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The Very Best Rock Songs About Dogs

rock songs about dogs paul mccartney, beatles, martha the sheepdog

Rock songs about dogs are often written as those about cars, girls, or even losing your job. But they call them “man’s best friend” for a reason, and eventually, most songwriters will attempt to write a tune about their four-legged, furry companion. Or, they’ll use them as inspiration or a metaphor for something more sinister.

Write about you see, I suppose. No famous songs have been written about your pet dog peeing on your carpet. Or, at least, none that we’ve included on our list.

We like yo see the unusual in everything, the strange in the mundane, and the rock songs about dogs in pop music’s long, winding history. These are the best of which I could think. And, I can’t see a reason why a band wouldn’t want to cover each one and call themselves The Mutts.

Rock Songs About Dogs

“I Wanna Be Your Dog” – The Stooges · 1969

“I Wanna Be Your Dog” may just be punk-rock before it was called that. But it’s not actually about a literal dog, is it? Around the time of its release, Iggy Pop had come to wearing a dog collar while on stage. He always pleaded nativity. But strange looks from members of The Velvet Underground and the Warhol crowd may have told him more than he needed to know. Strange, perverse and driven by a thundering guitar riff courtesy of Ron Asheton, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” is a masterclass in efficiency.

“Martha My Dear” – The Beatles · 1968

Rob Sheffield reckons that Paul McCartney writes his best songs when thinking about strong, independent women. That’s true. But he also writes a bunch of crackers when thinking about animals. “Martha My Dear,” found The Beatles’s “White Album,” their best release in my book, could be confused in the style of tracks like “I Will.” And, yes, while it is a gorgeous love song, likely written while on a meditation retreat in Rishikesh, it is titled after Martha, McCartney’s pet sheepdog.

“The Puppy Song” – Harry Nilsson · 1969

Speaking of The Beatles, Harry Nilsson was one of their best musician friends. Unlike The Fab Four, ol’ Harry did his best work without considering the pressures of fame and fortune. After all, he wrote the legendary “One” while his call was being placed on hold, using the tone as musical accompaniment. “The Puppy Song” is similarly silly and heartwarming. But there’s nothing silly about how well ol’ Harry could sing that ol’ ragtime good time music.

robert plant rock songs about dogs

“Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” – Led Zeppelin · 1970

Ok. This doesn’t actually contain the word “dog,” nor the name of a dog. But, Robert Plant is known to yell out “Strider,” the name of his canine friend, while performing it. And he is known to dedicate it to him when he occasionally performs it today. Part country hoe-down, part adventure out in the hills, it captures Plant and Zeppelin at a time when their innocence was still just about intact. Mudsharks would come in later.

Note that I have not included “Black Dog,” a more obvious addition. Other than the myth that it may be titled after a dead dog that haunted the premises of the recording studios, I just don’t want it to be that obvious.

paw grunge band rock songs about dogs

“Jessie” – Paw · 1993

If you think you know grunge and have not heard Paw’s “Jessie,” you’ve been wasteful with your time. Paw’s Mark Hennessy possessed an aggressive baritone not unlike Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and similar angst. “Jessie” is a song about telling your pet dog that you’re running away from home and can’t take him with you. Heartbreaking! So was Paw’s relative lack of success.

“Dogs” – Pink Floyd · 1977

Rock musicians do funny things when they become really successful. They start reading books and fantasise about turning them into rock shows. David Bowie wanted to try his hand at George Orwell’s “1984.” Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters was fascinated with “The Animal Farm,” and with the vicious, police state lead by dogs against the other animals.

“Gonna Buy Me A Dog” -The Monkees · 1966

The Monkees were designed as goofball wannabe Beatles. But they’d help produce some serious songs, too. This isn’t one of them. Instead, it’s a time of a simpler time. It was a time when silly, sexist songs about replacing your girlfriend with a dog could make audiences chuckle and get you a hit. Oh, the 60s..

“Dirty Old Egg Sucking Dog” – Johnny Cash · 1966

Johnny Cash was a man of contrast. He could be sharp enough to meet U.S. presidents and present television shows. And he could be mean enough to still your auntie’s diet pills and shoot the mailman. “Dirty Old Egg Sucking Dog” is Johnny on a mean streak as he tells a dirty, old dog about his intention to gun him down for doing him wrong.

“Hey Bulldog” – The Beatles · 1969

Like his friend, Paul, John Lennon was also known to produce lyrics about animals. Usually, however, Lennon produced those while engaged in automatic writing sessions. “Hey Bulldog” is a stream-of-consciousness kind of song. It’s something meant to bounce off the good times of “Lady Madonna,” found on the same single. Still, I can’t help but think the bulldog is code for the sad face George Harrison would make when his songs would be unfairly felt off the singles and albums.

“I Love My Dog” – Cat Stevens · 1967

A guy called Cat Stevens writing about a dog? Jokes write themselves. Well, Stevens, currently Yusuf Islam, was still sharpening his songwriting skills by the time he came up with this. But the sentiment was simple and honest. A dog will always come true, even if your other friends desert you. It’s not quite “Father and Song,” but he’d get there.

rock songs about dogs pink floyd seamus

“Seamus” – Pink Floyd · 1971

The second Pink Floyd entry and certainly the least famous of the two. On “Meddle”, Pink Floyd would produce “Echoes.” This was one of their best songs and an indication that they would turn out to be much more than Syd Barret’s former backing band. But Pink Floyd still liked experimenting with wild ideas. Play the blues and get a dog to bark-sing? Sure, why not? After all, they’d recorded kitchenware for a song before.

“Rover” – Jethro Tull · 1978

Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson were always old-fashioned English chaps, even when riding the dazzling highs of 1970s prog rock. “Rover” is a heart-on-sleeve love song about adventure and… well, being a dog. Anderson loves and feels a tinge of jealousy for his dog. And, considering the musicians he has had to deal with in Jethro Tull, who could blame him?

“Old King” – Neil Young · 1992

Neil Young may be, to some, the Grandfather of Grunge. But unlike some of the Seattle rockers, Young is a very confident man. He loves his own ideas. And he is also a very direct man. His songs are just what they mean. “I had a dog and his name was King/I told the dog about everything.” That’s as earnest as it gets, but the song is something of. heartbreaker too. Neil would tell you that you should treasure your beloved pets! “King went a-sniffing and he would go/Was the best old hound dog I ever did know.”

About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website www.alt77.com. Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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