In Like a Lion, Even in L.A.: Our Favorite Songs about Lions
There is an old-wives/Farmer's Almanac weather adage that says March "comes in like a lion, out like a lamb." As residents of Southern California, we are pretty much disqualified from every saying about weather ever, although a few days ago we actually experienced gusting winds that fittingly sounded like the creepy roar of a lion. Scary as the idea is of a blood-thirsty lion pounding at your window to rip you apart, lions are also cultural symbols of bravery, sex, love, and ultimate life mastery. This dichotomy between instinctive violence and beautiful strength is why musicians have been using the symbol of the lion as a musical metaphor for decades, gifting us with our Favorite Songs About Lions.
10. Singapore Kane- " target="_blank">"Lion Tamer"
A relatively unknown, Jamaican-born, Boston-based Singapore Kane is taming the over-produced, auto-tuned hip-hop beast with his stylish, old-school flow and laces of Caribbean rhythm. Kane literally just dropped his album Wrath of Kane a couple of days ago. Let's see if he can do what he brags he can, like "in the circus, some niggers' clown/I tame lions control my destiny instead of name blame crying."
9. Animal Collective-" target="_blank">"Lion in a Coma"
Neo-psychedelic tripsters Animal Collective have single-handedly dominated the musical niche of weird, wonderful, and animal-related. The druggy boing-boing jangle of "Lion in a Coma" is a great complement to Animal Collective's somewhat solemn lyrical reminder that because of the repetitive grind of modernity, our primal souls can be trapped like "lion in a coma, lion in a coma/who wants to smell the fine aroma/lion in a coma, lion in a coma/who wants to run but cannot roam/a lion in a coma, lion in a coma/who wants to use his aching bones." And we should do something about that.
8. Lauryn Hill-" target="_blank">"The Conquering Lion"
Soulful chanteuse Lauryn Hill has been simultaneously resurrecting and killing her career softly with her diva-ish lioness ways. We may be put off by her pride, but we certainly cannot underestimate the power of her roar. During her MTV Unplugged show, Hill sang Rastafarian classic, "The Conquering Lion," her raspy voice emotionally declaring, "The conquering lion shall break every chain/Give him the victory again and again and again and again."
7. One Day As A Lion-" target="_blank">"One Day As A Lion"
Rage Against The Machine's Zack de la Rocha and Mars Volta's Jon Theodore's punk-rap side project of lionhearted politicos, One Day As Lion's song by the same title is exactly what you would expect from the talented, angry, and hungry for justice. De la Rocha emotes an animalistic growl as he mocks the "system," warning "after dark my city's a fuse/One day I say today we live as a lion/And when our cubs grow/We'll show you what war is good for."
6. Iron & Wine-" target="_blank">"Lion's Mane"
Singer-songwriter Sam Beam of Iron & Wine has a way of turning even one of the most vicious creatures of the jungle into a soft, sad plaything. In "Lion's Mane," Beam elaborates on the different ways love can manifest itself, whether as happiness, sadness or tentative courage: "Love's the best sensation/hiding in the lion's mane."