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Give me your best nature songs
November 23, 2012 6:36 PM   Subscribe

Can you name any songs that use nature as a metaphor? This is my favorite example (Your Rocky Spine).

Your Rocky Spine is my favorite song ever since I heard it because it uses nature as a metaphor for a woman's body. I am going on a roadtrip soon, and very nature-oriented songs would make it so much better. I would love song recommendations of any genre, as long as the lyrics refer to nature metaphorically. If it is in reference to a woman's body, that's even better!
Thanks!
posted by tweedle to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, it's not super nature-oriented, but my favorite nature metaphor in song has to be Magnetic Fields, "Grand Canyon," and the live arrangements are kind of in the ballpark of your example.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 6:55 PM on November 23, 2012


Ryan Adams' "When The Stars Go Blue"
Pearl Jam's "Black"
posted by mannequito at 7:11 PM on November 23, 2012


Does outer space count as nature? If so, R. Kelly's Sex Planet is all space/sex metaphors.
posted by thecjm at 7:13 PM on November 23, 2012


Sea Wolf's Violet Hour .

"Your lips are nettles
Your tongue is wine
Your laughter's liquid
But your body is pine...

Your arms are lovely
Yellow and rose
Your back's a meadow covered in snow
Your thighs are thistles and hothouse grapes
You breathe a sweet breath and have me wait"


I had never heard of the Great Lake Swimmers, but oh boy! I'm on a listening rampage now!
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:15 PM on November 23, 2012


Bruce Cockburn does a lot of "nature as metaphor for something spiritual" songs, of which I especially like "Use me while you can" and "Isn't that what friends are for?"
We're the insect life of paradise:
Crawl across leaf or among towering blades of grass
Glimpse only sometimes the amazing breadth of heaven
posted by Jeanne at 7:15 PM on November 23, 2012


Mirah -- Mount St. Helen's
posted by munyeca at 7:21 PM on November 23, 2012


Popsicle Toes. Various people have covered it - Michael Franks and the Manhattan Transfer are the two I know best.

You got the nicest North America
This sailor ever saw.
I'd like to feel your warm Brazil
And touch your Panama

But Your Tierra del Fuegos
Are nearly always froze.
We gotta see saw
until we unthaw those
Popsicle toes.

posted by PussKillian at 7:33 PM on November 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Ingrid Bergman", lyrics by Woody Guthrie and music/performance by Billy Bragg, has some rather sexual lyrics couched in terms of rocks, mountains, and volcanoes.
posted by Flunkie at 7:58 PM on November 23, 2012


"Popsicle Toes" by Michael Franks

You got the nicest North America
This sailor ever saw—
I'd like to feel your warm Brazil and stroke your...
Panama.
Your Tierra del Fuegos
Are almost always froze,
We gotta see saw
Until we unthaw
Those Popsicle toes!

posted by ubiquity at 9:09 PM on November 23, 2012


Blackbird Paul McCartney

Water of Love Dire Straits

Dangerbird Neil Young

Summersong Decemberists

Volcano Edie Brickell



christ there must be thousands of these. Maybe google for a particular word having to do w nature in songs (black water, green river, blue sky, white bird, blah blah etc)
posted by artdrectr at 12:16 AM on November 24, 2012


yeah actually, Neil Young alone - aside from the aforementioned Dangerbird, there's Beautiful Bluebird.
posted by mannequito at 1:58 AM on November 24, 2012


more ny - Like A Hurricane
posted by mannequito at 2:04 AM on November 24, 2012


Feelin' Love - Paula Cole

You make me feel like a sticky pistil
Leaning into a stamen
You make me feel like a Mister Sunshine
Himself

You make me feel like splendor in the grass
While we're rollin'
Damn skipy baby,
you make me feel like
The Amazon's runnin' between my thighs
posted by Thorzdad at 4:23 AM on November 24, 2012


Can't link since I'm on my phone, but Dar Williams has several of these, including "Iowa," "The Ocean," and "February."
posted by lunasol at 6:42 AM on November 24, 2012


Neko Case - This Tornado Loves You
posted by oulipian at 6:56 AM on November 24, 2012


Paul Giovanni's Willow's Song from The Wicker Man.
Mississippi Delta by Bobbie Gentry (I think!)
Sally go Round the Roses by the Jaynetts.
Honeysuckle Rose by (say) Fats Waller
Nothing but Flowers by Talking Heads
The Jungle Line by Joni Mitchel
All the World is Green by Tom Waits
Águas de Março by Tom Jobim (translated lyrics)
The Wind Cries Mary by Jimmy Hendrix.
posted by rongorongo at 11:05 AM on November 24, 2012


There are a lot of songs where storms = women/relationships/emotional states. The aforementioned Neko Case, King's X's Hurricane ("She came up from the ocean, driven by the sea), John Hiatt's Loving A Hurricane (She could have rode off with some Texas tornado, some Mr. Twister she could kick up her bootheels with), Stevie Ray Vaughan's Texas Flood are just some of a few I can think of off the top of my head.
posted by PussKillian at 2:44 PM on November 24, 2012


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