Humans and wolves have a special relationship. Early ancestors of wolves were the animals that humans tamed and became friends with, giving us the dog breeds we know today. More than that, they are emblematic of the wild and free nature of humans, so we place those traits we wish for ourselves onto them. Simply put, they make great metaphors, which makes them easy pickings for music artists.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 25 awesome songs about wolves.
1. Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran
Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran isn’t the biggest hit on the list, but it’s definitely one of the few almost everyone has heard. It might be the most famous song about wolves that actually talks about the creatures. It’s one of those tracks without super deep meaning, with being ‘hungry like the wolf’ simply talking about having a craving or desire for something.
If you ask the band members what the song means, even they don’t have a clear picture to give you. That is honestly fine because you can howl along to this one without it needing some introspective metaphors.
2. Howl – Florence + The Machine
Do you remember those kids in high school that kept saying they were half-wolf and howled a lot? Well, we won’t be making fun of them; we’re gonna talk about how they might have been on to something. Everybody has a feral side to them, that ravenous hunger and desire that helped us survive long before we ever created society.
That’s the side of us described in Howl by Florence + The Machine, taking inspiration from classic ghost and werewolf stories to talk about the primal and vicious side that most people keep locked away.
3. The Wolf – Mumford & Sons
While it isn’t the best-known or most popular wolf song on this list, there’s a solid argument you can make about The Wolf by Mumford & Sons being the best track to appear on this list. It comes from their Wilder Mind album and is one of the few times the band taps into an intense kind of rock sound for a single. It’s got all the wolf visuals you could want, from the wolf at the door to the hunger for blood.
4. She Wolf – Shakira
Everything Shakira puts out is a hit—or it seems that way. She’s got tons of ridiculously catchy tracks, with She Wolf being one of the best-known songs to ever be written about wolves. Well, sort of. It compares empowered and ferocious women to wolves, telling the story of a woman who has broken free from a smothering partner.
5. Dancing With A Wolf – All Time Low
Dancing With A Wolf is everything great about modern All Time Low. From the angsty lyrics to the catchy hooks and synths, it’s what fans have come to expect from the band. It’s also got plenty of wolf imagery, which makes it a fun ride, especially picturing a person trying to dance with an actual wolf.
6. Furr – Blitzen Trapper
Wolves tend to spend most of their lives with one pack, their family, that supports each other in everything. Furr by Blitzen Trapper taps into that to give us the perfect song about growing up. By 17, the narrator finds his pack and runs with them, but loses his original morals. This is essentially saying that he’s gone wild, at least until he meets a girl and settles down. He retains the wild side of his youth but suppresses it most of the time.
7. The Wolves (Act I And II) – Bon Iver
Wolves are used to represent a lot of different things, but their piercing eyes are one of the most powerful images of them. Bon Iver tends to write songs with complicated meanings, but The Wolves (Act I And II) is generally considered to be about a breakup.
8. Raised By Wolves – U2
U2 has a lot of political songs, that’s no secret, and a lot of their tracks were inspired by the events around them. Raised By Wolves is mostly discussing the barbaric actions of people in Ireland during several different conflicts. Typically, asking someone if they were raised by wolves would be something like them having terrible manners. This song takes that up a notch—or three.
9. Wolves – Selena Gomez And Marshmello
The true meaning of Wolves by Selena Gomez is up for debate. It could be anything from society eating away at you to describing her struggle with lupus, but it’s one of the best modern songs about wolves to come out in recent years. Plus, seeing her team up with Marshmello was sick.
10. Wolves – Phosphorescent
Here’s another song that had a lot left up to the audience for interpretation, but if a wolf at the door is a bad thing, a wolf inside the house is even worse. Wolves by Phosphorescent is basically a cry for help. Help with what is left up to the listener, but it’s a track that can easily relate to a lot of people’s situations.
11. Wolf Moon – Neil Young + Promise Of The Real
Neil Young has always been known for songs with political slants to them, from his time producing anti-war anthems in the 60s to more modern entries about our pollution and destruction of the natural world. Wolf Moon is one of those modern tracks by him, describing the natural world in a state that sees it as vulnerable. There are fewer fish swimming around in the sea, yet it’s still holding strong against how much people plunder it.
12. Of Wolf and Man – Metallica
Of Wolf And Man is one of the few Metallica songs that are truly underrated. It’s got plenty of wolf-centric lyrics and all of the power you’d expect from a Metallica track. Overall, a truly great piece of work that unfortunately gets passed over too often.
13. The Werewolf – Paul Simon
What’s a good wolf song without a bit of howling included in it? Paul Simon used wolf howls and some slick clapping in his track The Werewolf to denote the ominous future collapse of society as we know it. Really, the song can be about plenty of things, from economic crisis to your own mortality, with the werewolf being the probable thing outside waiting to bite us all.
14. Brother Wolf; Sister Moon – The Cult
Brother Wolf; Sister Moon has all sorts of Native American vibes to it. Meant as a spiritual and profound song, it’s generally accepted that the track is about the genocide of native people in the 19th century.
15. Wolves – Kanye West
Wolves may be a Kanye West song, but he mostly repeats the same chorus throughout all of his parts. It’s the featured artists that are guests on the track that really shine, from Caroline Shaw to Sia and Frank Ocean. Dark and melodic, the song is one of his best recent releases, and thankfully, came before he went bonkers on Twitter—at least totally.
16. Running With The Wolves – AURORA
Sometimes, you just want to run off into the woods because it would probably be a more fulfilling life than the one you’ve got. I mean, technology is wonderful but the world is so full of materialism that things just don’t mean as much anymore. AURORA wrote Running With The Wolves to kind of follow wanting to get away like that. She wrote it during a blood moon as she imagined the moon turning people into wild animals and everyone running around.
17. Wolves Without Teeth – Of Monsters and Men
Real wolves can cover hundreds of miles in a few days, running around their home territories all day and night. So, it’s no wonder that a lot of songs about wolves involve running with them. Wolves Without Teeth by Of Monsters And Men is another one of those, except instead of running alongside a wolf pack, the narrator is running away from one. In this track, the wolves represent your fears and obstacles, but they can be defeated with love.
18. A Wolf At the Door – Radiohead
While wolves are often used to express freedom, they can also represent evil things. The whole phrase “a wolf at the door” is a play on the wolf knocking on the three pigs, with the wolf outside waiting to eat those inside. Radiohead used the metaphor in their song A Wolf At The Door, a track that doesn’t quite express what the wolf at the door actually is, leaving it up to the listener’s interpretations.
19. Wolves of Winter – Biffy Clyro
David Attenborough is one of the biggest names in nature productions, so it’s no surprise his work would inspire artists. Biffy Clyro loved his work so much that he wound up writing Wolves Of Winter. It’s all about the fearless attitude wolves appear to have, a rocker that will have you ready to take on the world and instill confidence in your soul.
20. She Wolf (Falling To Pieces) – David Guetta Feat. Sia
Shakira isn’t the only artist on this list to put out a song about she-wolves. David Guetta teamed up with Sia to put out their own pop hit titled She Wolf (Falling To Pieces). This one uses wolves to illustrate positive traits, from strength to love and the feeling that comes from being in touch with your wild side and using those powerful emotions for your benefit.
21. The Wolf – Eddie Vedder
Wolves represent a lot of things, with freedom, wildness, and ruthlessness chief among them. Those are all traits of nature, with wolves serving as the perfect metaphor for the few wild places left in our world. Eddie Vedder uses that exact metaphor for Wolf, a folky rock song meant for the 2007 film Into The Wild. You can hear it in the movie or on his debut solo album, with the track perfectly capturing the freedom and beauty of our natural world.
22. Wolf Like Me – TV on the Radio
Wolves might have wound up being the dogs we know today, or early ancestors of them did, but we think of wolves as wild and untamed. It’s part of people’s love for them, they’re a wild and free thing. TV On The Radio captured that side of wolves well with Wolf Like Me, a song from 2006 that would go on to become one of the band’s biggest hits.
23. Fresh Blood – Eels
Fresh Blood is a bit of a cheat when it comes to listing songs about wolves. While blood tends to be tied to wolves in a lot of media, this track doesn’t mention wolves at all. But, the album it comes from has a title that translates to Wolf Man, so that’s gotta count for something. The whole album is done from the perspective of a werewolf, including this number about the desire for blood. So, close enough.
24. Hour of the Wolf – Surf Curse
The imagery of wolves is typically fairly creepy when it’s used the right way. Apocalyptic would even be a reasonable word for it. They’re the hunters that rule when we aren’t in charge, which is the classic role they’re given. Surf Curse uses some of that imagery in Hour Of The Wolf to convey an almost hopeful emotion about the nihilistic future.
25. Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Bad Moon Rising is definitely a cheat to put on the list, but you can’t help but enjoy Creedence Clearwater Revival. The imagery of the moon is integrated into the lore of wolves, but that’s not why this one makes the list. It doesn’t mention wolves at all, but the overall vibe and moon imagery saw it find a place in the final credits of the film An American Werewolf In London, giving us just enough justification to include it on this list.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.