21 Best Songs About Cows 

The way songs about running were created is the same way songs about cows were established. In thinking of the best cow songs ever – maybe they were by Willie Nelson, or Patsy Cline, or maybe even Lyle Lovett.

Whoever sang them, they were undoubtedly great tunes with memorable lyrics that painted a clear picture of life on the farm.

It’s an illustration of the fact that cows have long been a symbol of rural life and country living. Therefore, this post will take a look at 21 of the best songs about cows – drawn from country music and beyond.

“Black Cow” – Steeley Dan

A problematic relationship, a tribute to self-doubt, a satire on nightlife, and a reference to Hindu culture are all lyrical interpretations of Steeley Dan’s “Black Cow” (cows are sacred). It could also be about Thelonious Monk, the legendary American jazz composer known as the “Father of Bebop.”


“Alabama Clay” – Garth Brooks

This song from Garth Brooks’ debut album depicts the narrative of a young guy who abandons his family’s farm for the city. Eventually, the pull of home and the red Alabama soil becomes too strong.

Despite the fact that the song was never released as a single, Brooks has stated that it is a fan favorite for which he frequently receives requests.

This song shows how farm life and the countryside bring us nostalgia, no matter where we are and how we often want to return to our roots.


“Farmer’s Daughter” – Rodney Atkins

The song is both catchy and adorable. As some might have guessed, it is about a farmworker who falls in love with the farmer’s daughter. He initially despised his occupational situation, as it was exceedingly hot in the field and very challenging.

The protagonist was about to give up and leave work when he caught sight of the farmer’s daughter. After this joyous moment he quickly grew to enjoy and tolerate his job and becomes relieved he didn’t quit.

Though Rodney Atkins’ “Farmer’s Daughter” is about a lovely lady, it also shows the beauty of life on the farm amid simplicity and adversity.


“Patrick Meets The Brickbats” – Jerry Douglas

This song, released in 2002, is a fun, upbeat bluegrass tune that celebrates the simple joys of life on the farm. It was written by renowned bluegrass musician Jerry Douglas, and it’s a great choice for anyone who wants to feel the earthy rhythms of country life.

From chasing chickens to milking cows, it’s a lighthearted look at all the things that make life on a farm so enjoyable. The song is fundamental to farm culture since it celebrates rural life.


“Take This Job and Shove It” – Johnny Paycheck

This country classic is about a man who is fed up with his job and decides to quit. The song has been covered by many artists over the years, but the original version by Johnny Paycheck is still the best.

The lyrics are angry and full of attitude, but they’re also relatable for anyone who has ever hated their job.

The protagonist in this tune works on a dairy farm and much of the lyrics is about standing up for yourself and taking control of your life.


“Makin’ Hay” – Tommy Wood

The inspiring song, originally released in 1979, is a fun and quirky ditty that celebrates all the hard work of life on the farm. With its infectious beat and catchy chorus, it’s a great song to listen to while you’re out there making hay under the hot sun!

The theme of cows is also present here since they are the source of milk including their connection with agriculture. It is the perfect song to go along with some hard work on the land.


“Cow Cow Boogie” – Ella Fitzgerald

“Cow Cow Boogie” is a blues tune in the “country-boogie” style. The song was created for the Abbott & Costello film Ride ‘Em Cowboy, which starred Ella Fitzgerald. Based on the American West’s mythology of the singing cowboy, the tune was originally performed by Ella Mae Morse in 1942.


“Cow Patti” – Jim Stafford

It’s a fun, upbeat tune that paints a picture of the cow as a lively, mischievous creature – teasing her farmer friend with gentle pranks and charming him with her “Cow Patti.”

The song is actually one of the earliest examples of a cow being portrayed in a positive light in popular culture.


“Cows On The Hill” – Jay Ungar

This melancholy piece of music was composed by Jay Ungar and Molly Mason in 1992 for the documentary film “Brother’s Keeper.” Ungar’s violin and Mason’s guitar are accompanied by a cello, and the overall impact is one of sadness and desire. You can sense the emotion they were attempting to elicit within the context of the film. The song is sorrowful but oddly soothing.


“Home on the Range” – Bing Crosby

This classic song, written in 1934, is one of the most popular cow songs of all time. It’s a beautiful ballad that celebrates the beauty of the American West – specifically, the wide-open plains where cows roam free. The imagery in the song is stunning, depicting the majestic beauty of wild American landscapes. It makes the top 10 list because it is one of the most well-known cow songs and evokes a sense of nostalgia from its listeners.


“Out On The Western Plain” – Rory Gallagher

“Out on the Western Plain” was released on Rory Gallagher’s 1975 album, Against the Grain. Written and originally recorded by Lead Belly, Gallagher’s version is a heavy blues song with a rock sensibility. 

Songs about cows are often about the lives of people who work among them. In “Out On The Western Plain,” a retired cowboy is reminiscing on his time rounding up cattle on the western plain. He tells about making a fortune, running into Jesse James, and Buffalo Bill, tales that may or may not be accurate. 

Lead Belly recorded “Out On The Western Plain” in 1946. Since then, the tune has been covered or adapted around 25 times, including versions by John Denver and Van Morrison.


“For All the Cows” – Foo Fighters

“For All the Cows” is just one example of songs with cows in the title. This number is from the Foo Fighters’ 1995 self-titled debut album. It was their third single from the album. However, it was only released in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. 

“For All the Cows” starts as a swinging, soft-rocking, alternative song that sometimes breaks into a harder rock frenzy. The lyrics are difficult to interpret, but it uses the metaphor to express feelings about wealth, fame, and the haves and have-nots. 


“Cows With Guns” – Dana Lyons

While many songs about cows aren’t really about the animals themselves, some tunes are, indeed, directly about cows or from their perspective. 

Dana Lyons, an alternative rock and folk musician, released “Cows With Guns” in 1996. It describes the hardships of a cow who becomes rebellious and begins to fight for the freedom of its kind. 

The cow in the song is consistently referred to as a “he.” Technically, a cow is strictly a female that has given birth, but “cow” has become the word commonly used to refer to all cattle. 


“Cowtown” – They Might Be Giants

Another fun but somewhat baffling song about cows is “Cowtown,” a 1985 song by They Might Be Giants. It’s one of the first songs they wrote together as a band. 

The speaker of “Cowtown” wants to leave where he’s currently living, seemingly sick of the land, and instead go to “Cowtown,” apparently a town underwater full of cows. The song is exuberant and charming, calling the listener to find the home where they feel they belong, no matter where it is or who it’s with. 


“Holy Cow” – Lee Dorsey

Lee Dorsey’s “Holy Cow,” written by Allen Toussaint and released in 1966, is a song about a man whose lover or partner left him. Since she’s gone, he’s lost his job. He can’t eat or sleep. He wants to know why she’s leaving and why she has the power to make him feel this way. 


“Mooo!” – Doja Cat

Doja Cat’s “Mooo!” was released on her 2018 album, Amala. When she uploaded the song to YouTube, it quickly went viral. She wrote it while wearing a cow print shirt and feeling in the mood to play around rather than write anything deep or serious. 

“Mooo!” is a ridiculous and fun song that pulls out all the metaphors, facts, and stereotypes about cattle. The song’s speaker says she is a cow, and she accepts the good and the bad of it. 

The tune uses the metaphor of a cow to make a statement on self-acceptance, identity, and shamelessness. You are who you are. You shouldn’t be ashamed because other people want you to be something else. 


“You Are What You Is” – Frank Zappa

“You Are What You Is” is from Frank Zappa’s 1981 album of the same name. The lyrics would be considered problematic now. MTV rarely played the video as it included an ethnic slur, racial themes, and inflammatory images of the then-current president, Ronald Regan. 

With all of that peeled away, however, and using the imagery of a cow, it is a song with a message of being who you are. On the one hand, it’s about not being a poser but also about staying within your station and within the defined conventions of your identity. 


“Milkcow Blues Boogie” – Elvis Presley

“Milk Cow Blues” is a blues song written and recorded by Kokomo Arnold in 1934. There are other records with the same title. However, this song was also covered and adapted by several artists. “Milkcow Blues Boogie” was Elvis’s interpretation, and it was released on his 1957 album, Good Rockin’ Tonight

“Milkcow Blues Boogie” begins with a slow crooning, then there’s a vocal interlude, where Elvis says he needs to pick it up, and the tempo quickens, and you can practically see his hips twisting and his ankles shaking. 

This song uses the milk cow as a metaphor for a lover or spouse. She has run off, so the song’s speaker has had to live without the things she supplies him. She is either rebellious or doesn’t like the arrangement. The speaker is both pleading and threatening. 


“The Cow Song” –  NerdOut

NerdOut is a band on YouTube that creates songs and videos about gaming and pop culture. Their song “The Cow Song” is sung from the point of view of a cow in the game Minecraft. 

The video and this song about cows follow the animal as it pleads with the main character Steve to spare her life and take her milk. She then tries to appeal to his sense of fairness by asking him how he would feel if the roles were reversed. 

“The Cow Song” is a silly song that anyone who plays Minecraft will love, but it also makes an ethical point. How would we feel if we were cows? 


“Jesse James” – Woody Guthrie

“Jesse James” is an American folk tune from the 1800s about the infamous outlaw. Because it is a folk song, there have been so many versions of it performed and recorded, and the lyrics often differ from one version to the next. Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen have done some other famous versions. 

Woody Guthrie’s version of “Jesse James” is a hybrid between the folk song and Lead Belly’s “Out On the Western Plain.” Guthrie’s “Jesse James” follows the cowboy speaker of Lead Belly’s song, filling out the adventure and tragedy that occurred and warning people to stay away. 


“Cows Come Home” – Boomgates

“Cows Come Home” is a song about cows from the Australian band Boomgates. The song appears on their 2012 album, Double Natural. It is a song about waiting for someone to come around, to make up their mind, make a commitment, or at the very least a decision.

In Conclusion

These are some of the best songs about cows – but there are many, many more out there. Fans of country music, bluegrass, or folk music, are sure to find plenty more songs about these beloved animals. Cows have been a part of American life for centuries, and they show no signs of going anywhere anytime soon. 

Writer

Born and raised in Austin, David is a dedicated writer and avid fragrance lover. When he's not trying out perfumes, he enjoys traveling and exploring new restaurants.

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