27 Best Songs About The Jungle

“Monkey Man” by The Rolling Stones

Song Year: 1969

Keith Richards and Mick Jagger collaborated on “Monkey Man” in 1969.

Its lyrics famously perplexed listeners because they are full of plays on words and encoded messages. Many attempts to parse “Monkey Man” led to people concluding the song was covertly about illicit drug use.

But according to the artists, it was at least partially a tribute to Mario Schifano.

However you interpret “Monkey Man,” it’s not an obvious song about the jungle. But its wild monkey antics earn it a place on this list.

“Jungle Boy” by John Eddie

Song Year: 1986

John Eddie’s “Jungle Boy” went straight to the top of the charts when it was first released. Like many songs about the jungle, the jungle is another metaphorical landscape.

The speaker talks about feeling trapped by the confines of home life and longing to be wild and independent.

The lyrics also explore a fractious relationship. The young couple in the song seems happy, but their parents disapprove of the match. This adds to the sense of constraint the speaker struggles with.

The lyrics make frequent references to wildness and cages. The “Jungle Boy” of the title is the speaker himself, doing what he can to live the life he wants with the woman he loves. Even if that means deserting society as he knows it.

“Jungle Rock” by Hank Mizell

Song Year: 1976

Jungles and dancing combine in “Jungle Rock.”

Whereas other songs on this list deal primarily with metaphorical jungles, Mizell’s jungle is real. As he walks through it, he encounters various animals dancing.

The lyrics are incredibly playful. Mizell has fun weaving in familiar dance language, like, “cutting a rug” and “bop.”

And his animals are wonderfully anthropomorphized.

The wordplay is clever, the pace is fast-moving, and the melody’s catchy. Listen to this song, and you’ll soon find it’s not just the jungle animals dancing.

“The Elephant from Carnival of the Animals” by Zoltán Bíró

Song Year: 2008

Classical music doesn’t have many songs about the jungle. But Saints-Saens did write fourteen movements dedicated to a variety of jungle animals.

In “The Elephant,” you can hear the slow, ponderous step of the elephant as it ambles through the jungle. There’s also a swaying rhythm to this piece that echoes the movement of the elephant’s long trunk and ears.

Saint-Saens also cleverly uses the bass to add a rich, heavy-sounding tonality to the piece. It’s often comedic and popular with young listeners.

“I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” by Elton John

Song Year: 1994

“I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” isn’t a song about jungles in the technical sense. But it does prominently feature jungle animals.

It first appeared in Disney’s The Lion King, where Jason Weaver sang it. He was playing the part of lion cub Simba, and it quickly became a song beloved by the generation that grew up hearing it.

In the song, an exuberant Simba sings about his enthusiasm to someday rule the jungle. He doesn’t understand that the only way for that to happen is for him to lose his father. That gives it a touch of poignancy that children miss, but discerning adult listeners can’t help catching on to.

Despite this, it’s an essentially optimistic song.

Elton John’s 1994 rendition gives this popular song a bit more musical heft, even as it retains the irrepressible fun and energy of the original.

“Tarzan Boy” by Baltimora

Song Year: 1985

Baltimora didn’t have many hits, but the one it did have left an impression on their audience. The band is best known for the song “Tarzan Boy.”

Like Mowgli, Tarzan grows up in the jungle. In this song, he encourages listeners to abandon the clutter, bustle, and stress of city living for the simpler, if wilder, jungle lifestyle.

A significant part of the song’s appeal comes from the fantasy it paints. We all long to shuck our responsibilities and live a carefree existence. Unlike Tarzan’s boy, few of us act on that instinct.

“Jungle Jamboree” by Duke Ellington

Song Year: 1961

Let’s end with an instrumental song about the jungle. Piano-great Fats Waller collaborated with Harry Brooks to write “Jungle Jamboree.”

Here it’s performed by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.

Waller was famous for complex and unexpected jazz improvisations, and that’s vastly apparent when listening to “Jungle Jamboree.”

It’s a jazzy romp through the jungle, packed with nuanced and unlikely harmonies.

As you listen, keep an ear on what different instruments are doing and the sounds they create to create a jungle atmosphere.

Top Songs About The Jungle, Final Thoughts

By now, you have a sense of how wildly different songs about jungles can be. They span a variety of musical styles and genres.

What they have in common is the impression they make on the listener. Whether they’re jungle songs to dance to or jungle songs with a message behind them, almost all have catchy melodies that leave you singing.

Hopefully, you rediscovered an old favorite on this list of songs about the jungle, and maybe you even found a few new favorites.

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