse in the driver's car
The engine runs on glue and tar
C'mon along, we're not going very far
To the East to meet the Czar
Run with me
Run with me
Run with me
Let's run
Some outlaws lived by the side of the lake
The minister's daughter's in love with the snake
Who lives in a well by the side of the road
Wake up, girl! We're almost home
We should see the gates by mornin'
We should be inside by evening
Sun, sun, sun
Burn, burn, burn
Burn, burn, burn
I will get you
Soon, soon, soon
I am the lizard king
I can do anything
We came down
The rivers and highways
We came down from
Forests and falls
We came down from
Carson and Springfield
We came down from
Phoenix enthralled
And I can tell you
The names of the Kingdom
I can tell you
The things that you know
Listening for a fistful of silence
Climbing valleys into the shade
For seven years, I dwelt
In the loose palace of exile
Playing strange games with the girls of the island
Now, I have come again
To the land of the fair and the strong and the wise
Brothers and sisters of the pale forest
Children of night
Who among you will run with the hunt?
Now night arrives with her purple legion
Retire now to your tents and to your dreams
Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth
I want to be ready"
The Doors
The End This is the long, moody, psychedelic rock 12 minute epic song that opened "Apocalypse Now." It's from the band's first album "The Doors," released in 1967.


"This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes again

Can you picture what will be?
So limitless and free
Desperately in need
Of some stranger's hand
In a desperate land

Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah

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, he's 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
The blue bus is calling us
The blue bus is calling us
Driver, where you taking us?...."
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 school children to get under their desks and cover their heads with their arms to protect themselves from an Atomic Bomb explosion. Because of course that will work....


"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 Peter Green wrote this song that mentions "Mick" who is his bandmate Mick Fleetwood. In Fleetwood's autobiography "Play On," he says that the song is an ode to masturbation as a cure for the blues. And you thought it was about rattlesnakes.... The rattling sounds we hear in the song are the sounds of an actual rattlesnake that they found recorded on audio tape.


"Baby, if you got to rock
I got to be your rocking horse
Baby, think you'd like to roll
And make me your diggin' mole
They're shakin' the world
When it's time to crash
But when I get home tonight
I guess I got to shake myself

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

Now, I know this guy
His name is Mick
Now, he don't care when he ain't got no chick
He do the shake
The rattlesnake shake
Yes, he do the shake
And jerks away the blues
Now, jerk it "
Foxboro Hot Tubs
Alligator Foxboro Hot Tubs is the side project of the band Green Day. This song comes from their album "Stop Drop and Roll!!!" released in 2008.


"Ya alligator, ya space-invader,
Ya swamp-dweller making your rounds
Ya agitator, I'll see ya later
Don't stand so close to my ground
Ya alligator, ya space-invader
Ya bottom-feeder making your rounds
Ya alligator, ya space-invader,
You start your movin'

Ya alligator
Ya alligator
Ya alligator
Ya alligator

Start your moving,
Or get your schooling
But stop your foolin' around
Ya agitator, ya troublemaker
Don't stand so close to my ground
Start your movin'
Or get your schooling
But stop your foolin' around
Ya alligator, ya space-invader
You better get ya movin'...."
Nelly Furtado
Turn Off the Light Nelly Furtado is a singer-songwriter from Canada active since 1996. This song is from her first album "Whoa, Nelly! released in 2000 and is one of her biggest hits. There are no lyrics about herps, so I'm not including any lyrics here, but it does include the actual sounds of Pacific Treefrogs calling in the beginning and at the end of the song and also a little bit in the middle. 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. The title "turn off the lights" is repeated throughout the song so maybe it's referring to the fact that we mostly hear these frog calls at night.
G
Peter Gabriel
Kiss That Frog Peter Gabriel is a singer-songwriter-producer, etc. from England who became famous with the band Genesis before launching a successful solo career. This song is from his 1992 album "Us."


"Jump in the water

Sweet little Princess, let me introduce his frogness
You alone can get him singing
He's all puffed up, wants to be your King
Oh you can do it

Come on
Come on
Come on
Come on
Come on
Come on
Lady kiss that frog

Splash, dash, heard your call
Bring you back your golden ball
He's going to dive down in the deep end
He's going to be just like your best friend
So what's one little kiss, one tiny little touch?
Aah, he's wanting it so much
I swear that this is royal blood
Running through my skin
Oh, can you see the state I'm in
Kiss it better, kiss it better
Kiss that frog

Get it into your head
He's living with you he sleeps in your bed
Can't you hear beyond the croaking
Don't you know that I'm not joking
Aah, you think you won't, I think you will
Don't you know that this tongue can kill

Come on
Come on
Come on
Come on
Come on
Come on
Lady kiss that frog

Let him sit beside you
Eat right off your plate
You don't have to be afraid
There's nothing here to hate
Princess, you might like it
If you lowered your defense
Kiss that frog and you will get your prince

Jump in the water, come on baby jump in with me
Jump in the water, come on baby get wet, get wet, get wet
Kiss that frog, lady kiss that frog
Get wet, get wet"
Charlotte Gainsbourg
Voyage Charlotte Gainsbourg is a singer-songwriter-acress from England and France, who started singing with her father Serge Gainsbourg when she was 12. This song with English and French lyrics is from her album "IRM" released in 2009. All but one of the songs on the album were written and produced by Beck, including this one, which, besides refering to the novel by Celine, strays into some kind of New Orleans voodoo territory where she sings "rattlesnake" in English. It's brief, but it made me shake my tail when I heard her sing it.


"Voyage au bout de la nuit
Voyage au bout de la nuit
Voyage au bout de la nuit

Plumes sauvages
Le mirage
Kerozene
Au gris gris
Rattlesnake
Cadillac
Race humaine
Espace vie

Voyage au bout de la nuit

We could go au bout du monde
Till the end of the night
We could go au bout du monde
Till the end of the night
Voyage au bout de la nuit
We could go, oh
Journey till the end of the night

Guitare noire
Lame rasoire
Porte bonheur
Accroche coeur
Vagabond
Bottle blond
Cicatrice
Sacrifice

Voyage au bout de la nuit

We could go au bout du monde
Till the end of the night
We could go au bout du monde
Till the end of the night
Voyage au bout de la nuit
We could go, oh
Journey till the end of the night"
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"
Woody Guthrie
Froggie Went a Courtin' This is a traditional folk song and nursery rhyme that was first recorded in Scotland in 1548. It's sometimes spelled "froggy." I never heard the song as a child, so the idea of a frog wanting to marry a mouse doesn't quite fit my understanding of animal biology, but hey - I'm not judging - you do whatever works for you froggie. But why on earth would someone invite a big black snake to the wedding? That's suicidal. Maybe these animals all live in a Disney universe, or in some kind of pre-apple eatin' Eden paradise.

This very silly song has been recorded by a surprising number of well-known musicians, including Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen. The lyrics are not always the same, and sometimes the song is shorter or longer, but these seem to be the basic words.


Froggie Went A Courtin” Lyrics
Froggie went a courtin’ and he did ride, uh-huh
Froggie went a courtin’ and he did ride, uh-huh
Froggie went a courtin’ and he did ride
With a sword and a pistol by his side, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.

He rode right up to Miss Mousie’s door, uh-huh
He rode right up to Miss Mousie’s door, uh-huh
He rode right up to Miss Mousie’s door
Gave three loud raps, and a very big roar, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh

He said, “Miss Mouse, will you marry me? uh-huh
He said, “Miss Mouse, will you marry me? uh-huh
He said, “Miss Mouse, will you marry me?
And oh so happy we will be, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.

“Not without Uncle Rat’s consent”, uh-huh
“Not without Uncle Rat’s consent”, uh-huh
“Not without Uncle Rat’s consent”
“Would I marry the President,” uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.

Uncle Rat, he went downtown, uh-huh
Uncle Rat, he went downtown, uh-huh
Uncle Rat, he went downtown
To buy his niece a wedding gown, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.

Where shall the wedding supper be? uh-huh
Where shall the wedding supper be? uh-huh
Where shall the wedding supper be?
Way down yonder in the hollow tree, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.

The first to come in was a bumble bee, uh-huh
The first to come in was a bumble bee, uh-huh
The first to come in was a bumble bee
With a big bass fiddle on his knee, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.|

Next to come in was the big black snake, uh-huh
Next to come in was the big black snake, uh-huh
Next to come in was the big black snake
He gobbled down the wedding cake, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.

Little bit of biscuit on the shelf, uh-huh
Little bit of biscuit on the shelf, uh-huh
Little bit of biscuit on the shelf
If you want anymore you can sing it yourself, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh."
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"
The Hold Steady
A Snake in the Shower The Hold Steady is a rock band from Brooklyn formed in 2003. This song is the B-side of a 2017 single.


"It seems like you’ve already decided
I don’t think that there’s much to discuss
Well, we’ve been in between places
We’ve mostly been staying at some house in the mountains her friend isn’t using
She said he used to be a pretty huge producer
He doesn’t seem that huge anymore

We found a torch in the drawer
We found the foil on the floor
There was blood on the buttons when I picked up the phone

Oh, what happens is you claw out your sensors
Then you don’t know what you should feel
And your body’s just another container
And your blood is just part of the deal

There’s scratching at the walls in the wheelhouse
And it sounded like it’s trapped under ice
Remember when we thought this was better?
There was a snake in the shower last night

We dug in pretty deep and we were almost asleep
When someone put a brick through the window
Say what you will, man, I don’t think that there’s much to discuss

Battle burns, cinnamon
Colfax and Sheridan
Covered up in ticker tape
Newfangled American man

The doctors hooked you up to computers to figure out where we went wrong
The technician put on Cat and the Cobra
The nurses laid down on the lawn
... ... ...
What happens when you snuff out the candle?
It’s mostly just an absence of light
Death is a complete loss of power
There was a snake in the shower last night"
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"
Hoodoo Rhythm Devils
Bullfrog Holler Hoodoo Rhythm Devils were a blues/funk band from San Francisco formed in 1970. This song is from "What The Kids Want" released in 1973. In case you never sat on a bank on a summer night listening to bullfrogs calling, "Jug-a-rum" is a phonetic imitation of the way they sound, aka onomatopoeia. I'm not sure it's accurate, though. The sound doesn't sound very much like that to me:
Bullfrog Sound
.


"Bullfrog Holler
Poor folks tryin’ to make a dirty dollar
Bullfrog Holler
We got a line to run
Jug-a-rum

Bullfrog Holler
Black moss hidin’ a quicksand squalor
Bullfrog Holler
We got a line to run

Ain’t got no welfare
We make iT on our own
What the hell do we care
Life still goes on & on & on

Bullfrog Holler
Two hogs rootin’ in a black mud waller
Bullfrog Holler,
We got a line to run
Jug-a-rum...."
Hoodoo Rhythm Devils
Snake Doctor This song is from their first album "Rack Jobber's Rule" released in 1971.


"See him sparklin’ in the sun
He don’t mean to hurt no one
Some folks say he be good luck
He just tryin’ to pass the buck

Snake Doctor, fly away home
Snake Doctor, you’re all alone
Snake Doctor, away you fly
Spreadin’ the word with an evil eye

Ol’ witch mama down in the swamp
Need somebody to spread her haunt
Ol’ Snake Doctor come runnin’ by
Cuttin’ a spell with an evil eye

Snake Doctor, fly away home
Snake Doctor, you’re all alone
Snake Doctor, away you fly
Spreadin’ the word with an evil eye

I heard about a hoodoo man
Caught a snake doctor in his hand
Sky went poof and there he stood
Froze up stiff like kindlin’ wood...."
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 up 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 Harlan Howard was a country singer-songwriter from Tennessee. He wrote this song which was a hit for the Kingston Trio in 1960, then recorded it himself a few years later. You can ignore the lyrics on all of the lyrics websites. They were apparently written by people who didn't listen to the song.
"If the skeeters don't get him then the 'gators will" is written as
"If the skeeters don't get him in the Gatersville" and
"It's an eye for an eye so the debt is paid" is written
"It's an eye for a nice so the death is fate."
Maybe these people just don't speak English. Fortunately for you, I does.


"He was born and raised around Jacksonville
A nice young man not the kind to kill
But a jealous fight and a flashing blade
Sent him on the run to the Everglades
Runnin' like a dog through the Everglades

Well 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' hound
But he better keep movin' and don't stand still
If the skeeters don't get him then the 'gators will
If the skeeters don't get him then the 'gators will

Now the years went by and his girl was wed
His family gave him up for dead
But now and then the natives would say
They'd seen him runnin' through the Everglades
Runnin' like the dog through the Everglades

He'd never heard the news on the radio
He was deep in the glades and he'll never know
His runnin' and hidin' doesn't make much sense
The jury had ruled it was self defense
The jury had ruled it was self defense

Now a man can hide and never be found
And have no fear of the bayin' hound
But he better keep movin' and don't stand still
If the skeeters don't get him then the 'gators will
If the skeeters don't get him then the 'gators will"
Ray Wylie Hubbard
Snake Farm Ray Wylie Hubbard is a singer-songwriter from Texas who has been doing it since 1965. This is a country/blues song about a man who hates snakes but loves a tattooed woman who works at the Snake Farm, which is probably in Texas, where there are plenty of roadside reptile zoos (like this one - the New Braunfels Snake Farm, now the Snake Farm Zoo.)


"Well a woman now I love is named Ramona
She kinda looks like Tempest Storm
She can dance like Little Egypt
She works down at the Snake Farm

Snake Farm, it just sounds nasty
Snake Farm, it pretty much is
Snake Farm, it's a reptile house
Snake Farm, ugh

Ramona's got a keen sense of humor
She got a tattoo down her arm
It's of a python eatin' a little mouse
Wearin' a sailor hat that says Snake Farm

Snake Farm, it just sounds nasty
Snake Farm, it pretty much is
Snake Farm, it's a reptile house
Snake Farm, ugh

I asked Ramona how come she works there
She says 'well, it's got it's charms
There's nothing to do in the winter
Now and then some kid gets bit at the Snake Farm'

Snake Farm, it just sounds nasty
Snake Farm, it pretty much is
Snake Farm, it's a reptile house
Snake Farm, ugh

Well, Ramona likes her malt liquor
And a band from Wales that's called The Alarm
She said she cried when they broke up
She still plays their records at the Snake Farm

Snake Farm, it just sounds nasty
Snake Farm, it pretty much is
Snake Farm, it's a reptile house
Snake Farm, ugh

Sometimes Ramona calls me up
And says come on down here, it's getting warm
She runs everybody off
And we... you know... it's a Snake Farm

Snake Farm, it just sounds nasty
Snake Farm, it pretty much is
Snake Farm, it's a reptile house
Snake Farm, ugh

Snake Farm, it just sounds nasty
Snake Farm, it pretty much is
Snake Farm, it's a reptile house
Snake Farm, ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh"
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 Jethro Tull invented the seed drill in 1700, providing the basis for modern agricultural practices. Then in 1967 a progressive rock band in England named themselves after him. This folksy song with acoustic guitars and flute is one of the very few about salamanders I've found. It comes from the band's album "Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die!" released in 1976. It's based on the myth that salamanders can tolerate fire without burning to a crisp. Which, of course, they can't. The myth probably came from people seeing salamanders walking out of logs that were thrown on fires. And I'll bet they were walking very quickly.


"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
Salamander, burn
Salamander, burn for me
And I'll burn for you."
Jethro Tull
Bungle in the Jungle This prog rock song is from Jethro Tull's album "War Child" released in 1974 always makes me think about snakes eating kittens.


"Walking through forests of palm tree apartments
Scoff at the monkeys who live in their dark tents
Down by the waterhole, drunk every Friday
Eating their nuts, saving their raisins for Sunday
Lions and tigers who wait in the shadows
They're fast but they're lazy, and sleep in green meadows

Well, let's bungle in the jungle
Well, that's all right by me, yes
Well, I'm a tiger when I want love
But I'm a snake if we disagree

Just say a word and the boys will be right there
With claws at your back to send a chill through the night air
Is it so frightening to have me at your shoulder?
Thunder and lightning couldn't be bolder
I'll write on your tombstone, I thank you for dinner
This game that we animals play is a winner

Well, let's bungle in the jungle
Well, that's all right by me, yes
I'm a tiger when I want love
I'm a snake if we disagree, yes

The rivers are full of crocodile nasties
And he who made kittens put snakes in their grasp
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

Well, let's bungle in the jungle
Well, that's all right by me, yes
I'm a tiger when I want love
And I'm a snake when we disagree, yes...."
Justin Johnson
Rattlesnake Percussion Guitar Solo This is a YouTube video where the guitarist, Justin Johnson, plays a guitar with a rattlesnake rattle stuck under a string to make a cool percussive sound. It's way better than a song with lyrics about a rattlesnake.
Lonnie Johnson
Black Snake Blues Lonnie Johnson was a blues musician from New Orleans born in 1899. This song was recorded in 1928 or 1929, and features Johnson and Victoria Spivey taking turns on vocals. There are a few songs with the same title so maybe the lyrics were changed as they were handed down for many years as happens with folk songs, making different versions. Victoria Spivey gets credit for writing a song with the same name, but she sings different lyrics.


"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's tongue

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 bit 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 had a hit in 1960 with their version 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"
L
Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
Rattlesnakes Lloyd Cole and the Commotions were a rock band from Scotland, formed in 1982. This song is from their debut album also titled "Rattlesnakes," released in 1984.


"Jodie wears a hat although it hasn't rained for six days
She says a girl needs a gun these days
Hey on account of all the rattlesnakes

She looks like Eve Marie Saint in On The Waterfront
She reads Simone de Beauvoir in her American circumstance

She's less than sure if her heart has come to stay in San Jose
And her neverborn child still haunts her
As she speeds down the freeway
As she tries her luck with the traffic police
Out of boredom more than spite
She never finds no trouble, she tries too hard
She's obvious despite herself

She looks like Eve Marie Saint in On The Waterfront
She says all she needs is therapy yeah
All you need is, love is all you need

Jodie never sleeps 'cause there are always needles in the hay
She says that a girl needs a gun these days
Hey on accout of all the rattlesnakes

She looks like Eve Marie Saint in On The Waterfront
As she reads Simone de Beauvoir in her American circumstance

Her heart heart's like crazy paving
Upside down and back to front
She says ooh it's so hard to love
When love was your great disappointment"
M
The Magnetic Fields
Boa Constrictor The Magnetic Fields are a rock band led by Stephin Merritt that was formed in Boston in 1989. This song is from the three-album collection called "69 Love Songs" released in 1999. It's 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...."
Kate Mann
Rattlesnake On The Road Kate Mann is an Americana musican from New Mexico who calls her music "Desert Gypsy Rock." This is from her 2012 album "Rattlesnake On The Road." Whenever I hear the song, I'm sure the man down there is collecting toads, but I suppose "tolls" makes more sense because of the bridge.


"You pack up your belongings
Make a deal with the devil
You don't think it's on a level
But you can't stay here
You go slow around the corners
And you travel in the shadows
As your mind starts to unravel
And your body fills with fear

There's a rattlesnake on the road
The man down there's collecting tolls
Bridge washed out ten years ago
There's a rattlesnake on the road

You cover up your footprints
And you try to move in silence
You grow weary of the violence
But you can't chase it away
You try to read the stars
Just like the travelers before you
But they all seem to ignore you
No one hears a word you say

There's a rattlesnake on the road
The man down there's collecting tolls
Bridge washed out ten years ago
There's a rattlesnake on the road...."
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 phenomenon.


The Del McCoury Band is a bluegrass band. This song is from their album "The Cold Hard Facts" released in 1996.

"The door stood wide open
He knew there was something wrong
He ran through the house
And found that she was gone
It looked like a Texas twister
Had cut a path thru there
He found these words in lipstick
On the bathroom mirror

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!

Now right below these words
Piled up in the sink
He saw his shirt with lipstick on it
A color cheating pink

And a bill from a room
That he signed Mr. Smith
But the way he signed the dotted line
Is something that she couldn’t miss

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!

Ain’t no way around it
It’s the poison kind
Just one bite
Will kill true love very time

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 Dave Matthews Band is a rock band formed in Virginia in 1991. This song is from their album "Big Whisky & the GrooGrux King" released in 2009. It seems to be about people stranded on their roof in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.


"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 is help gonna come
Stella said daddy when you gonna put me in a song?

Morning ride on by thank lord everybody's alright
Don't mean to throw us a second line
The devil left us here to die

Stella said daddy when you gonna put me in a song?...."
Meat Puppets
The Monkey and the Snake Meat Puppets are a rock band formed in Phoenix in 1981. This is a kind of country punk song 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 Nicki Minaj is a singer-songwriter born in Trinidad and Tobago and raised in New York City. I like her music more or less, but this is little more than an obscene rap song about men who like 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, 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 that video 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, b**ch 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 Motley Crue is a heavy metal band formed in 1981 in Los Angeles. This is not a cover of the Fleetwood Mac song, but it's also about sex. Like most rock songs I guess. It's from the band's "Dr. Feelgood" album released in 1989. In this song it's the girl who's shaking her tail, not a snake.


"She's a sex machine
She keeps her engine hot
Her motor clean
Way she moves across the floor
The way she shakes her hips
And licks her lips
Come on there girl
Why don't ya shake that thing

Doing the rattlesnake shake
Shake, shake, shake
Rattlesnake shake
Make my body ache
Rattlesnake shake
Shake, shake, shake
Rattlesnake shake
It's all I can take

She's got sassy class
Bring you to your knees
When she shakes her ass
She's a voodoo, voodoo child
Just one look will drive you wild
Slides through the night
With a viper's smile
Come on there girl
Why don't ya shake that thing

Doing the rattlesnake shake
Shake, shake, shake
Rattlesnake shake
Make my body ache
Rattlesnake shake
Shake, shake, shake
Rattlesnake shake
It's all I can take

Sexy motion, just take my time
The way she moves her lips
Up and down my spine
Got the rattle
Snake wants to spit
Call 9-7-6 and let my hand do the rest

Doing the rattlesnake shake
Shake, shake, shake
Rattlesnake shake
Make my body ache
Rattlesnake shake
Shake, shake, shake
Rattlesnake shake
It's all I can take"
Motorhead
Love Me Like a Reptile Motorhead were a British rock band formed in 1975. This high-energy rocker is from the album "Ace of Spades" released in 1980. I've been waiting 25 years for the followup - "Amplex Me Like an Amphibian." What's the hold up, Lemmy? [Yeah, sorry, looks like that's not going to happen now since Lemmy passed away in 2015. R.I.P.]


"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"
Motorhead
Snake Bite Love This is from Motorhead's album "Snake Bite Love" released in 1998.


"In the zoo, in the zoo
I wanna see the snakes
I don't want to see the lions
Or the gorillas or the apes

I want to see a Python
Squeeze somebody tight
Or a Boa constrictor
In the middle of the night

Snake hips boy, gonna lay you down
Gonna spoil your fun
Don't tread on him when he's around
Don't tread on him when he's around
He'll squeeze you till you fit real good
Snake bite love
Snake bite love

In the jungle, in the jungle
I don't wanna see the trees
I don't wanna see the flowers
Or the beetles or the bees

I wanna see an Anaconda
Coiled in the gloom
Suffocate an alligator
Beneath a tropical moon

Snake hips boy, gonna lay you down
Gonna bite your ass
Don't tread on him when he's around
Don't tread on him when he's around
Slide over, you're just like a glove
Snake bite love
Snake bite love

In the summer, in the summer
I don't wanna see the plants
I don't wanna see the termites
Or the rabbits or the ants

I wanna see a Cobra
Inflate his scary hood
And bite the unsuspecting
I think that's really good

Snake hips boy, gonna lay you down
Gonna lose his skin
Don't tread on him when he's around
Don't tread on him when he's around
Forked tongue make you feel so good
Snake bite love
Snake bite love

Don't tread on him when he's around
Don't tread on him when he's around
Squeeze you till you fit real good
Snake bite love
Snake bite love"
The Mountain Goats
Birth of Serpents The Mountain Goats are a band formed in Claremont, California in 1991 by John Darnielle. This song is from the album "All Eternals Deck" released in 2011. I think we've all seen those rooms with heat lamps full of sweater boxes where the baby snakes get born.


"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 Nelson is a country music singer-songwriter from Texas active since 1956. Willie Nelson is a country music singer-songwriter from Texas active since 1956. This song is from the Danny Glover/Joe Pesci buddy movie "Gone Fishin'" released in 1997 which also starred Nelson. But Nelson didn' write the song. It was written by Totch Brown.


"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
Neck Deep
Serpents Neck Deep are a band formed in Wales in 2012. This song is from their second album "Life's Not Out to Get You" released in 2015.


"Don't get too close,
That place is haunted.
Fear not the ghosts,
‘Cos she sent them running.
She sleeps beneath the surface,
Consorting with the serpents,
She strikes without a purpose.
A dark face in a corridor,
Deceptively beautiful.
She's watching you,
She's in everything you do.
Her kiss it tastes so sweet,
But left me with a lethargy I couldn't shake,
I'd made a grave mistake.
I gave her my heart, she didn't want it,
Took it anyway and put a dark spell on it.
Since then I haven't been the same.
Needed a victim and she got it,
Took me in with her song, powerless to stop it.
Some men don't dare to speak her name.
She picked me up from my decline,
Healed my wounds with love and wine,
Dosed me up and closed my eyes,
A taste of poison.
She gave me all that I desired,
Sung the songs of angel choirs,
Preached the words of death and fire and left me burning."
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 photos 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 who just wanted to make a profit from killing wildlife, she has become a symbol of a strong pioneer woman, and no doubt, that's what she was. 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 Phish is a jam band formed in Vermont in 1983. 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 Cole Porter was a composer/songwriter from Indiana born in 1891. He has to be included in any list of the best American songwriters. This classic is from the 1934 musical "Anything Goes." There is a verse at the very end, which is rarely ever sung in any of the many recorded versions of the song, with a great line about a frog. Most 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 Charley Pride was a country music singer from Mississippi. he also played professional baseball. 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. (I can check both boxes.) It's a cheezy country classic that Pride recorded 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...."
Prince
Horny Toad Prince was a hall-of-fame-inducted singer-songwriter-producer-actor etc. from Minneapolis. This silly funky tune was released as the B-side to the single "Delirious" from his 1982 album "1999." I like to think that Prince is comparing himself to the lizard called a horny toad, but since he refers to a lilly pad at the end, something associated with frogs and toads, he either means he's a toad that is horny or he has no idea that horny toads don't live in water and hop on lilly pads. I prefer the second option.


"If I had your number
I'd call you on the phone
I'd breathe a little heavy,
If that didn't work, maybe I'd start to groan

I don't love you
I'm just a horny toad

I don't want your money
'Cause I got all I need
All I want is to rub your body until you start to bleed

I don't love you
I'm just a horny toad

If I had your address
I'd come right to your door
I'd knock all day till you let me in and then I'd knock some more

I ain't crazy
I'm just a horny toad

If you think I'm nasty
You ain't seen nothing yet
Y'see I'm the kinda brother that the more you scream the nastier I get

I can't help it
I'm just a horny toad

Now watch me dance!

Run go tell your boyfriend
That his loving done got too old
Might as well pack his things and get his dead ass on the road

Tell him you live on a lilly pad
With a horny toad"
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."
Jerry Reed
Amos Moses Jerry Reed was a country singer-songwriter and actor from Georgia who started his career in 1955. This swamp rock gator-filled song is from his 1970 album "Georgia Sunshine." It was his highest-charting hit on the pop charts.


"Yeah here comes Amos
Now Amos Moses was a Cajun he lived by himself in the swamp
He hunted alligators for a livin' he’d just knock 'em in the head with a stump
The Louisiana law's gonna get ya Amos
It ain't legal huntin' alligators down in the swamp boy
Now everybody blames his old man for makin' him mean as a snake
When Amos Moses was a boy his daddy would use him for alligator bait
Tie a rope around his waist and throw him in the swamp ha ha ha
Alligator bait in the Louisiana bayou
About forty five minutes southeast of Thibodaux Louisiana
Lived a man called Doc Millsap and his pretty wife Hannah
Well they raised up a son that could eat up his weight in groc'ries
Named him after the man of the cloth called him Amos Moses

Now all the folks around south Louisiana said Amos was a hell of a man
He could trap the biggest the meanest alligator and just use one hand
That's all he got left cause the alligator bit him ha ha ha
Left arm gone clean up to the elbow
Well the Sheriff got wind that Amos was in the swamp trappin' alligator skins
So he snuck in the swamp gonna get the boy but he never come out again
Well I wonder where the Louisiana Sheriff went to
Well you can sure get lost in the Louisiana bayou
About forty five minutes southeast of Thibodaux Louisiana
Lived a cat called Doc Millsap and his pretty wife Hannah
Well they raised up a son that could eat up his weight in groc'ries
Named him after a man of the cloth called him Amos Moses
Sit down on 'em Amos make it count son
About forty five minutes southeast of Thibodaux Louisiana
Lived a man called Doc Millsap and his pretty wife Hannah"
R.E.M.
The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight R.E.M. was a rock band formed in Georgia in 1980. This song is from their album "Automatic for the People" released in 1992 and from their 2003 best songs album. The band paid for the rights to use the song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" though the only similarity besides the title that I can find is in the opening "dee dee dee dee's." According to Wickipedia, a sidewinder is a rattlesnake and also an antique style of telephone, the kind with a winding handle, so maybe that explains all of the telephone imagery in the song.


"Dee dee dee dee
Dee dee dee dee
This here is the place where I will be staying
There isn't a number, you can call the pay phone
Let it ring a long, long, long, long time
If I don't pick up, hang up, call back, let it ring some more
Oh
If I don't pick up, pick up
The sidewinder sleeps, sleeps, sleeps in a coil

Call me when you try to wake her up
Call me when you try to wake her
Call me when you try to wake her up
Call me when you try to wake her
Call me when you try to wake her up
Call me when you try to wake her

Oh
There are scratches all around the coin slot
Like a heartbeat, baby trying to wake up
But this machine can only swallow money
You can't lay a patch by computer design
It's just a lot of stupid, stupid signs
Tell her
Tell her she can kiss my ass
Then laugh and say that you were only kidding
That way she'll know that it's really, really, really, really me, me

Call me when you try to wake her up
Call me when you try to wake her
Call me when you try to wake her up
Call me when you try to wake her
Call me when you try to wake her up
Call me when you try to wake her

Oh
Baby, instant soup doesn't really grab me
Today I need something more sub-sub-sub-substantial
A can of beans or blackeyed peas
Some Nescafe and ice
A candy bar, a falling star, or a reading from Doctor Seuss

Call me when you try to wake her up
Call me when you try to wake her
Call me when you try to wake her up
Call me when you try to wake her
Call me when you try to wake her up
Call me when you try to wake her

Oh
The cat in the hat came back
Wrecked a lot of havoc on the way
Always had a smile and a reason to pretend
But their world has flat backgrounds
And little need to sleep but to dream
The sidewinder sleeps on his back

Call me when you try to wake her up
Call me when you try to wake her...."
The Replacements
Rattlesnake The Replacements were a rock band from Minneapolis formed in 1979. This song is from their first studio album "Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash." They were one of the great '80s rock bands, but this song is not one of their best. But Paul Westerberg pretends to be a rattlesnake, and what more could you want?


"Wow!
Cruising on my belly all night long, you gotta hold on
You gotta hold on, you got a rattlesnake, say, "I'm a rattlesnake"
I'm cruising on my belly all night long, you gotta hold on
You gotta hold on, 'cause I'm a rattlesnake, say, "I'm a rattlesnake"

I'm a rattle, rattle, rat, I'm a rattle, rattle, rat
I'm a rattle, rattle, rat, you hold on

I'm cruising on my belly all night long, you gotta hold on
You gotta hold on, 'cause I'm a rattlesnake, I'm a rattlesnake

A rattle, rattle, rat, I'm a rattle, rattle, rattle, rat
I'm a rattle, rattle, rat, but you know I'm a sticker

Ah! Cruising on my belly all night long, you gotta hold on
You gotta hold on, I'm a rattlesnake
So, I'm cruising on my belly all night long, you gotta hold on
You gotta hold on, 'cause I'm a rattlesnake, say, "I'm a rattlesnake"

I'm a rattlesnake, I'm a rattlesnake
Said I'm a...
Yeah, a rattlesnake"
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 St. Vincent is the stage name of Annie Clark, a singer-songwriter and wicked guitar player originally from Texas. Retro synths are added to her usual inventive guitar sounds on this song from her album "St. Vincent" released in 2014. Clark told NPR that she stripped down to her boots one night while alone on a friend's ranch in the Southwest U.S. 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 rattling snakes. (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 The Saints are an Australian rock band from Brisbane that formed in 1973, one of the first groups in the punk genre to release a record. This may still be their most well-recognized song. It comes from their first album "(I'm) Stranded," released in 1977. 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 "
Carter Sampson
Rattlesnake Kate I have described the story of the Colorado woman nicknamed "Rattlesnake Kate" who reportedly killed 140 rattlesnakes and made a dress from their skins under Neyla Pekarek. This is another song about her from Carter Sampson's album "Lucky" released in 2018.


"I was born where the sugar beats grow
Up in a mountain and down a dirt road
Well I married six times and none of them took
Never praised the lord never read the good book
Now I lived in the coop while I build the farm
Got knocked up had to raise a boy

On my own on my own
I do all the heavy liftin' on my own
On my own on my own
I do all the heavy liftin' on my own

Up on my pony out to the pond
Got a 22 Remington and my son
Surrounded by snakes, do the rattlin' kind
Anyone else would'a lost their mind
Well I ran out of bullets so I grabbed my knife
Had to sling my blade to save my life

Burns on my face and blisters on my feet
From fightin' off snakes in the summer heat
Got back home and hung 'em on a line
Left them there in the sun to dry
Before you know it I'll be out on the town
Yeah the best dressed woman in a snakeskin gown
I killed a hundred and forty without a scratch
Don't you know I made shoes to match

I raised goats to cover up the smell
Of the air comin' up that moonshine still
I go out lookin' for ducks hunters left behind
Food on the table and peace of mind
I sell the venom to science and rattles for a dollar
... for makin it ... as a single mother
Yah I done what I did so I could survive
Raise my kid and live my life
Now I'm famous they all know my name
Sayin' hey that Katy had to kill them snakes

On my own on my own
I do all the heavy liftin' on my own
On my own on my own
I do all the heavy liftin' on my own"
Alberto Scarfagna
The Lizard Song This YouTube video song was recorded and produced by Alberto Scarfagna in 2016. It might be the ultimate lizard song. He never mentions a lizard in the lyrics, but he describes a lizard basking on a sunny stone and the defensive measure used by some lizards of releasing their tale to distract a predator so they can escape. Scarfagna sings as if he was a lizard while the camera bounces around from shots of Italian Wall Lizards to the inside of his guitar to a shot of his crazy guitar capo made from a carpenter's clamp and a pencil. He even posts the lyrics for us:


"I try to climb on the sunny stone,
to make it easier for my skin to get warm,
but I have to be on guard cose around here there's a cat.
If he tries to capture me, I will give him my tail,
I'll find spider holes in which to keep my body safe.

I know I must have a lot of patience,
then I will not have to wait so long,
I know I must be even more careful,
till my tail grows back again."
Seals and Crofts
Cotton Mouth Seals and Crofts were a soft rock duo formed in 1969. This song is from their second album "Down Home" released in 1970. It includes rattling effects, though cottonmouths don't have a rattle.


"Red eyed mama keeps cryin'
Blue-eyed cat keeps a-lyin'
Catfish keeps his eye on the string
Cotton mouth keeps on windin'
Sing, sing, sing

Dark moon keep on hidin'
'Gator he keeps on slidin'
Bullfrog he ain't mindin'
Cotton mouth keeps on windin'
Sing, sing, sing

Lightnin' bugs in bottles
give me all the light I need
Seein' bait for linin'
Cotton mouth keep on windin'
Sing, sing, sing

Big iron pot's a-boilin'
Red-eyed mama's a-toilin'
Crawdad meat's for dinin'
Cotton mouth keep on windin.'
Sing, sing, sing"
Shel Silverstein
Boa Constrictor

Shel Silverstein was a songwriter, author, poet, playwright, and cartoonist from Chicago. This is from his "Inside Folk Songs" released in 1962. Johnny Cash sang it, and so did Peter, Paul, & Mary and thousands of grade school students. 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!"

Sturgill Simpson
Turtles All The Way Down Sturgill Simpson is a country singer-songwriter and actor from Kentucky. This is from his 2014 album "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music." It's 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 2014 album "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music." In this song 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."
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"
Skid Row
Rattlesnake Shake Skid Row is a rock band from New Jersey. This Hair Metal song has the same title as the Fleetwood Mac and Motley Crue songs mentioned above, but it's a different song, from their album "Skid Row" released in 1989.


"Tricky little Vicky walks along South Street
She learned her French from the boys that she'd meet
I gotta laugh when I hear them say
She's a sweet little cheese when the cat's away

I know what you been trying
What you got ain't worth buying
Can't make a living working door to door

Shake, shake, shake it like a rattlesnake
Boom, boom baby out go the lights
Shake, shake, shake it like a rattlesnake
Staying up late doing the rattlesnake shake

Juicy Miss Lucy always diggin' on junk
She's on the corner talkin' trash with the punks
Her buried treasure is so easy to see
'Cause talk is cheap and so is she

You're lost in search of passion
But Prince Charming ain't in fashion
So let it bleed if you wanna stay

Shake, shake, shake it like a rattlesnake
Boom boom baby out go the lights
Shake, shake, shake it like a rattlesnake
Staying up late doing the rattlesnake shake

Shake, shake, shake it like a rattlesnake
Boom boom baby out go the lights
Shake, shake, shake it like a rattlesnake
Staying up late doing the rattlesnake shake

Shake, shake, shake it like a rattlesnake
Boom boom baby out go the lights
Shake, shake, shake it like a rattlesnake
Staying up late doing the rattlesnake shake"
Elliot Smith
Twilight Elliot Smith was a great singer-songwriter raised in Texas and active from 1991 - 2003 when he died far too young. This song is from his posthumus album "From A Basement On The Hill" released in 2004. There are no lyrics about herps, but the song 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.


"Haven't laughed this hard in a long time
I better stop now before I start crying
Go off to sleep in the sunshine
I don't want to see the day when it's dying

She's a sight to see, she's good to me
I'm already somebody's baby
She's a pretty thing and she knows everything
But I'm already somebody's baby

You don't deserve to be lonely
But those drugs you got won't make you feel better
Pretty soon you'll find it's the only
Little part of your life you're keeping together...."
The Sons of the Pioneers
Chuckawalla Swing The Sons of the Pioneers have been a western singing group since 1933, originally formed by the actor/singer Roy Rogers and others in Los Angeles. This song is featured in the John Ford western "Wagonmaster" which was released in 1950. It's a fun song, though I can't quite visualize these large lizards singing and dancing.


"Chuckawalla, chuckawalla, chuckawalla, chuckawalla
Chuckawalla, chuckawalla, chuckawalla
swing

Chuckawalla, chuckawalla, chuckawalla, chuckawalla
Chuckawalla, chuckawalla, chuckawalla
swing

Chuckawalla, chuckawalla, chuckawalla, chuckawalla
Chuckawalla, chuckawalla, chuckawalla
swing

Chuckawalla, chuckawalla, chuckawalla, chuckawalla
Chuckawalla, chuckawalla, chuckawalla
swing

Way out west there's a dance a being' done
The chuckawalla's doin' it so it must be lots of fun
All around the cactus you can see them swing
And listen to the music as they gayly sing

Right foot, left foot, clap and then
Swing all around and do it all again
Chuckawalla, chuckawalla, chuckawalla swing
We'll dance 'til the floors and the rafters ring

... ... ...

Put your arm around her and you'll swing her down the floor
When you do it once, you're goin' to want to do it more
High on your toes, now stomp your heels
You'll know just how the chuckawalla feels...."
Soundgarden
Get On The Snake Soundgarden was a rock band formed in Seattle in 1984 fronted by singer Chris Cornell. This song is from the band's second album "Louder Than Love" released in 1989. My guess is that the snake in this song is the highway, that long serpentine strip of asphalt. But maybe it's a motorcycle....


"Hey
Uh
Ah ah
Ah ah
Get on the snake with a swarm of motor fly's
Get on the snake under the cola colored sky

Don't worry, everything's clean
Road worthy, hungry and mean
Hungry and mean Get on the snake where the metal river bleeds
Get on the snake where you never will believe

Hey baby, what's your disease
My hearts bleeding
I'm dying to leave
Dying to leave
I'm dying to leave
Leave

Get on the snake where the water turns to steam
Get on the snake with a suicide machine

Don't worry, everything's clean
Road worthy, hungry and mean...."
Kelly Spicer
Rattlesnake Kate Kelly Spicer is a singer-songwriter from Denver. I have described the story of the Colorado woman nicknamed "Rattlesnake Kate" who reportedly killed 140 rattlesnakes and made a dress from their skins under Neyla Pekarek. This is another song about Kate from Kelly Spicer's 2018 album "Queen City."


"You've got to holster your gun
Lest those snakes come away
And they'll circle the ground
On which you stand

There's more of them than bullets
And there's nowhere to run
Can you feel that glove
Tightenin' in your hand?

Shes's a mother and a daughter
And her mind is full of worth
The heavy cross swings
Lyin' around her neck

Oh but that road just keeps on rollin'
And she can't find a friend
But she'll always find her way out of a wreck

You've got to holster your gun
Lest those snakes come away
And they'll circle the ground
On which you stand

There's more of them than bullets
And there's nowhere to run
Can you feel that glove
Tightenin' in your hand?

This is now a woman's work
She's callin' every shot
She's standin' in the gap of able man
Who chase her nature underground
And strip her spirit bare
As they lower her down to that lion's den

You've got to holster your gun
Lest those snakes come away
And they'll circle the ground
On which you stand...."
Victoria Spivey
Black Snake Blues Victoria Spivey was a blues singer-songwriter from Texas born in 1906. She wrote and recorded a song with this title in 1926, but the lyrics are different. See Lonnie Johnson's version above. The YouTube video I've linked to is a 1963 European TV performance with Lonnie Johnson is on guitar, Victoria Spivey singing, and Sonny Boy Williamson II playing harmonica, and she sings these lyrics:


" 'Cause my left eye is jumping
And my flesh begins to crawl
I said my left eye is jumping
And my flesh begins to crawl
You can bet my last dollar
There's another mule kickin' in my stall

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

I'd rather be a catfish swimming in the deep blue
Lodged beneath a submarine, behind a floating boat
I'd rather be a catfish
Swimming in the deep blue sea
Than to stay in Texas
Let 'em try to mistreat me

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 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"
Jim Stafford
Spiders and Snakes Jim Stafford is a singer-songwriter and comedian from Florida. This song was a huge hit on the pop charts in 1974. It was also covered by Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty that year. It's about an ungrateful and ignorant girl who doesn't realize that a frog is neither a spider nor a snake.


'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" '
Stephen Stills
Dreaming of Snakes (Demo) Stephen Stills is a singer-songwriter from Texas who was part of Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. This song is a demo from the demo album "Just Roll Tape" released in 2007.


"When the morning breaks
Chase away the snakes
As if my fate
To dream of snakes

Darkness is a boon
Paradoxes loom
Thinking room
Loneliness dooms

In my bed I curse
Despair around me swirls
I whirl
And find a girl"
T
Three Dog NIght
Joy to the World Hoyt axton, a singer-songwriter from Oklahoma, wrote this nonsense song, and Three Dog Night, a rock band from Los Angeles, had a number one hit with it in 1971. It has also 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 invasive kind we have here in the west.


"Jeremiah was a bullfrog
Was a good friend of mine
I never understood a single word he said
But I helped him a-drink his wine
And he always had some mighty fine wine

Singin' joy to the world
All the boys and girls now
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

And if I were the king of the world
Tell you what I'd do
I'd throw away the cars and the bars and the war
Make sweet love to you

Sing it now, joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

You know I love the ladies
Love to have my fun
I'm a high life flyer and a rainbow rider
A straight shootin' son-of-a-gun

I said a straight shootin' son-of-a-gun
Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me...."
Throwing Muses
Snakeface Throwing Muses are an alternative rock band formed in 1981 in Rhode Island. This is from their album "University" released in 1995.


"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 Mamie Van Doren is an actress, model, and singer from South Dakota.  They don't get much cheezier than this 1950s rocker from the blonde bombshell who also sang "The Girl Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll."

This song 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. You can sometimes find a clip of her singing this song in the 1957 movie "Untamed Youth" on YouTube. In the movie, 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 Townes Van Zandt was a country music singer-songwriter from Texas. This song was recorded in 1966 and included on his posthumus album "In The Beginning" released in 2003.


"I got a black widow spider for mama, Lord
Got a diamond-backed rattler for pa
Well, I got me a woman down in New Orleans
Got a friend in Arkansas

Got a morning full of make believe
Got an evening full of time

I've got the hands, pretty lady
Gonna make you grieve
Lovin' gonna make you mine

Ain't never seen your town before
And I won't be back again
I need me a place to hide my face
From the howlin' of the wind

I got the blues sewn into my jacket sleeve
Got a goatskin full of wine...."
Townes Van Zandt
Snake Song The song is from Van Zandt's album "Flyin' Shoes" released in 1978. He sings us a snake's eye view with lots of descriptions fitting a snake, most likely a rattlesnake - slippery, poison, bite you, lie in circles, diamonds, fangs, skin...dies behind me, venom.... There's a great cover of the song by Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan.


"Well, 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

Well future
He don't try to find me
Skin I been through
Dies behind me
Solid hollow
Wrapped in hatred
Not a drop of
Venom wasted

Well, you can slip in
Try to find me
Hold your breath
And flat deny me
It makes no difference
To my thinkin'
I'll be here
When you start sinkin' "
W
Waka Flocka Flame
(featuring Cartier Kitten)
Snakes in the Grass Waka Flocka Flame and Cartier Kitten are rappers out of Atlanta. This is from his album "Flockaveli" released in 2010.


"They say Flocka trippin' shawty on that other s**t
I keep the crowd jumpin' like I'm Kriss Kross, b***h
I ain't gone cross over, ain't rap n***a move over
They say I ain't gone make it so b***h, yeah I gotta show ya
Man I'm on in the hood for makin' that f**ka bark
You know Flocka shoot first like John Stark
Forty nights, forty days no Noah's ark
If we was livin' in water I'd be a shark
I'm in the front, you in the back, like Rosa Parks
Got heart like Rosa Parks, ay where the f**k to start
Don't got a gun then I'mma use a dart
I fell in love with yellow diamonds since Gucci Bart
B***h we shootin' over here no martial arts

Oh okay, man I'm finna go in man, real talk man
I got n***a knowledge yo girlfriend p***y got hella mileage
I'm a street n***a so middle finger to a college

They say snakes in the grass so I'ma cut this s**t (Flocka)
All these girls want is cash so I can't trust a b***h (No)
12, pull up, run fast, can't go to jail for s**t (Vroom)
I got cars, ice, and hoes shawty I'm n***a rich (Woah)

They say snakes in the grass so I'ma cut this s**t (Flocka)
All these girls want is cash so I can't trust a b***h (No)
12, pull up, run fast, can't go to jail for s**t (Vroom)
I got cars, ice, and hoes shawty I'm n***a rich...."
M. Ward
He Asked Me to Be a Snake and Live Underground

M. Ward is a singer-songwriter from Portland. This song is from his first album "duet for Guitars No. 2" released in 1999. It's a very short but very good upbeat acoustic guitar tune about sympathy and redemption and snakes and bald eagles. Or something like that.


"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"

Western Melody Makers
Who Put the Turtle in Myrtle's Girdle This is a country and western novelty song from 1953. I don't know much about the Western Melody Makers other than it was the first band of Rockabilly star Sid King.


"Who put the turtle in Myrtle's girdle
She'll kill him if she ever gets a chance
Oh if she ever catches him
I know she'll make a mess of him
She'll wind up puttin' ants in his pants

Not not so very long ago
You never heard such carryin' on
Screamin hollerin' and fits
Now it went down in history
About this great big mystery
The mystery I'm talkin' about is this

Who put the turtle in Myrtle's girdle
She'll kill him if she ever gets a chance
Oh if she ever catches him
I know she'll make a mess of him
She'll wind up puttin' ants in his pants

The doggone dog what done it
Wasn't lookin' for romance
Maybe all he wanted
Was to see old Myrtle dance

Well if that's what he wanted
He sure did make her go
She crossed ten miles of corn field
Fourteen through the snow

Who put the turtle in Myrtle's girdle
She'll kill him if she ever gets a chance
Oh if she ever catches him
I know she'll make a mess of him
She'll wind up puttin' ants in his pants

If we lay poor old Myrtle
Across the Rio Grande
With her feet way down in Mexico
Head in Texas sand

We'd mark a spot with a great big X
Right where we shouldn't oughta
That doggone thing gets bigger
By south of the border

Who put the turtle in Myrtle's girdle
She'll kill him if she ever gets a chance
Oh if she ever catches him
I know she'll make a mess of him
She'll wind up puttin' ants in his pants

It was me that put that turtle
In poor old Myrtle's girdle
Well you better keep on runnin' while you can

Oh if she ever catches him
I know she'll make a mess of him
And he don't want no ants in his pants"
Tony Joe White
Polk Salad Annie Tony Joe White was a singer-songwriter from Louisiana. This swamp rock song was a hit single for him in 1969. Elvis Presley also sang the song.


"If some of ya'll never been down south too much
I'm gonna tell you a little bit about this
So that you'll understand what I'm talkin' about
Down there we have a plant that grows out in the woods
And in the fields looks somethin' like a turnip green
And everybody calls it polk salad, polk salad

Used to know a girl lived down there
And she'd go out in the evenings and pick her a mess of it
Carry it home and cook it for supper
'Cause that's about all they had to eat, but they did all right

Down in Louisiana, where the alligators grow so mean
There lived a girl, that I swear to the world
Made the alligators look tame

Polk salad Annie, polk salad Annie
Everybody said it was a shame
Cause her momma was a workin' on the chain gang
(A mean vicious woman)

Everyday for supper time, she'd go down by the truck patch
And pick her a mess of polk salad, and carry it home in a tow sack

Polk salad Annie, the gators got your granny
Everybody says it was a shame
Cause her momma was a workin' on the chain gang
(A wretched, spiteful, straight-razor totin' woman
Lord have Mercy, pick a mess of it)

Her daddy was lazy and no count, claimed he had a bad back
All her brothers were fit for was stealin' watermelons
Out of my truck patch

Polk salad Annie, the gators got your granny
Everybody said it was a shame
Cause her momma was a workin' on the chain gang
(Sock a little polk salad to me, you know I need me a mess of it)"
Sonny Boy Williamson II
Fattening Frogs for Snakes Sonny Boy Williamson II was a blues singer-songwriter from Mississippi. This song is from his first album "Down and Out Blues" released in 1959, but it was released earlier as a single in 1957. I think he wrote the song, too.


"It took me a long time, to find out my mistakes
Took me a long time, 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

I found out my downfall, back in nineteen and thirty
(I started checkin')
I found out my downfall, from nineteen and thirty
I'm tellin' all of my friends, I'm not fattenin' no more frogs for snakes

Yeh it is nineteen and fifty-seven, I've got to correct all of my mistakes
Whoa man, nineteen and fifty-seven, I've got to correct all of my mistakes
I'm tellin' my friends includin' my wife and everybody else,
Not fattenin' no more frogs for snakes"
Willard Grant Conspiracy
Rattle and Hiss Willard Grant Conspiracy was an alt-country band formed in Boston led by vocalist Robert Fisher. This song is from the album "Ghost Republic" released in 2013.


"Rattlesnakes below the bed
Rattle and hiss
Rattle and hiss

Viper's nest
Lays in wait
Rattle and hiss
Rattle and hiss

Rattlesnakes below the bed
Rattle and hiss
Rattle and hiss

Viper's nest
Lays in wait
Rattle and hiss
Rattle and hiss


Your god takes no notice
Your god takes no notice
Your god takes no notice
Rattle and hiss
Rattle and hiss
Rattle and hiss
Rattle and hissssssssssss
"
Al Wilson
The Snake Al Wilson was a soul singer from Mississippi. This song was a hit single for him in 1968 and became a Northern Soul anthem in England. This is probably the best-known version of the song, but it was written and recorded previously by Oscar Brown Jr. in 1963. You can see the lyrics under Oscar Brown Jr.
Bill Withers
Grandma's Hands Bill Withers was an award-winning singer-songwriter from West Virginia who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He relocated to Los Angeles in his 30s to start a music career, but quit the music business after only 15 years in 1985 due to his disgust at people in the music industry. Too bad grandma's hands weren't around to slap some sense into those idiots. This song is from his first album "Just As I Am," released in 1971, which also includes one of his other major hits "Ain't No Sunshine."


""Grandma's hands clapped in church on Sunday morning
Grandma's hands played a tambourine so well
Grandma's hands used to issue out a warning
She'd say, "Billy don't you run so fast
Might fall on a piece of glass
Might be snakes there in that grass,"
Grandma's hands

Grandma's hands sooth the local unwed mother
Grandma's hands used to ache sometimes and swell
Grandma's hands used to lift her face and tell her
She'd say, "Baby, Grandma understands
That you really loved that man
Put yourself in Jesus' hands."
Grandma's Hands

Grandma's hands used to hand me piece of candy
Grandma's hands picked me up each time I fell
Grandma's hands, boy they really came in handy
She'd say, " Mattie don't you whip that boy
What you want to spank him for?
He didn't drop no apple core."
But I don't have Grandma anymore
If I get to Heaven I'll look for
Grandma's hands""
Wu-Tang Clan
Black Mamba Wu-Tang Clan is a hip-hop group formed in New York City in 1992. This heavy hip-hop song is from the "Kill Bill, Vol. 2" Soundtrack. I don't remember when it was played in the movie, but I do know that it wasn't during the great Black Mamba in the suitcase scene.

There's lots of nice snake wordplay in it. 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, Sidewinder, Copperhead, Cottonmouth, and Black Mamba.

Look up the lyrics to the song online for a laugh. 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.


"Black Mamba!

Uh huh huh.. Black Mamba!
Uh huh huh.. Black Mamba!
Uh huh huh.. Black Mamba!
Uh huh huh.. Black Mamba!

Yo unbreakable steel sword swingin', face the Black Mamba
Deadly Vipers, squeeze ya life out like Anacondas
In the story, off wit ya head, the scene is gory
Single-edged steel blade made by Hattori
Hanzo, you see the signature of brother Han' though?
Try to strike out, you get ya arm dismantled
Chief of the Yakuza's wicked like Medusa
with Crazy 88's too, 'bout to meet ya maker

Ol' Dirty Bastard swordplay
Dirt McGirt be pickin' up skirts on 4th and Broadway
'70's b***h be suckin' my d**k
Puerto Rican hoes be lickin' my split
California Mountain Snake on debate
givin' my head while I'm countin' my cake, crushin' up the 8th
of that snow white s**t, in the Pussy Wagon not hittin' the brakes!

Uh huh huh.. Black Mamba!
Uh huh huh.. Black Mamba!
Uh huh huh.. Black Mamba!
Uh huh huh.. Black Mamba!

Baaaaaamm.. hidden swordstyle hits, I wish
A n***a would 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 Af' gooey
Blowin' smoke through the Viper Pit
Hold a listener tight, mic constrictor
Words from the Gita, swift as Krishna...."
     
Y
Youth Lagoon
17 Youth Lagoon was the neo-psychedelic art pop project of Idaho native Trevor Powers before it was retired in 2016. This song is from the album "The Year of Hibernation" released in 2011.


"Roaming the campground up by the lake where we swam
We were hunting for snakes
But we couldn't find them
Surrounded by nothing But the nothing's surrounded by us
But it's just me in my room
With my eyes shut

Oh, when I was seventeen
My mother said to me
"Don't stop imagining, the day that you do is the day that you die"
Now I pull a one-ton carriage
Instead of the horses grazing the lawn
And I was having fun
We were all having fun

My brain can think faster than I can I'm not fast enough
Who is there to talk to That won't lock me up?
At least God doesn't judge me by the thoughts that aren't mine
The snakes I couldn't find
I don't want to find

Oh oh oh
Oh when I was seventeen my mother said to me
"Don't stop imagining, the day that you do is the day that you die"
Now I pull a one-ton carriage
Instead of the horses grazing the lawn
And I was having fun
We were all having fun

Oh, when I was seventeen
My mother said to me
"Don't stop imagining, the day that you do is the day that you die"
Now I pull a one-ton carriage
Instead of the horses grazing the lawn
And I was having fun
We were all having fun"
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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