Sunday, 19 August 2012

My Top Ten Lion Songs

10. Baddiel & Skinner & The Lightning Seeds - Three Lions

I like the Lightning Seeds. I like David Baddiel (though I always preferred Rob Newman). I even like Frank Skinner.

Football, though? Pfff.

9. PAPA - I Am The Lion King

It was this, or Circle Of Life. Hakuna matata, baby.

8. Lloyd Cole - To The Lions

Lloyd loses his job, his girl and his dignity (to a mean bartender) all in the same week.

You could send me to the lions tonight

7. First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar

Great new band from Sweden, though if you close your eyes you'd think they were from the backwoods of the USA alongside Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver.

And the lion's roar, the lion's roar
Is something that I have heard before
A children's tale, the lonesome wail of a lion's roar

6. The Tokens - The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Of course, you may prefer the Tight Fit version.

Or even the R.E.M. one. (That's my favourite.)

5. Kate Bush - Oh England, My Lionheart

Sadly, those rumours of Kate performing live for the first time in 30+ years at the Olympics closing ceremony proved to be just that. Then again, considering the standard of the performances that night, it was probably for the best.

Oh! England, my Lionheart!
Peter Pan steals the kids in Kensington Park.
You read me Shakespeare on the rolling Thames
That old river poet that never, ever ends.
Our thumping hearts hold the ravens in
And keep the tower from tumbling.

4. Dry The River - Lion's Den

One of my favourite new bands of 2012. They're a little bit Elbow, but if you're going to wear your influences on your sleeve there are far worse...

This song is about a lonely tax collector who finds love. It sounds far sweeter than that description would have you believe.

3. Bob Marley & The Wailers - Iron Lion Zion

I'm on the run but I ain't got no gun

2. Mumford & Sons - Little Lion Man

The first Mumford song I ever heard and still my favourite. Not just for the wonderfully sweary chorus. It's become very fashionable of late to hate on the Mumfs, as usually happens when a band makes it big. Whatever their second album brings, I'll always love this song.

1. Billy Bragg - Life With The Lions

If "I hate the arsehole I become every time I'm with you" isn't one of the greatest opening lines ever, I don't know what is.

Many Lion Songs were left to slumber in the savannah sunshine during the compilation of this Top Ten. Did I exclude one of your favourites?


  1. I can't be doing with Kate Bush these days, I think I only just half tolerated her before.

    But how could miss Pat and Stan's version of the lion sleeps tonight

    or the best Lion song in the world ever:
    (although Dill teh Dog was always my favourite)

    Ok...I'll get m'coat.

    1. I was, until now, unfamiliar with the work of Pat & Stan. Before clicking the link, I thought it might be Pat Sharpe and another of his DJ pals. Fortunately not.

      Points for Parsley though.

  2. Gosh. You make me want to dig out Kate Bush's Lionheart from my dusty collection. The recorder sound on that track really makes it but my money is always on Wow as being the standout track of the whole LP.

    1. Don't say that too loud around Kelloggsville.

  3. Can't believe you left out The Lion's Mouth by Kajagoogoo.

    (I can believe you left out The Lion's Mouth by Kajagoogoo)

    1. I can't believe I've never heard The Lion's Mouth by Kajagoogoo. There IS a God!

  4. Replies
    1. I guess that's what you get for disagreeing with Steve.

    2. The gods of the internet speak through me...

  5. Replies
    1. "You can't hide your Lion Eyes"? ;-)

  6. Thats right, thats right, thats right, thats right ...
    thats neat ... thats neat, repeat to fade

    1. "oh Tiger Feet fantastic" I thought and then slowly I realised a tiger is not a lion. I'm really not quick enough for this game.

  7. How come I seem to keep missing your lists...anyway, just a pat on the back for including the Mumfords!

  8. Some notable ones you should check out:

    Until the Lion Learns to Speak by K'Naan
    Untame Lion by Michelle Tumes
    Gold Lion by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    When We Were Young by the Gaslight Anthem
    Soobax by K'naan (not about lions, but samples a really badass lion roar during the second and third chorus. Awesome beat, a social commentary song about gunmen in Somalia)
    Roar by Katy Perry (Ugg, I hated it at first but it is growing on me. Very teeny-bopperish... but catchy)
    Sentry The Defiant by Coheed and Cambria

    The next few are instrumental mostly and just have lion in the title, but still awesome songs:

    Maybe I'm a Lion by The Black Mages (From the game Final Fantasy 8)
    Space Lion by Yoko Kanno (From the anime Cowboy Bebop)

    Well that's most of them I know. Enjoy!

    1. Oh, how could I forget Young Volcanoes by Fallout Boy!? That's one of my favorite ones.

    2. Just found another and I'm completely floored. This is so powerful. Breaks my heart.

    3. Thank you, Jace - some excellent suggestions there.

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