Reptiles in Song Titles & Lyrics

John Grundy News, Revealing Reptiles

A bit of fun from the usual facts and figures regarding reptiles.

As a self-confessed muso’ and herpetologist I sometimes try to find songs with reptilian-based titles or mentions of reptiles in their lyrics and, where possible, try to fit them into my repertoire.

It’s actually quite surprising how many songs there are in which reptiles get a mention. I remember an event for the Reptile Trust, for whom I worked many years ago, where a singer was hired, he said he had only found a couple of songs with anything about reptiles in them; Jean Genie by David Bowie with the line ‘Smiles like a reptile’ and REM’s hit ‘The Sidewinder sleeps tonight’ were all that he could come up with.

I remember then, thinking from the top of my head, ‘Crawling King Snake’ by John Lee Hooker, the line ‘Do I Lie like a lounge room lizard’ from the Crowded House song ‘Always take the Weather’, ‘ Tube snake boogie by ZZ Top, Rattlesnake Shake by the old, original and best Fleetwood Mac line up. Polk Salad Annie by Tony Joe White also makes plenty of mentions of alligators throughout the song. My personal favourite by The Presidents of the United States of America is ‘Body’, which tells tales many small children will relate to as it deals with the perils of keeping reptiles as pets and their tendency to escape.

‘Alligator’ by The Grateful Dead is about an unwanted friend and includes a kazoo riff – who doesn’t like a kazoo in a song? ‘Alligator Twist’ by The Kaisers is a high-energy rock and roll boogie when played live at ninety miles an hour.

I hope this has been as fun as was intended. Please do join me on my Revealing Reptile Surveys and learn more about the 4 native reptiles we have here within the North East, learn how to identify them how to spot them and how you can contribute to our survey helping to protect these species and their habitat now and in the future. Click here for details of upcoming Reptile Survey Training Dates and please do drop me an email to register your interest.

Happy Herping!


John Grundy

John has spent more than thirty years honing his skills as a spotter of our region’s elusive and well-camouflaged reptiles. He can often be found wandering the moors of Durham looking for signs of life in the undergrowth. As the Revealing Reptiles Project Officer John frequently delivers reptile survey training to groups and individuals.

Report your reptile sightings here