You might initially think of a slithering reptile when you hear the word snake. However, a snake can also refer to the worst kind of person; a backstabber, a manipulator, or maybe even a liar.
Artists have been writing songs about snakes for decades, with a variety of ideas behind their lyrics. While some write songs about harder moments in their lives and dealings with shady people, others have used this genre to write sexual songs with notes of hilarity.
This article will take a look at twenty songs about snakes, by a variety of artists and groups, each with its meanings and context.
- 1. “Cold Hearted” by Paula Abdul
- 2. “Crawling King Snake” by The Doors
- 3. “Attacked by Snakes” by The Aquabats
- 4. “Union of the Snake” by Duran Duran
- 5. “Better Metal Snake” by Dethklok
- 6. “There’s No Such Thing as a Jaggy Snake” by Biffy Clyro
- 7. “Snakes” by Pixies
- 8. “Snake Song” by Townes Van Zandt
- 9. “Snake Charmer” by Blink 182
- 10. “Raised By Snakes” by Telex
- 11. “Long Snake Moan” by PJ Harvey
- 12. “Big Snake” by Lloyd Cole And The Commotions
- 13. “Slither” by Velvet Revolver
- 14. “Snake Farm” by Ray Wylie Hubbard
- 15. “Snakes” by Papa Roach
- 16. “Snakebite” by Alice Cooper
- 17. “Snake Eyes” by Alan Parsons Project
- 18. “Snakes” by No Doubt
- 19. “Here Comes The Snake” by Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
- 20. “Inject the Venom” by AC/DC
1. “Cold Hearted” by Paula Abdul
Paula Abdul’s third number one song, “Cold Hearted”, was penned by Elliot Wolff. This track can be deemed as a warning from one woman to another about a man who is nothing but a cold-hearted serpent.
She sings and cautions this woman that he isn’t worth her time. The lyrics showcase the intentions very clearly: “Looking into his eyes, he’s a cold-hearted snake. He’s been lying, he’s a lover boy at play, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh. “
2. “Crawling King Snake” by The Doors
“Crawling King Snake” by The Doors is a cover of the very popular original by John Lee Hooker. This song is about sex, with the “king snake” being a fairly obvious metaphor. It’s a not-so-humble brag about the singer’s sexual conquests.
3. “Attacked by Snakes” by The Aquabats
The Aquabats wrote and performed the song “Assaulted by Snakes”. The Aquabats are recognized for their outrageously funny and crazy tunes, as well as their raucous live concerts.
The theme of this song is no exception to their pattern of having unusual routines. This song talks about being attacked by snakes – “huge ones, little ones, fat ones, skinny ones,” as the title suggests.
4. “Union of the Snake” by Duran Duran
Duran Duran’s “Union of the Snake” is one of the rare songs in which they reveal the meaning. They explained that this song is about the evil side of human nature that exists within us and is taking over in this circumstance. The snake is used to represent that aspect of ourselves.
As lead singer Simon Le Bon told Spinner, the song took inspiration from a variety of musicians “There are times when I get into literature and other things, and some of that ends up on the record, or I’ll become obsessed with a particular artist. ‘Union of the Snake’ and ‘Hungry Like a Wolf’ are two clear examples, both of which are heavily influenced by Jim Morrison’s lyrical themes.”
5. “Better Metal Snake” by Dethklok
“Better Metal Snake” is a song by the metal band, Dethklok. This song was featured in the television show, Vikings’ because of its relativity to the show, and its overall sound!
It’s all about brothers taking up arms to fight their common enemy. The “metal snake” refers to a fortified army, protected by their armor and one another’s comradery.
6. “There’s No Such Thing as a Jaggy Snake” by Biffy Clyro
“There’s No Such Thing as a Jaggy Snake” is a song by the Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro. The song has a biblical flavor as it mentions Christ.
The lyrics can be seen as an awakening for people whose main purpose in life is to accomplish something, possibly something that others doubt their ability to do. Buffy Clyro sings lyrics such as, “Take on the rest of the world in their own game. You might win again if you achieve” in order to reinforce that sentiment.
7. “Snakes” by Pixies
The band Pixies wrote and performed the song “Snake”. Lead singer Black Francis warns townspeople of the arrival of snakes to their town and that there will be nothing they would be able to do when the rattle shakes!
Like so many Pixie songs, the song is wide open to interpretation. The listeners can assign their own value and meaning to the word snake.
8. “Snake Song” by Townes Van Zandt
Townes Van Zandt’s “Snake Song” is a song in which the vocalist compares himself to a snake. He croons, “You can’t hold me because I’m too slick. I don’t sleep because I’m lonely. If you want to, you can touch me. I got the poison, I just might bite you”, to show this. He’s just telling someone that he’s nothing, but trouble, if you’re going to get involved with him.
“Snake Charmer” by Blink 182, is a song all about a woman, who’s got men wrapped around her finger. This woman is the female version of a “womanizer”, pulling new men into her games.
The band sings lines like, “She creeps up like a spider, then wants you deep inside her. She turns you into stone, a twisted little show”, to show what this woman’s capable of.
10. “Raised By Snakes” by Telex
Raised by Snakes is an electronic and funk song by Telex. The singer is saying that he was raised by snakes, and has taken on many of their mannerisms and attributes.
He sings, “I was raised by snakes, I lie all the time. I change my skin, I changed my mind. If there’s no sin, I don’t mind” to highlight this.
11. “Long Snake Moan” by PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey’s song “Long Snake Moan” employs the snake as a symbol for transcendence particularly in relation to religious conceptions of right and wrong. PJ Harvey previously said in an interview, “Religion appeals to me as a possible source of answers, as a way of making sense of why we’re here.
Making meaning of one’s life is what drives the creative power.” As religion holds deep meaning in his life, there’s no surprise that PJ Harvey uses said symbolism in his songs.
12. “Big Snake” by Lloyd Cole And The Commotions
The song “Big Snake” was written by Lloyd Cole and The Commotions and was initially published in 1987. In this song, the “huge serpent” refers to the ocean. Lloyd Cole uses his lyrics to give insight, “Your tears are washed into the giant serpent by the warm summer rain. Into the water”.
13. “Slither” by Velvet Revolver
Velvet Revolver’s first single, “Slither” was released in 1989. Former members of Guns n’ Roses and Scott Weiland, formerly of The Stone Temple Pilots, formed the band.
“The lyrics are about a relationship,” Scott Weiland remarked in an interview. “‘When you look you see right through me, cut the rope, fell to my knees, born and broken every single time.’ It’s just feeling not right in a circumstance.”
14. “Snake Farm” by Ray Wylie Hubbard
“Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Snake Farm” is a song with no hidden implications. This song is about a woman named Ramona (who is referenced several times during the song) and her job at the Snake Farm.
He’s singing about the Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo’ in New Braunfels, Texas in particular. The zoo was a favorite haunt of Hubbard, and it was there that he found inspiration for this well-known song.
15. “Snakes” by Papa Roach
Jacoby Shaddix’s loathing for criminals, thugs, and gang members is expressed in the song “Snakes” by Papa Roach. Shaddix grew up in a ghetto as a poor youngster and many listeners believe this song is about his childhood. Snakes are a metaphor for gangs and criminals in this song (or just bad people in general).
16. “Snakebite” by Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper’s song”Snakebite” is a track where he refers to himself as the character “Snakebite.” He sings that as Snakebite, he has the power of entrapping anyone and can spread his venom into them.
He’s basically referring to himself as nothing but a source of trouble. He sings, “You got my venom running thru ya, ain’t gonna let you run off wild. I’m Snakebite, I’m your only man. Snakebite is your lover” to show this.
17. “Snake Eyes” by Alan Parsons Project
Alan Parsons Project’s song “Snake Eyes” deals with the sensitive subject of gambling addictions. In the song, snake eyes refer to rolling dice with one side facing upwards on both sides.
This song is about every gambler who has grown addicted to the hope of hitting the jackpot at some point. It gets more difficult for them to get up and leave, and the singer emphasizes this by saying, “Just one minute more, and I’ll walk straight through the door.”
18. “Snakes” by No Doubt
No Doubt’s song “Snakes” is frequently regarded as a political statement song. Snakes appear to signify violence and evil in this song.
The references to corporate boards and generals, on the other hand, demonstrate that this song is critical of both sides of the war, particularly in the United States of America. This is one of those songs that makes the listener think, not only about the larger meaning of the song but also about their own personal perspectives on the subject.
19. “Here Comes The Snake” by Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies’ “Here Comes the Snake” is a raunchy track. The snake in this song is clearly alluding to the trouser variety, making the song even more sexually amusing. Despite being a filthy song, there are scriptural references to God and the apple.
The band performs phrases such as, “Did your God open the way for you? Well, I’m here to eat your apple to the core. Here comes the snake”. The odd combination of themes merged in this song has definitely gotten itself some avid listeners.
20. “Inject the Venom” by AC/DC
“Inject the Venom” has to be one of the AC/DC’s “meaner” tunes. This song is all about getting even with someone who has wronged you and now deserves your wrath. “Inject the venom, inject it all,” the band sings of injecting venom into its foes. This song may not be one of the band’s biggest hits, but it’s still an amazing rock track for all fans to enjoy.
Finally, while songs about snakes may not appear to have a deeper meaning, they frequently depict stories of backstabbers, liars, and the worst kinds of people. At the same time, these songs can be amusing and bawdy, with the snake serving as a clear metaphor for something else. Regardless of the type of snake songs you prefer, you’ll find a diverse range of artists’ work to listen to.