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Monday, October 29, 2012

The Five Best Uses of Animal Sounds in Songs

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 10:05 AM

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Wolf. Not pictured: Chinese menu. - BACCHARUS
  • Baccharus
  • Wolf. Not pictured: Chinese menu.

3. Werewolves of London, Warren Zevon People might argue that werewolves are about as real as the howl in this song's refrain, but given that it consists solely of a howl and three words, it rightly deserves a spot on this list. And talk about staying power: This song bit into the Top 40 and didn't let go for six weeks in 1978, a time before werewolves were concerned with impressing girls named Bella, perfect hair notwithstanding. Kid Rock, everyone's second-favorite hoosier from the Detroit area (haha, just kidding, Ted Nugent!), ripped off sampled this track in 2008 for his hit "All Summer Long," which is the musical equivalent of mixing Grey Goose with off-brand orange juice.

2. Sleigh Ride, various artists Clip-clop, clip-clop, clip-clop, clip-clop, horses, horses, horses, horses, overandoverandoverandover. The sound of hooves keep a steady pace throughout many versions of "Sleigh Ride," and, if you're listening to a lyric-less version, might even take center stage. It's kind of terrifying, really. Because the clip-clops seem to steadily gain speed throughout the song, like your own quickening pulse and the days leading up to Christmas, until you have a nervous breakdown in Target choosing between this strand of lights (it's longer, pricey, but all white) or that one (shorter, but multicolored and cheaper) all while shopping for a present for that one niece whom you don't even like. A sleigh ride to the psych unit, this one.

1. Chicken Train, Ozark Mountain Daredevils "Missouri Waltz" (sample lyric: "Hear that mournful melody/It just haunts you the whole day long") has enjoyed a 60-odd year run as the state song. But it's also kind of a drag. Besides, hearing it doesn't make you a real Missourian, but this does: Listening to the Ozark Mountain Daredevils' 1973 song "Chicken Train" (sample lyric: "Chicken train, running all day/I can't get on, I can't get off/Chicken train, take your chickens away") on eight-track tape in a rickety boat skidding across one of the state's many lakes and rivers. Though OMD found more widespread success with its songs "Jackie Blue" and "If You Wanna Get to Heaven," "Chicken Train," with its Jew's harp/harmonica/clucking-chicken triad, is the far superior tune. Plus, it'd be badass to hear your state song on KSHE.


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