11 Of The Best Songs About Cows

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Cows are one of nature’s gentlest and laziest creatures around. These beautiful beasts are content to lay around, graze, and take in the sun all day. It’s no surprise that cows’ behavior, looks, and disposition has inspired many songs.

Whether the cow is used as an analogy or involves an actual cow, many songs incorporate this farm animal seamlessly.

We’ve gathered 11 of the best songs about cows that you need to hear. Read on to learn all about these bovine-themed songs.

1. “MOOO!” By Doja Cat

The 2018 megahit “MOOO!” by Doja Cat is one of the more literal examples of a song about cows. The song went viral thanks to its silly lyrics, infectious beat, and ability to be laughed at.

Doja Cat has openly stated that there is no deeper meaning to the song. She initially released it as a joke that she recorded in her bedroom. The song went viral across social media and helped propel the singer’s career.

The song’s lyrics are fun-loving and ridiculous. It features a chorus that repeats, “Bitch I’m a cow, MOO,” and jokes about the products that come from a cow.

Related: Next, read our list of famous songs about animals here.

2. “Black Cow” By Steely Dan

The 1977 single “Black Cow” is the opening track for Steely Dan‘s album Aja. The black cow referenced in the song refers to a few things: a drink, bad habits, and a dissolving relationship.

A “Black Cow” is a drink similar to a root beer float, though it contains chocolate ice cream and coca-cola. The drink is typically a cocktail and includes either bourbon or a coffee liqueur.

The song is told from the perspective of a man who recognizes that his girlfriend’s bad habits will never end. He tells her repeatedly to “drink your black cow” and leave because he’s tired of putting up with her behavior.

3. “Cow Cow Boogie” By Ella Fitzgerald And The Ink Spots

This gentle, swingy version of “Cow Cow Boogie” from Ella Fitzgerald and The Ink Spots perfectly showcases the country-boogie genre. Country boogie combines the roots of jazz and blues music with country rhythm and themes.

The song is all about a cowboy singing a peculiar tune. Although cowboys are often associated with horses, the name points toward a legacy of cowboys working on cattle ranches with cows.

The “Cow Cow Boogie” that the cowboy in the song sings is a simple tune that shows off the mix of big-city blues and down-home country music.

4. “Cow Patti” By Jim Stafford

Our next song is from singer-songwriter and comedian Jim Stafford. “Cow Patti” is an example of an original parody song. Stafford wrote it for Clint Eastwood’s 1980 movie Any Which Way You Can, an action-packed flick with comedic themes.

The song’s lyrics are a parody of classic western films. This includes the narrative of a gunfight between the key characters. The main character is “Cow Patti,” a cowgirl determined to get revenge for her father’s murder.

The name “Cow Patti” is a play on actual cow patties. These are large piles of cow feces. In the song, the killer slips on something on the ground, which could be a cow pattie.

5. “Cows With Guns” By Dana Lyons

When Dana Lyons sings about cows with guns in this 1996 song, he is literally singing about cows with guns. Like “Cow Patti” by Jim Stafford, “Cows with Guns” is a comedic song meant to inspire giggles from the audience.

The song features an old country-western feel. Lyons uses a traditional lilting, monotone voice that old western songs are known for. In this classic song, the lyrics come off as serious and deep, though the actual words blow that open quickly.

 The lyrics focus on a cow that overcomes the meat industry with a gun and leads a revolution. We assure you, you’ll have fun listening to the cows’ adventures.

6. “Home On The Range” By Bing Crosby

The cowboy song “Home on the Range” is often considered one of the classic folk songs of the American west. Bing Crosby recorded his version of the song in 1933, 1938, and 1939.

“Home on the Range” was a poem from Dr. Brewster Higley long before it was a song. But many people quickly put music to the lovely words. The song is all about how beautiful the western United States appeared to new eyes and the yearning for a home there.

The song was especially popular among ranchers and cattle herders. This is because the prospect of keeping cows is a major draw that the west offers.

7. “Out On The Western Plain” By Rory Gallagher

Listening to “Out On the Western Plain,” you’d probably assume that Rory Gallagher was from Louisiana or Mississippi. He mastered the rhythm and heart of blues rock, but you’ll be surprised to hear this artist was from Ireland.

The song focuses on the simple and classic theme of cowboys riding out in the Western plains of America. The lyrics have a few western references, including famous cowboy and outlaw Jesse James.

In one of the songs with “cows” in the lyrics, the chorus contains a “cow call.” This is a standard addition to cowboy songs made up of “yik” or “yi.” However, no one’s sure if this actually worked in calling cows.

8. “For All the Cows” By Foo Fighters

Yet another song with “cows” in the title is “For All the Cows” by Foo Fighters. The band is founded in Seattle in the ’90s and is known for grunge and hard rock music with punk themes. “For All the Cows” is a little strange for the Foo Fighters. The lyrics are mostly nonsense.

The main throughline in this song is “words that rhyme.” Thus, chunks of the song devolve into strings of words that rhyme. Take, for example, one chunk that includes the words “all, “doll, “walls,” and “fall.”

Among the nonsense is a theme, though, as the song talks about defying expectations. The cow theme seems to refer to the idea of a “cash cow,” someone that can be squeezed for profit, and the expectation that comes with that.

9. “Get Along Little Doggies” By Chris LeDoux

Up next is a classic example of a working cowboy’s song. “Get Along Little Doggies” combines story with country themes. The song is originally a country folk tune that got passed along through word of mouth. This version from rodeo champion Chris LeDoux got released in 1979.

The song is all about the life of a cowboy on a farm. The phrase “get along, little doggies” is a cowboy idiom that people could say while rounding up a cattle herd.

Don’t be confused by “little doggies” in the lyrics. They do not refer to dogs, but to either all of the cows or the small calves that were often stragglers.

10. “Cows Come Home” By Boomgates

Farm animals have inspired many metaphors over the years. These include “as stubborn as a bull” and “like a fox in a henhouse.” The song “Cows Come Home” is a song that mentions “cows” as a metaphor for something. The song came from the Australian garage-rock band Boomgates.

The phrase “cows come home” or “until the cows come home” refers to something taking an exceptionally long time. The saying is based on the notorious slowness and laziness of cows.

If you wait for a cow to come home on its own, you’ll likely be waiting forever. Boomgates perfectly encapsulated this in this song about waiting and languishing.

11. “Milk Cow Blues” By The Kinks

Last but not least is “Milk Cow Blues.” This is a classic blues rock song written and released by American artist Kokomo Arnold. This version from The Kinks shortens the song. However, they amped up the British and American blues fusion that was all the rage in 1965.

The song is about a man losing his girlfriend and likening it to losing a milk cow. Comparing dairy cows to girlfriends and wives was a common theme in old western and country tracks.

The version from The Kinks focuses entirely on the relationship and how hard it is to be with someone with whom you can’t seem to get along.

Summing Up Our List Of Cow Songs

It’s surprising to know that there are plenty of songs written about these lumbering animals. Cows may not seem like a particularly deep or meaningful subject to base a song around.

But surprise, surprise, we are mistaken, as our list above showed you. We hope you’re surprised as well to see just how many excellent songs there are about cows.

If you’re a cow fanatic or just wondering about obscure song subjects, you’ll need to add these songs to your playlist immediately.

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.