27 Best Songs About The Jungle

No two songs about the jungle are the same; some incorporate animal sounds, while others are about metaphorical jungles rather than literal ones.

Some songs are playful, and others convey meaningful messages. All of them are fascinating in their own right. Here are some of the best songs about the jungle.

“Jungleland” by Bruce Springsteen

Song Year: 1975

Springsteen’s jungle is an atypical one. “Jungleland” is peopled not with animals, but with society’s misfits.

Even so, their names evoke the jungle. You half expect “Barefoot Girl” and “Magic Rat” to start swinging through the trees and slithering through tall grasses.

“Jungleland” has more nuance than that. It uses intricate orchestration and a compelling narrative to explore New Jersey’s Street life and the problems people living there face.

It’s a surprising song in more ways than one and incredibly moving.

“Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns ‘N Roses

Song Year: 1987

Guns ‘N Roses’ single “Welcome to the Jungle” is another song about the jungle that isn’t really about jungles.

When Axl Rose wrote it, he wanted to explore the darker side of Los Angeles. The city became a metaphorical jungle in the song and enabled Rose to explore how the search for fame and glamor goes amok for so many people.

 “Pools” by Glass Animals

Song Year: 2014

One of the most striking songs about the jungle is “Pools” by the Glass Animals. As the song starts, the band uses a variety of sounds and instruments to evoke animals waking up.

But it doesn’t stay somnambulant for long. “Pools” quickly picks up the pace, and the result is a piece with a vibrant and frenetic jungle sound.

“Jungle Love” by The Time

Song Year: 2001

This song about the jungle was one of the first songs produced by the short-lived band The Time.

It’s also one of their most popular pieces. “Jungle Love” was so successful that Prince, a former member of The Time, later used it as part of the soundtrack for the film Purple Rain.

Popular though “Jungle Love” was, it wasn’t subtle. It’s an unapologetic expression of carnal love. It’s a bit dangerous, a bit flirtatious, and full of jungle sounds that underscore the melody.

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens

Song Year: 1961

‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ is one of the most successful and recognizable songs about the jungle ever recorded.

Regrettably, the song’s creator, Solomon Linda, did not enjoy any of the success. Linda recorded the song as “Mbube.” It was a traditional Zulu song and would have fallen into obscurity if folk collector Alan Lomax hadn’t discovered the song.

Lomax gave the song to Pete Seeger, who recorded it with The Weavers as “Wimoweh,” and that’s how most North Americans know it.

But Seeger wasn’t the only person to see the brilliance behind the music, and The Tokens version quickly outperformed others.

“Stranded in the Jungle” by The Cadets

Song Year: 1956

There are elements of the story told in “Stranded in the Jungle” that devotees of the hit TV show Lost will recognize. A plane crash strands a young man in a jungle. He then spends years trying to return to the woman he loves. She, meanwhile, has given him up for dead.

But the Cadets recorded “Stranded in the Jungle” back in 1956, long before Lost was on anyone’s horizon.

The song is deservedly well-remembered. It’s jazzy and catchy, and it only takes a minute for anyone to pick the melody up.

“Run Through the Jungle” by Creedence Clearwater

Song Year: 1970

Like other songs about the jungle on this list, Clearwater’s “Run Through the Jungle” opens with several sounds that immediately invoke a jungle atmosphere.

Because the song debuted in the 1970s alongside a plethora of anti-war songs, many people perceived the song as another of the musician’s protests against the Vietnam War.

But talking about “Run Through the Jungle” after the fact, songwriter John Fogerty clarified his song’s message. It wasn’t about Vietnam; It was about gun availability in America. 

“Jungle” by The Electric Light Orchestra

Song Year: 1977

The Electric Light Orchestra’s “Jungle” is another song about jungles that uses the jungle metaphorically.

In the song, the speaker becomes increasingly aware that animals have a better appreciation for the earth than man. Despite all our evolution, we still don’t grasp the joy or beauty at our fingertips. Worse still, the prospect of that beauty vanishing doesn't phase us.

“Concrete Jungle” by Bob Marley

Song Year: 1973

“Concrete Jungle” is another song about the jungle, but this one is famously open to interpretation.

Many listeners see the titular concrete jungle as a reference to Marley’s upbringing in a Jamaican ghetto. But others see it as even more metaphorical. They argue it represents the mental jungles we find ourselves in when we end up on a path that’s not right for us.

However, you interpret “Concrete Jungle” its an undeniably moving composition.

“Jungle” by The X Ambassadors and Jamie N Commons 

Song Year: 2015

“Jungle” is a cross-continental collaboration between the American rock band X Ambassadors and British rocker Jamie N Commons.

It combines a heavily percussive sound with softer humming and belting vocals. It’s an unlikely but effective mix. Discussing the song after the fact, one of the contributors admitted the “Jungle” of the title was more symbolic than literal.

They wanted to create an artistic sound that would resonate with listeners who hadn’t enjoyed privileged upbringings. 

The song also takes inspiration from the experiences of a partially-sighted band member’s struggles while living in New York.

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