Shakespeare said, “If music be the food of love, play on.” He probably wasn’t thinking about dogs when he wrote that line, and yet countless songs celebrate the love, and even the heartbreak, of living with a dog. Here are 29 songs about our canine BFFs, including some tunes you probably didn’t know were written about a dog.
I Love My Dog—Cat Stevens
This is a pretty straightforward love song to his dog, whose love is something he can count on: “I love my dog as much as I love you, but you may fade, my dog will always come through.”
Martha My Dear—The Beatles
No, it’s not about a girlfriend. Martha was Paul McCartney’s Old English Sheepdog, and probably the inspiration for the song.
Old King—Neil Young
Young wrote this song about his traveling buddy, a hound name Elvis, who went out on the road with him for many years.
The Puppy Song—Harry Nilsson
Nilsson wrote plenty of whimsical songs, but nothing quite as wistful as this one; he sings that having a dog would be the key to happiness.
Seamus the Dog—Pink Floyd
Without the lyrics, one could argue that this song isn’t really about a dog. That may be, but without a dog singing the chorus*, it’s just any old blues tune.
I’m Gonna Buy Me a Dog—The Monkees
This group was an hit in the 1960’s, perhaps more for their cuteness than musical ability. But they had the right idea with this song: a dog as a cure for heartbreak.
How Much Is That Doggie in the Window—Patti Page
This old chestnut was released in 1953, and reached number one on the Billboard charts.
The Dog Song—Nellie McKay
British-American singer-songwriter Nellie McKay performed this during a TED talk.
Everything Reminds Me of My Dog —Jane Siberry
Another singer-songwriter, this one Canadian, wrote a playful love song to her pet.
I Love My Dog—Sublime
Fans of this band know that many of their songs can be too explicit. They’ll also be familiar with the sound of Brad Nowell’s Dalmatian adding his two cents to many songs. This is ditty of theirs is G-rated.
The group, which calls itself a “little orchestra,” fuses pop, Latin music, jazz and classical music in this tribute to a dog.
B-I-N-G-O—Scottish folk song
The theme of dogs naturally lends itself to children’s music, like this classic rendition.
Blue—Peter, Paul and Mary
This folk-singing trio made this children’s song popular.
Cracker Jack—Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton has two songs about dogs. This one is a lovely tribute to “a playmate, a companion.”
Gypsy, Joe and Me—Dolly Parton
Like many country songs, this one is a real heartbreaker. It’s about a woman who loses both her dog and her man.
Like My Dog—Billy Currington
This country music singer-songwriter has a suggestion for his girlfriend in this funny song: “I want you to love me like my dog.”
Old Grey Dog—Jimmy Scott
Warning—get out the hankies for this tearjerker!
The More Boys I Meet—Carrie Underwood
This top country star has something to say about dogs: she likes them better than the men she dates. “I close my eyes and I kiss that frog, each time finding the more boys I meet, the more I love my dog.”
Little Boys Grow Up and Dogs Get Old—Luke Bryan
Another current country star chimes in with a wistful song about growing older, “And I thought we would be together, go on and on just like that, forever, but I was young back then, God I wish I didn’t know, little boys grow up and dogs get old.”
Feed Jake—Pirates of the Mississippi
Although this country band broke up in 1996, their song about Jake should live on. “He’s been a good dog, my best friend right through it all, if I die before I wake, feed Jake.”
Old Blue—The Byrds
Several artists, including The Byrds, recorded this traditional folk song.
Old Shep—Elvis Presley
This classic country song was written by Red Foley in 1933 about his childhood dog, a German Shepherd Dog named Hoover, that met a tragic end. A young Elvis sang it in his first public performance.
Hound Dog—Big Mama Thornton
Speaking of Elvis, you’re probably expecting to see his recording of Hound Dog listed here, but let’s go with the original, a scorching blues version by Big Mama Thornton, originally recorded in 1952.
Man of the Hour—Norah Jones
Jones sings a romantic ballad indeed, except it’s about Norah Jones’ Poodle, Ralph.
Me and You and a Dog Named Boo—Lobo
This cute and-or annoying song was released in 1971, and made it to number five on the Billboard Hot 100.
My Dog and Me—John Hiatt
Rocker-country-blues artist John Hiatt celebrates life with a loyal canine pal, and asks the perennial question, “How many times can one dog pee?”
Sometimes I Don’t Mind—The Suicide Machines
Bass player Royce Nunley wrote this love song…to his Boston Terrier, Chewy. Chewy also chimes in at the end.
I’m Gonna Buy Me a Dog (To Take the Place of You)—Duke Robillard
This blues guitarist, and founding member of Roomful of Blues, discovered the perfect antidote to heartbreak—a dog.
Planet Dog—Boothby Graffoe
And finally, English comedian and singer-songwriter Boothby Graffoe asks us to contemplate a world where dogs are in charge, with such thought-provoking lines as “On the planet dog, its the men that stay at home alone and drink the water from the toilets.”