Animal Tracks: Songs about animals 31

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(Note: This is a new edition of “Animal Tracks”, a series originally published on another, now-defunct website.)

In a conversation with independent singer/songwriter Sarah Blacker, Blacker posed the question: “What’s your favorite song about a pet?” That was all it took to inspire this now resurrected series “Animal Tracks.” So, without further adieu, here is the newest sampling of beast ballads, creature cuts, and other assorted animal audios in a revamp of the old series.

Note: This edition your randy writer throws a bone to a lady who requested we do it doggy-style.

“Black Dog” — Led Zeppelin

This one is by the English rock band, Led Zeppelin. The title of this song references an anonymous black labrador retriever that wandered all over the Headley Grange studios where the band was recording their fourth album nicknamed Led Zeppelin IV. This song is the 1971 album’s lead track.

“By-Tor and the Snow Dog” — Rush

The eight plus-minute song titled “By-Tor and the Snow Dog” was recorded by the Canadian rock band Rush. It inspired by a pair of dogs owned by band manager Ray Danniels nicknamed “Biter and Snow Dog” by lighting man Howard Ungerleider. The song first appeared on the 1975 release Fly By Night.

“Petunia’s Song” — LiLi Roquelin

This cute, canine composition is by French-American singer-songwriter and musician LiLi Roquelin. It’s about a popular pup named Petunia. In a recent email Roquelin explained the song’s origins. She said:

“Originally, I wrote it for the French Bulldog of comedian John Mulaney. She has an Instagram page and her pictures and posts are really cute and funny. One evening I saw that somebody had drawn her portrait on Instagram and I thought ‘Wow! How come nobody has written a song about her yet?’

She added: “So, I wrote it that night in 15 minutes. It obviously works for any dog or cat called ‘Petunia.’ A few of my fans have cats named ‘Petunia’ and they said the song is perfect for their cats.”

Roquelin concludes: “The song is in English and in French. Then later . . .I wanted to have a fully English version for the album. I found the music of the song had a vacation tone in it so I wrote a different story from it and it became ‘Getaway’.”

The song first appeared on her 2018 disc titled Be Inspired. It was also recently re-released on her new 2020 album Be Inspired (Deluxe Edition) as well.

“Put The Bone In” — Terry Jacks

This number is by Canadian singer-songwriter Terry Jacks. The song concerns a woman who pleads with a butcher for a bone she wants to take home to her pet dog who was “hit by a car.” It was included on his 1974 premiere platter Seasons In The Sun. The song was also the flip-side of his hit single the album’s title track.

“Shannon” — Henry Gross

This is a song written and recorded by American singer/songwriter Henry Gross. It was a song about the death of Beach Boy Carl Wilson’s Irish Setter named Shannon. Gross learned about the dog while on tour with the Beach Boys in 1975. The now hit single was released in 1976.

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