Zoo Station: A Noah's Ark Of 75 Animal Songs

And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.

- Genesis 6:19-20

Willis Alan Ramsey, who plays tonight at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, is a cult hero among Texas singer-songwriter aficionados; his eponymous 1972 debut is a benchmark of the genre. Lyle Lovett cut Ramsey's "Sleepwalking" on his 1998 album Step Inside This House, perhaps as a thank-you for "That's Right (You're Not From Texas)," which Ramsey co-wrote with his wife Alison Rogers.

However, most people know the 60-year-old Dallas resident - who told The Dallas Morning News about a year and a half ago that he was finally almost done with a follow-up to that first album; it still hasn't surfaced - thanks to "Muskrat Candlelight," which became a Top 5 hit for The Captain & Tennille in 1976 as "Muskrat Love."

Ramsey must have a thing about animals, because also on that album are "The Ballad of Spider John" (later covered by Jimmy Buffett) and "Geraldine and the Honeybee" (ditto, Widespread Panic). Rocks Off definitely has a thing about animals, because we decided to see how many songs about the beasts of the field and the birds of the air we could come up with in an afternoon.

Okay, we know some of them are probably about sex, but they do all have animals in the titles. We stopped at 75. This is a fun job sometimes.


Dolly Parton, "Eagle When She Flies" Tanya Tucker, "Two Sparrows In a Hurricane" The Beatles, "Blackbird" The National, "The Geese of Beverly Road" Elbow, "Starlings" Butch Hancock/Joe Ely, "If You Were a Bluebird" Wilco, "Hummingbird" Leonard Cohen, "Bird On a Wire" Neil Young, "Hawks & Doves" Ice Cube, "Ghetto Bird"


Buck Owens & the Buckaroos, "Tiger By the Tail" Spoon, "Paper Tiger" Bobby Charles, "See You Later Alligator" Metallica, "Of Wolf and Man" Los Lobos, "Will the Wolf Survive?" TV on the Radio, "Wolf Like Me" Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Gold Lion" Mumford & Sons, "Little Lion Man" The Descendents, "I Wanna Be a Bear" British Sea Power, "Bear" Elvis Presley, "Teddy Bear" Sweet, "Fox On the Run" Thin Lizzy, "Johnny the Fox" Entombed, "Wolverine Blues"


The Beatles, "I Am the Walrus" Led Zeppelin, "Moby Dick" Robert Johnson, "Dead Shrimp Blues" Faith No More, "The Crab Song" B-52's, "Rock Lobster" Jimmy Buffett, "Oysters & Pearls" Bob Dylan, "Catfish" Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, "Fish In the Dish" Gallows, "Leeches" Future of the Left, "Stand By Your Manatee" Ween, "The Mollusk" Sage Francis & Will Oldham, "Sea Lion"

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray