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Songs about insects
November 24, 2012 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Looking for songs that contain references to insects.

Asking for an entomologist friend: I am looking for songs with lyrics that contain references to insects. References to less familiar insects, such as lacewings, fleas, caddisflies, or earwigs, would be excellent!

Lyrics don't have to explicitly refer to an insect. This album is a good example - each song is about an insect but they aren't always named.

I've seen this question. Thanks!
posted by elerina to Media & Arts (68 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Cruella DeVille from 101 Dalmations has a line that compares the title character to a spider watching you from underneath a rock. There's also another Disney song called "The Ugly Bug Ball" that I can't quite remember the source for. Maybe those two would apply?
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:54 AM on November 24, 2012


Well, you certainly have to start with Adam and the Ants' Antmusic (or Ants Invasion, if you want to avoid the obvious hit).
posted by scody at 11:03 AM on November 24, 2012


Queens of the Stone Age – Mosquito Song
Hawksley Workman – Baby Mosquito
posted by Johnny Assay at 11:06 AM on November 24, 2012


2 lovely songs by Devandra Banhart, "Lazy Butterfly" and one of the sweetest songs ever, "Dragonflies".
posted by nathancaswell at 11:07 AM on November 24, 2012


The Bug (Dire Straits)
posted by thisclickableme at 11:07 AM on November 24, 2012


Also, from one of my favourite albums ever, The Carpet Crawlers.
posted by thisclickableme at 11:09 AM on November 24, 2012


Beeswing (not really about bees) and Boris the Spider are the two that come to mind immediately. Weezer has a song about butterflies. My two favorites are by The Presidents of the United States of America: Dune Buggy and Boll Weevil.
posted by jessamyn at 11:10 AM on November 24, 2012


Humble Bee by John Westley Harding. Shattered by The Rolling Stones mentions bedbugs.
posted by PussKillian at 11:13 AM on November 24, 2012


Bob Dylan's "Day of the Locusts"
u2's "The Fly"
posted by mrmarley at 11:13 AM on November 24, 2012


The Caterpillar by The Cure.
posted by rongorongo at 11:14 AM on November 24, 2012


Mayfly by Rasputina
posted by xchmp at 11:16 AM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


If non-english songs are ok, there's El Grillo by Josquin de Prez.

Fly on a Plane by Christine Lavin is funny and cute.

And there's a site devoted to insects in rock music.

These are all kids songs, educational and sort of on the fringes of what you are referring to, but could be fun.
posted by bunderful at 11:16 AM on November 24, 2012


Birds do it, bees do it, even educated FLEAS do it...

We brave
bee stings and all
and we
don't dive
we
cannonball


Those were the first two that sprung to mind. Though I don't know that they are "about" insects so much as they mention them prominently.
posted by Sara C. at 11:16 AM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


One more:

I'm not sure whether Mirah's "Light the Match" is actually about moths, per se, but it's a very mothy song.
posted by Sara C. at 11:19 AM on November 24, 2012


Ween - Tick
posted by Lorin at 11:20 AM on November 24, 2012


"Song of Purple Summer," from the musical Spring Awakening, contains this lyric: "The earth will wave with corn / The grey fly choir will mourn."
posted by southern_sky at 11:20 AM on November 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Someone Saved My Life Tonight, Elton John: "You're a butterfly, and butterflies are free to fly, fly away, high away, bye bye"

The Mercy Seat, Nick Cave: "Like a moth that tries to enter the bright eye, I go shuffling out of life just to hide in death a while"

Fly on a Windshield, Genesis: "I'm hovering like a fly, waiting for the windshield on the freeway"

The Bug, Dire Straits: "Sometimes you're the windshield; sometimes you're the bug"

No lyrics, but honorable mention: Flight of the Bumblebee, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

The Lake Isle of Innisfree, lyrics by William Butler Yeats, not clear to me who set it to music: Two different references "Nine bean rows will I have there, and a hive for the honeybee, and live alone in the bee-loud glade"; "And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow; dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings"
posted by Flunkie at 11:20 AM on November 24, 2012


Ween also has Bumblebee.
They Might Be Giants has Ant.
Weezer's All My Friends Are Insects.
posted by neilbert at 11:26 AM on November 24, 2012


Human Fly
Buzzin Fly
The Fly
Dragonfly
Butterfly
Blue Tail Fly
Superfly
posted by rongorongo at 11:26 AM on November 24, 2012


A few oldies for you:

"A Sleepin' Bee" from House of Flowers
"Glow Worm"
"Inchworm" From Hans Christian Andersen
posted by zorseshoes at 11:26 AM on November 24, 2012


The Cramps - Human Fly
Chris Ligon - Buglight
posted by hydrophonic at 11:28 AM on November 24, 2012


Bees, by Laura Cantrell, is lovely.

I've also always been fond of Ladybugs' Picnic, if you don't mind it only being a minute long.

And there's Spanish Flea from 1966--not just for Homer Simpson anymore!
posted by theatro at 11:32 AM on November 24, 2012


Don Dixon: Praying Mantis
posted by adamrice at 11:32 AM on November 24, 2012


Owl City, "Fireflies".
posted by magicbus at 11:33 AM on November 24, 2012


Wire - I Am the Fly
Belle & Sebastian - Mayfly
Depeche Mode - Fly on the Windscreen
posted by dayintoday at 11:34 AM on November 24, 2012


Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug
posted by kamikazegopher at 11:36 AM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sufjan Stevens - The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades

American Music Club - Firefly
posted by vers at 11:37 AM on November 24, 2012


Hey There Little Insect - The Modern Lovers
posted by yellowbinder at 11:38 AM on November 24, 2012


Andrew Bird - Masterswarm (lyrics)
posted by vers at 11:42 AM on November 24, 2012


Admiral Fallow - Beetle in the Box
Arnaldo Antunes - O Mosquito (translation)
The Fall - Aphid
posted by hydrophonic at 11:42 AM on November 24, 2012


Flaming Lips | The Spiderbite Song
B-52's | Junebug
posted by smirkette at 11:48 AM on November 24, 2012


Funkadelic - Maggot Brain
Vashti Bunyan - Timothy Grub, Glow Worms
posted by hydrophonic at 11:50 AM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Bugs" by pearl Jam
"Lucky Ladybug" by The Four Seasons (also covered by indie band Guv'ner)
posted by TheCavorter at 11:50 AM on November 24, 2012


Oh, almost forgot 100,000 Fireflies
posted by bunderful at 11:50 AM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Attack of the Giant Ants by Blondie.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:53 AM on November 24, 2012


Not exactly about insects per se, but The Insect God by the Monks of Doom would make a cool and morbidly humorous end to whatever you're preparing.
posted by elendil71 at 11:55 AM on November 24, 2012


They Might Be Giants - Ant
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:55 AM on November 24, 2012


Robyn Hitchcock, Antwoman
posted by Nomyte at 12:01 PM on November 24, 2012


Clientele - Lacewings
Wire - I Am the Fly
Incredible String Band - Cousin Caterpillar
The Judge n' Jury: Roaches
posted by ryanshepard at 12:03 PM on November 24, 2012


Ivor Cutler - I Believe in Bugs (and also Squeeze Bees).
posted by scruss at 12:19 PM on November 24, 2012


Bill Bailey - Insect Nation.
posted by penguinliz at 12:26 PM on November 24, 2012


Would You Like to Swing on a Star is practically a musical menagerie. My dad used to sing it to me and I occasionally sign it to the dog. With dog lyrics.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:40 PM on November 24, 2012


Delerium - Euphoria (Firefly)
posted by cali59 at 12:58 PM on November 24, 2012


Insects Are All Around Us by Money Mark
posted by Brody's chum at 1:08 PM on November 24, 2012


Sheryl Crow - If it makes you Happy

...put on a poncho, play for mosquitos...
posted by yoga at 1:14 PM on November 24, 2012


Insects by Oingo Boingo.
posted by wobh at 1:59 PM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Insect - James
posted by crocomancer at 2:31 PM on November 24, 2012


Squash That Fly - Fu Manchu
The entire Mosquito Control EP by Isis.
posted by gally99 at 2:44 PM on November 24, 2012


Joanna Newsome sings a song about moths called Cosmia.
posted by bricksNmortar at 4:24 PM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


One more: I Know An Old Woman Who Swallowed A Fly just because it's sweet as hell.
posted by vers at 5:29 PM on November 24, 2012


Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars is a song about a band called 'the Spiders From Mars', not actual spiders.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 5:47 PM on November 24, 2012


La Cucaracha!
posted by gingerbeer at 7:57 PM on November 24, 2012


Funkier than a Mosquito's Tweeter by Ike and Tina Turner
posted by dmo at 7:59 PM on November 24, 2012


Flyswatter, by the Eels
"Field mice, head lice
Spiders in the kitchen
Don't think twice 'bout
Whatever keeps you itchin'"
posted by gingerbeer at 8:00 PM on November 24, 2012


No insect-related lyrics (that I can tell anyway) but there's Great Spangled Fritillary by Cocteau Twins
posted by dmo at 8:04 PM on November 24, 2012


If this source and a transcription in the comments can be believed, the lyrics to Cocteau Twins Melonella are mostly made up of family names in the order lepidoptera
posted by dmo at 8:18 PM on November 24, 2012


The most famous canadian insect=related song [I think] is this song about north ontar-i-o

I also think that your entomologist friend will shudder a little at every 'bug' mention that isn't about the Hemiptera
posted by Acari at 10:12 PM on November 24, 2012


These Birds of a Feather beat me to it. I also came in here to recommend Ugly Bug Ball from Disney's Summer Magic. Burl Ives is singing this to a little boy who looks just like The Beaver. That's because it's Jerry's little brother Jimmy.
posted by marsha56 at 10:25 PM on November 24, 2012


"Misery Is a Butterfly" by Blonde Redhead
posted by milk white peacock at 10:46 PM on November 24, 2012


I like bugs Yo Gabba Gabba

"Bees make honey, they don't do it for money, and ants in your pants will surely make you dance."
posted by pick_the_flowers at 11:07 PM on November 24, 2012


Oh, you need Song from Under the Floorboards by Magazine!

The chorus goes:

This is a song from under the floorboards

This is a song from where the wall is cracked

By force of habit, I am an insect

I have to confess I'm proud as hell of that fact

(It's also been covered beautifully by Morrissey and My Friend the Chocolate Cake, among others).
posted by embrangled at 2:25 AM on November 25, 2012


Another Ivor Cutler track: Yellow Fly
Insects by Altered Images

And - since I am suggesting a list of Scottish-orginated songs about insects I have to add The Midges by Kenneth McKellar
posted by rongorongo at 2:44 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kids of Whidney High - Insects
Sean McCollough - I like bugs
posted by stinker at 3:59 AM on November 25, 2012


Wire's "Outdoor Miner" is about the Serpentine Leaf Miner.
posted by neroli at 10:28 AM on November 25, 2012


Mirah and Spectratone International's Fabre-inspired
Share This Place: Stories and Observations
posted by progosk at 2:01 PM on November 25, 2012


Ziggy Marley's Dragonfly

"Hey Miss Dragonfly, I see you look at me with your beautiful eyes. You must be wondering what type of creature am I."
posted by booth at 6:09 PM on November 25, 2012


another Dragonfly
posted by scody at 8:11 PM on November 25, 2012


Thanks for your answers, everyone! We honestly weren't expecting this many responses. I've marked best answer for the ones she used in her playlist but she enjoyed listening to them all!
posted by elerina at 10:54 PM on November 25, 2012


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