The Crawling, Crittery Creatures in Music

Animals have fascinated people from the beginning of recorded history because of the striking similarities between humans and animals. This fascination has led to the inclusion of animals in all forms of art, ranging from literature to sculptures and dating from the prehistoric ages to today. One art form that has always placed a great deal of emphasis upon animals is songwriting.

Frequently, animals find their way into songs designed for children. This serves to educate children regarding the science of animals, but it is primarily used to add excitement and color to the lyrics. Popular songs in this genre include "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" and "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." Adult songs include lyrics regarding animals, as well. In these cases, animals often serve as a metaphor or to advance a story in some other way. Popular adult songs in this genre include "Black Bird" by the Beatles and "Who Let the Dogs Out?" by the Baha Men.

The best songs draw in the listener and create vivid mental images. Animals accomplish this quite easily, so they frequently appear in songs for children and adults.