19 Of The Best Songs About Wolves

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Wolves are some of the most mysterious wild animals. However, they can also be scary since they’re fast and often hungry.

People love wolves’ power, especially considering how some cultures respect and worship the wolf. They also play prominent roles in many myths and fairy tales.

When you broaden the scope to include werewolves, good wolf songs have a lot of potential to create an empowering playlist. If you want to listen to music that feels powerful and mythological, check out these 19 of the best songs about wolves.

1. “Hungry Like The Wolf” By Duran Duran

English new wave band Duran Duran began in 1978 in Birmingham. Thanks to “Hungry Like the Wolf,” the group had one of their biggest hits.

The song is from the 1982 album Rio, though the band also released popular dance remixes of the single on the EP Carnival. “Hungry Like the Wolf” skyrocketed to the charts thanks to the cinematic video that got heavy airplay on MTV.

The lyrics pull inspiration from the classic fairy tale of “The Little Red Riding Hood.” In the song, the singer is hunting the woman he wants, chasing her because she gave him a sign that she wants him too. The chase spans the entire song, conveying suspense and thrills.

2. “Werewolves Of London” By Warren Zevon

Singer-songwriter Warren Zevon previously wrote jingles for commercials. He worked with Linda Ronstadt as a solo artist, and that collaboration, along with “Werewolves of London,” brought him into mainstream music. This single was from his third album, Excitable Boy, released in 1978.

The use of werewolves in “Werewolves of London” is metaphorical. Zevon comments on people he sees walking around London streets, doing normal things. You’ll never know they’re werewolves inside because they’re well-dressed and look perfect.

They eat Chinese food and drink piña coladas but are keen on preying on the old women and taking advantage of them. The singer goes on to advise the listeners to stay away from these types of people.

3. “The Wolf” By Mumford & Sons

British folk band Mumford & Sons released the single “The Wolf” from the 2015 album Wilder Mind. The song represents a departure from the band’s folk roots, as they use more electric instruments, which nicely compliments the wolf theme and gives the song a rough sound.

The lyrics of the song are suspenseful, talking of a frightened, wide-eyed person who’s been “weighed” and “found wanting.” It mentions a wolf, possibly another person, waiting to be allowed in (perhaps into that person’s life), and the singer advises against it.

There’s also sadness as the singer expresses that the subject of the song was all he ever wanted, but he’s forgotten as she tries to move on.

4. “Wolves Without Teeth” By Of Monsters And Men

“Wolves without Teeth” was released by Icelandic indie band Of Monsters and Men as a single from their second album, Beneath the Skin, in 2015. It’s a duet between Ragnar þórhallsson and Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir.

The song is mysterious and emotional, starting with þórhallsson letting Hilmarsdóttir know of his feelings about her; the latter then reciprocates, letting him know the feeling is mutual.

Their relationship must have encountered some problems because together, in the chorus, they state they run from wolves without teeth. This is a metaphor for whatever is hunting and tearing them down; it’s basically not doing any harm. Their love is stronger than the negative they’re experiencing.

5. “The Werewolf” By Paul Simon

Paul Simon is a singer-songwriter best known as half of Simon & Garfunkel, a popular folk-rock duo in the 1960s. In the 1970s, Simon went solo and continued to release music and tour. “The Werewolf” is a single from his 2016 album Stranger to Stranger.

A lot is said in “The Werewolf,” wherein this mythical animal is used metaphorically for the bad things to come. It talks of greed, death, and life and how the latter is a lottery—we don’t know if we win, but most often than not, we lose.

Thus the singer reminds the listeners that the werewolf is coming. It could be anything and come so unexpectedly, so it’s best we should prepare and not wait for it to bite.

6. “Howl” By Florence & The Machine

London indie rock band Florence + the Machine released “Howl” in their debut album, Lungs. The song itself didn’t gain much attention, but the album won British Album of the Year.

In first-person perspective, the singer is telling her lover how his voice turns her blood hot—in a sensual way. He’s turning her into a beast, pushing her to claw into his body and take ownership.

She likens herself to a werewolf, and her partner is the moon which makes her want to transform into an extremely passionate beast, and in the end, nothing can hold her back.

7. “Wolves” By Selena Gomez And Marshmello

Pop singer Selena Gomez got her start on Barney and Friends and Disney shows. The actress started making music in 2008. “Wolves” is a collaboration with her producer, Marshmello, and was released as a single in 2017.

The song has an electronic feel that resembles 1980s pop, but the lyrics are very deep. Gomez sings about running with wolves and experiencing hardships to get close to their love. After experiencing so much heartbreak with the wrong people, Gomez relishes the feeling of her partner’s fingers on her skin.

“Wolves” is one of Gomez’s top hits, which landed on #1 and #2 on Billboard‘s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and UK Dance charts, respectively.

8. “Wolf” By First Aid Kit

Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg make up the folk group First Aid Kit. In 2012, “Wolf” became the bonus track on their album The Lion’s Roar. The lyrics pull from a Swedish myth that wolves seduce humans and pull them into dark swamps, where humans face their past disgraces.

With that in mind, this beautiful song becomes very emotional. Lines address how the trees died, and the river dried up, mirroring the impact humans have on Mother Earth. Alternating verses address Wolf-mother and Wolf-father, asking what caused them to change.

9. “Werewolf” By Cat Power

Singer-songwriter Cat Power initially used her name for a band, then continued using it once she went solo. She recorded “Werewolf” for her 2003 album You Are Free. The song is a cover, originally by Michael Hurley.

The lyrics paint the picture of a mysterious werewolf who comes and goes without leaving a trace. The singer saw him in the moonlight with bats surrounding him and felt consumed with love.

As with many of the metaphors here, the werewolf represents how people hide parts of themselves and can be misunderstood, but with a partner, you should be your true self.

10. “She Wolf (Falling To Pieces)” By David Guetta Ft. Sia

French music producer and DJ David Guetta collaborated with Australian singer Sia for our next song. “She Wolf (Falling to Pieces)” was a single from Guetta’s 2011 album Nothing but the Beat.

The singer feels hunted, like an unwanted wolf, but also refers to another woman as a she-wolf who has brought her to her knees. From the line “Was I bait to pull you in,” we take it that she was used by this she-wolf to get close to someone the singer loved.

When the singer least expected it, they abandoned her, and now she’s “falling to pieces.” The music video resembles a contemporary fairy tale, with a wolf being hunted throughout it, but it turns into a woman at the end when she has defeated her foes.

11. “Wolf At The Door” By Radiohead

English alternative rock band Radiohead grabbed the spotlight with their 1992 debut single “Creep.” A little over a decade later, they dropped Hail to the Thief, which contained one of their little-known songs called “Wolf at the Door.”

The lyrics reference fairy tales, children’s games, and everyday life but with a deeper, darker meaning. The song mentions “wolf” as a metaphor for a threat that is hovering over the singer.

He laments about trying to keep this wolf at bay, but it finds another way. The threats escalate to kidnapping children and killing them if the cops get involved, making “Wolf at the Door” very suspenseful.

12. “The Wolf” By The Spencer Lee Band

LA-based Spencer Lee Band is a music group that provides music for TV shows and movies. “The Wolf” was on the soundtrack for the Fifty Shades Freed movie, released in 2018. Just as the movie portrays a hot and heavy romance, the song harnesses that passion in the lyrics.

Lines in this song talk about losing control over their partner’s body and feeling so obsessed with them that he’s howling out her name. This degree of love makes the singer transform figuratively and let the wolf out to “feel the vibes” and misbehave tonight.

13. “Wolf Like Me” By TV On The Radio

American rock band TV on the Radio released their 2006 song “Wolf Like Me” as a single from their second album, Return to Cookie Mountain. The song was a hit, particularly in the UK, because of its powerful energy and haunting lyrics.

The lyrics to “Wolf Like Me” talks about breaking free from tragedy and ancient curses to escape. The singer longs for a “playmate” who understands what he’s feeling and be with them during his transformation (of breaking free). His body and mind change, and together with his playmate, they howl forever.

The song, though the lyrics might sound deep and dark, is simply a reminder we should be who we want to be. The going might get tough though, so it’s best to have someone who understands you for the rough ride.

14. “The Wolves” By Ben Howard

English singer-songwriter Ben Howard began performing professionally in 2008 but debuted with the album Every Kingdom in 2011. The album contained our next song, “The Wolves.”

“The Wolves” is an upbeat folk song that harnesses a fairy tale vibe to tell a story about human nature. “Wolves” in the lyrics is used to describe the fighting among men and how it’s hard to trust others.

The lyrics touch on feeling lonely, even though there are people all around. It also touches upon how people lose faith because the news we hear is often disappointing and how life, in general, is a struggle for many.

15. “She Wolf” By Shakira

Queen of Latin Music Shakira is a Colombian singer who achieved worldwide fame due to her versatility in performing many different musical genres. “She Wolf” is a single from her eighth album, released in 2009, with the same title.

The lyrics call attention to a she wolf in disguise; this woman is special and demands attention and respect. The song then shifts as Shakira alludes to a domesticated woman who is truly a wolf in the closet wanting to escape and roam the neighborhood in the moonlight.

It alludes that a woman shouldn’t be stuck being unhappy in her home life. She should be free of whatever preconceived notions are of what a woman, wife, or mother should be.

16. “Of Wolf And Man” By Metallica

Heavy metal band Metallica formed in 1981, and today, they are still going strong. “Of Wolf and Man” came from their 1991 self-titled album, also known as the Black Album.

While the band’s first four albums were thrash metal, this release had a more refined sound, which went nicely with the wolf theme in this single.

While many wolf songs on this list address the animal as an independent creature and liken it to a human’s personality, Metallica gets inside the wolf’s mind and body. The lyrics take the listener through an adventure of hunting through the early morning mist and sniffing the wind to find the next meal.

17. “Lil’ Red Riding Hood” By Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs

What better story would have a wolf in it than “The Little Red Riding Hood”? But that was from Little Red’s perspective. What if we looked at it from the Wolf’s point of view? That’s where Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs‘ song “Lil’ Red Riding Hood” comes in.

Released in 1966 in their album of the same name, “Lil’ Red Riding Hood” is a fun little song recalling the Wolf’s meeting with Little Red in the woods. For him, she was so pretty, with full lips and big eyes, he couldn’t resist her. So to protect Little Red, the Wolf accompanied her to Grandma’s house.

He tried to be satisfied just walking beside her, but she was “everything that a big bad wolf could want.” The Wolf probably couldn’t resist because we all know what happened in the end.

18. “The Wolves” By Bon Iver

Indie folk band from Wisconsin Bon Iver released “The Wolves” off their debut 2007 album, For Emma, Forever Ago. The band produced the album themselves, then released it through a label in 2008.

The inspiration for the song came from a trip the lead singer, Justin Vernon, took to his father’s hunting cabin. The song has haunting lyrics most commonly thought to address a recent breakup.

The singer is hurt and watching his former love with wild wolves (perhaps referring to other men) surrounding her. By the end of the song, he laments about what he had lost but tries to forget her and move on.

19. “Running With The Wolves” By Aurora

We close this list with another song with “wolves” in the title. “Running with the Wolves” by Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora was released in 2016 in her album All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend.

Aurora’s tinkling voice lends this song an ethereal vibe. In it, the singer laments we’re running out of time. While her heart still beats, and her lungs are still breathing, so she is going to run with the wolves.

It sounds very cryptic, doesn’t it? But for the singer, it’s symbolic. It’s telling us we should let go of our obsession with modern technology and be more in touch with nature.

Summing Up Our List Of Songs About Wolves

There are plenty of songs about wolves. Most, however, use wolves to metaphorically liken their raw power and viciousness to human nature.

These songs also inspire people to harness their true feelings and stand up for themselves. Some lyrics focus on the animal’s wildness, while others address the mythology behind some classic stories.

Whether you like oldies, pop music, indie bands, or hard rock, you’ll find an amazing song about wolves from this list.

Photo of author

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.