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.
For decades, artists have been writing songs about snakes with different ideas in 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.
Let’s take a look at 20 songs about snakes, by various artists, 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, warning her that he’s not worth it. The lyrics say it all: “He’s a cold-hearted snake, lying lover boy at play, oh-oh-oh.”
2. “Crawling King Snake” by The Doors
“Crawling King Snake” by The Doors is a cover of the very popular track 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 explain it’s about the dark side of human nature taking over, symbolized by the snake within us.
5. “Better Metal Snake” by Dethklok
This metal 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 awaken those striving to prove themselves against doubt, urging them to take on the world and possibly succeed despite challenges. Lines like “Take on the rest of the world in their own game. You might win again if you achieve” emphasize this empowering message.
7. “Snakes” by Pixies
This song warns townspeople about snakes coming to their town. When the rattle shakes, there’s nothing they can do! In true Pixie fashion, the song remains open to interpretation, allowing listeners have their own meaning.
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 warns others that he’s trouble if they get involved with him.
This is a song all about a woman, who’s got men wrapped around her finger. This woman is the female version of a “womanizer”, effortlessly charming and ensnaring men in her games.
10. “Raised By Snakes” by Telex
This electronic and funk song is about how the narrator was raised by snakes, and has taken on many of their mannerisms and attributes.
The lyrics, “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” uses the snake as a symbol for transcendence particularly in relation to religious conceptions of right and wrong.
12. “Big Snake” by Lloyd Cole And The Commotions
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
“Slither” is a song that is about being in a relationship and held captive by your partner. The lyrics “‘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” emphasizes his vulnerability.
14. “Snake Farm” by Ray Wylie Hubbard
“Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Snake Farm” 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 Snake Farm Zoo in New Braunfels, Texas. It was Hubbard’s favorite place, where 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 serve as a metaphor for these negative influences in the song.
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
In the song, snake eyes refer to rolling dice with one side facing upwards on both sides. This track 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 USA. It encourages listeners to reflect on the song’s deeper message and their own perspectives.
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 suggestive song, there are scriptural references to God and the apple.
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.
Snake songs slither with tales of backstabbers, liars, and intriguing metaphors. Amusing or bawdy, the artists’ diverse work caters to all preferences. Regardless of the type of snake songs you prefer, you’ll find a diverse range of artists’ work to listen to.