Music To My Hares: 10 Rabbit Songs

I am hip-hop.

I am hip-hop.

I’m Binks, your hop talk host, and this is a segment I like to call Rabbits on the Radio. We rabbits have been an inspiration to song-penning humans all over the globe. They value us as symbols of innocence and playful sexuality, acknowledge us as pillars of popular culture, and adore us for our long ears and little black eyes. Here then are 10 artists who have in one way or another venerated us in song form.

Let us start by taking you back to June 24, 1967 when Jefferson Airplane released their smash hit “White Rabbit“. A personal favorite of psychedelic bunnies everywhere, lead singer Grace Slick’s thinly veiled drug references managed to squeak by radio censors and crossover to the mainstream.

The song was also used in the Hunter S. Thompson biographic film Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, where Slick’s chilling voice was well matched with the drug-induced psychosis of Thompson’s silver-screen companion, Dr. Gonzo. (Video NSFW)

Jumping ahead in time 42 years to 2009, another tremendously talented female vocalist Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine released “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)” as part of her album Lungs. Welch’s talent and natural beauty has set this rabbit’s heart pounding!

With a sound bearing more than a slight resemblance to groups like Linkin Park, rock and rollers Egypt Central put out an Alice in Wonderland-influenced “White Rabbit” of their own. Not entirely sure, however, what influenced this video. Decide for yourself.

Scottish indie band Frightened Rabbit have no reason to fret. It’s clear from this, their video for 2008 single “I Feel Better” video, that they have the chops and creative direction to be successful with both the underground, and above it.

In the brilliantly executed video for Australian group Boy & Bear’s “Rabbit Song”, a dreamer goes hunting for a bicycle-riding buffalo with repurposed suburban items only to be lured into the woods where humans have donned other suburban items as animal costumes. The song is sweet and melodic, too, but – seriously! How many ties do you think that guy has on?

Let’s keep on the theme of wacky videos, shall we? In Man Man’s video for “Rabbit Habits“, performances by Fred Armisen and Charlyne Yi perfectly compliment the Philadelphia-based experimental group’s quirky style.

Wait, wait – I know what you’re thinking: ‘“You Know Me” by Robbie Williams’? That doesn’t have anything to do with long ears, buck teeth or cotton tails!’ Well, quit your paw-wagging and listen to this. Williams’ visual interpretation of his song – for whatever reason! – includes a troupe of 6 carrot-topped bunny-eared babes. Yeah.

Rabbit in Your Headlights” is the product of a chilling collaboration between UNKLE (DJ Shadow and James Lavell) and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. It builds slowly to a brief and quiet climax, like a rabbit on a dark night; darting out onto the road to pause for a split second before retreating swiftly into the woods.

Animal Collective’s “Who Could Win a Rabbit” is as happy a song as “Rabbit in Your Headlights” is gloomy (super de duper happy). The video, directed by the band’s buddy Danny Perez follows a modern retelling of the tortoise and the hare to the gruesome end. The squeamish are encouraged to watch all but the final minute of this video.

Last, but certainly not least, is  Echo and The Bunnymen’s song “Killing Moon”. The line “fate up against your whale” came to lead singer Ian McCulloch in a dream. He chose to change it to “fate up against your will” which, of course, made more sense.

The song’s ethereal sound was used to set the tone of the original release of Donne Darko in the opening scene.

Bonus: While “You Never Can Tell”, the Chuck Berry song used in this scene from Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction, refers to neither rabbits nor hares, the name of the restaurant where Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace twist for a first-place trophy does. Can you remember what it is? Watch the clip if you need to jog your memory.

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