Whether to describe a metaphorical journey, an enormous city, or the undesirable urge to be with someone – there have been many songs written referencing the jungle. Sometimes these songs are written as a funny tale, a love story, or impart an important message to their audience.
Regardless of the reasoning, these songs have all been written for our entertainment. What are you waiting for? Sit back and enjoy this compilation of amazing songs about the jungle!
- 1. “Jungleland” by Bruce Springsteen
- 2. “Jungle Love” by The Time
- 3. “Stranded In The Jungle” by The Cadets
- 4. “Jungle” by Electric Light Orchestra
- 5. “Jungle Love” by Steve Miller Band
- 6. “Bungle In The Jungle” by Jethro Tull
- 7. “Jungle Beat” from The Jungle Book Soundtrack
- 8. “Jungle Night” by Kiki & Kika
- 9. “Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses
- 10. “Jungle Song” by Aqua
- 11. “Concrete Jungle” by Bob Marley
- 12. “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” by Elton John
- 13. “Jungle Boy” by John Eddie
- 14. “Monkey Man” by The Rolling Stones
- 15. “Jungle Rock” by Hank Mizell
- 16. “Jungle Fever” by Stevie Wonder
- 17. “Jungle Boogie” by Kool & The Gang
- 18. “No Church In The Wild” by Kanye West and Jay-Z
- 19. “Meanwhile, Back in the Jungle” by David Johansen
- 20. “Tarzan Boy” by Baltimora
1. “Jungleland” by Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen brings us this truly poetic classic in a very philosophical way! Springsteen delivers his message with powerful vocals while drawing comparisons between street life in New Jersey and a jungle. We’re introduced to a ragtag bunch of misfits throughout this song, with names like ‘Barefoot Girl’ and ‘Magic Rat’. Upon reflecting on the album, ‘Born to Run’, during an interview years later, Springstein specifically mentioned the last verse of Jungleland. He used it as an example of his work that had “a lot of overblown romance, but still contained the seeds of realism”.
2. “Jungle Love” by The Time
Originally formed by Prince, The Time had a very short-lived presence in the industry. It consisted of Prince, Morris Day, Jesse Johnson, Jimmy “Jam” Harris, and Terry Lewis. Jungle Love was one of the final tracks from the band but it was a huge hit – it was even featured on Prince’s movie, ‘Purple Rain’. The message in the song was anything but subtle! It’s about a man letting a woman know that he wants her in an animalistic sense. This man explains that he may be a little bit dangerous, but he wants to have some fun. The animal sounds in the background add to the “jungle vibe” in this funky tune.
3. “Stranded In The Jungle” by The Cadets
Originally known as The Jacks’, The Cadets changed their band’s name to cover this song that was originally by the Jayhawks. This song is written as a funny tale about a man who’s been involved in a plane crash and falls into the jungle. He was on his way to visit a woman, who moved on, assuming he was dead.
4. “Jungle” by Electric Light Orchestra
Jungle, by Electric Light Orchestra, is a song that gives a more metaphorical message. As someone is in a dream, they’re becoming knowledgeable of the fact that mere animals hold a better perspective of life on Earth, than mankind. Lines like, “Wondrous is our great blue ship, that sails around the mighty sun, and joy to everyone that rides along” are used as a message taught by the animals. It shows that animals hold a truer understanding of what joys the world has to offer, even in the most simplistic of ways.
5. “Jungle Love” by Steve Miller Band
In this song riddled with animal sounds for added effect, the Steve Miller Band sings about a woman with whom he’s experiencing “jungle love”. This song, similarly to many other Steve Miller Band tracks, contains many sexual innuendos. He repeatedly sings, “Jungle Love, it’s drivin’ me mad. It’s makin’ me crazy, crazy”, to emphasize how insanely passionate this new fling is!
6. “Bungle In The Jungle” by Jethro Tull
Another song drawing on the comparison of big city life, and living in a concrete jungle!
Jethro Tull delivers this phenomenal track and shows similarities between those who love the nightlife in the city, with predators such as lions and tigers. Those who appreciate their solitude away from the action are compared to kittens and monkeys. The singer highlights the dangers of nightlife in the city while contrasting the orderly ways of the daytime. This song also takes on a fairly large message of God, and his willingness to allow both the bad and the good to coexist. Lines like, “And He who makes kittens put snakes in the grass. He’s a love 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” communicate this message in a very powerful way.
7. “Jungle Beat” from The Jungle Book Soundtrack
This link brings you to the beautifully written score titled Jungle Beat. The track was originally composed by George Bruns and was made specifically for the movie. George Bruns composed the entire soundtrack for the 1967 film!
8. “Jungle Night” by Kiki & Kika
Jungle Night by Kiki and Kika is a fun, Euro-beats-style dance track! The singers are referring to a “Jungle Night” as an assumably wild night with their partner of choice. Lines like, “Wanna feel I’m in the jungle, hey hey. You’re goin’ my way, go bang together to the beat of the drum” shows the references that the singers use.
9. “Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses
Welcome to the Jungle by Guns an’ Roses is one of the most famous rock tracks ever sung! Written by Axl Rose, this song was meant to be about Los Angeles (the jungle) and the dark side the city possesses. The song was written to highlight what happens to many people who head to LA in search of fame, and how the city can change you. Coming from a place of experience, the band had dealt with this side of LA all too well. In 1985, the band lived in what they referred to as the “Hell House” because it was a considerably notorious place filled with horrible memories, drugs, and alcohol.
10. “Jungle Song” by Aqua
A hilariously written dance track, Jungle Song by Aqua is all about love and undeniable urges. Singing as Jane, Aqua tells the story of her love for Tarzan – the big, strong, jungle-man that everyone knows already! This upbeat song is sure to have you dancing, feeling like you’re with Jane in her jungle, and riding an elephant!
11. “Concrete Jungle” by Bob Marley
Concrete Jungle, like many Bob Marley tracks, is quite ambiguous in the sense that it can hold a different meaning to every person who listens to it. Many believe that this song is a metaphor for Marley’s earlier years living in a ghetto in Jamaica. Other’s see it as a message for his search for truth and love throughout life. Unfortunately, our protagonist is trapped in a “concrete jungle”. He sings that the “sweet life must be somewhere to be found”, meaning that the current confines he is in, are not where he truly wants to be – or where he wants society as a whole to be. Regardless of the deeper meaning, this song is incredibly well written and thoughtful.
12. “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” by Elton John
I Just Can’t Wait To Be King by Elton John is probably a song everyone heard when they were kids and watched The Lion King on repeat. The song is sung by Jason Weaver, as Young Simba. Simba and his pal, Nala, are singing all about his excitement over becoming King of the Pride Lands someday. Whilst singing joyfully, the red-billed hornbill Zazu attempts to interject with cautionary advice. The entirety of the song is quite playful and fun, and made for an amazing scene in the movie!
13. “Jungle Boy” by John Eddie
Jungle Boy was the first single ever recorded by John Eddie. Considered his one-hit-wonder, this song is very entertaining with a catchy riff! In this song, John Eddie refers to himself as a “jungle boy” because he is someone who’s always in trouble with law enforcement and the local girl’s mothers. He sings lines like, “Hey Mrs. Jackson, man, I know it’s late, it’s about your daughter now, and it can’t wait. See I’m her boy, if you don’t approve, it’s my town, toots, if you don’t like it, move! Cause I’m a jungle boy” to show he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him!
14. “Monkey Man” by The Rolling Stones
Monkey Man by The Rolling Stones was written by Kieth Richards and Mick Jagger. It was supposedly made as a tribute to Italian pop artist, Mario Schifano. Although some lyrics baffled audiences with their confusing and hidden meanings, most have come to assume that this song is somewhat about illicit drug use. Lines like, “I’m a fleabit peanut monkey, and all my friends are junkies” compelled fans to those sorts of conclusions.
15. “Jungle Rock” by Hank Mizell
Jungle Rock by Hank Mizell was first recorded in 1958. Unfortunately, after attempts to bring the song to the public failed, it was considered a flop. This caused Mizell to give up his career, and start a new life as a preacher. It wasn’t until 1976, that the song hit fame across Europe. By that time Mizell’s family was incredibly poor and this was a change of fate for them! The song refers to a big city as “the jungle”, and the singer describes the struggles and fights that occur there between the animals i.e. people.
16. “Jungle Fever” by Stevie Wonder
This beautifully written song by Stevie Wonder highlights a relationship between a mixed-race couple. He sings of how despite their love, the two have been ostracized by their respective communities. It’s a story of an undeniable love that’s forbidden because it’s deemed as wrong. Nevertheless, the couple remains true to their love, and Wonder sings, “We’ve got jungle fever, we’re in love. I’ve gone white-girl crazy, she’s gone black-boy hazy”. The song was based on the movie “Jungle Fever” for which Wonder had performed the entire soundtrack. The movie had the same theme as the song – it was about a black man who has an affair with a white woman, causing a lot of uproar in the town they lived in.
17. “Jungle Boogie” by Kool & The Gang
Originally recorded in 1973, Jungle Boogie by Kool & The Gang has since been re-released by numerous artists. The original song is credited to have been written by Kool & The Gang and Gene Redd, for the album Wild & Peaceful.
Jungle Boogie has also been used in many motion pictures, such as Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. While the song is a call for people to boogie, it’s also a message about living in America’s urban areas or “concrete jungles”. As sad as it may be, it’s an honest explanation of a life where getting down implies taking cover for survival.
18. “No Church In The Wild” by Kanye West and Jay-Z
No Church in the Wild by Kanye West and Jay-Z is similar to many other Yeezy songs in the sense that it holds strong religious perspectives. In a way, this song takes on a sort of sermon standpoint. The basic theme is self prevalence in “the wild” as there is no one else to save you. This theme is explored through a lot of religious imagery. For example the verse, “Human beings in a mob. What’s a mob to a king? What’s a king to a God? What’s a God to a non-believer, who doesn’t believe in anything?” is essentially a reliving of the concept of “The Great Chain of Being”. Incredibly well written, this song truly shows off the immense talent of these two powerhouse rappers.
19. “Meanwhile, Back in the Jungle” by David Johansen
Titled, ‘Stranded in the Jungle’ by David Johansen, this song was originally written and recorded by The Jayhawks (later made famous by The Cadets). The song is known for being about a man who’s stranded in the jungle after surviving a plane crash. He was headed to visit the woman he loves, only to now be completely unaware of the fact that she’s moved on, assuming that he is dead.
20. “Tarzan Boy” by Baltimora
Tarzan Boy by Baltimora may have been the band’s only major hit but it sure is an amazingly fun song! Put simply, this track is about living with minimum concerns about what people think while experiencing the maximum enjoyment life has to offer. The singer is enticing someone else to join their wild and carefree lifestyle. “Take a chance, leave everything behind you. Come and join me, won’t be sorry, it’s easy to survive. Jungle life. We’re living in the open, all alone like Tarzan’s boy”.
Songs about the jungle can make us dance, get a little wild and crazy, and even contemplate the greater meanings of life. Just about every song on this list will compel you to rejoice about love, laugh at a funny tale, or think about serious topics like religion and poverty. With such deep-rooted meanings, it’s no wonder that songs about the jungle continue to be so popular!