10 Best Cowbell Songs

ListCaboodle Playlist: The 10 Best Cowbell Songs

“There’s a fever going around, and the only prescription is more cowbell!”

You may recognize this famous line from the classic Saturday Night Live “More Cowbell” skit featuring Will Ferrell and guest host Christopher Walken.

In the sketch, Ferrell plays the humble cowbell, that most overlooked of musical instruments. But his performance ends up taking center stage with unapologetic, shirt-unbuttoned 1970s bravado.

Our favorite cowbell songs

In this article, we take a look at the ten best cowbell songs ever written. From classic rock anthems to modern pop hits, these songs all feature the cowbell in all its glory. So put on your dancing shoes and get ready to shake your groove thing, because this is one cowbell party you won’t want to miss!

1.) “Rock Lobster” by The B-52s

“Rock Lobster” is a 1978 song by the American new wave band The B-52s. It is a quirky, upbeat song with a catchy melody and a memorable cowbell riff. The lyrics are nonsensical but fun, and the song has become a cult classic.

2.) “Gold Dust Woman” by Fleetwood Mac

“Gold Dust Woman” is a 1977 song by the British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac. It is a bluesy, psychedelic song with a soaring vocal performance by Stevie Nicks. The lyrics are about a woman who is both beautiful and dangerous, and the song has become a classic of the rock era.

Hip hop cowbell songs

3.) “Hey Ladies” by Beastie Boys

“Hey Ladies” is a 1989 song by the American hip hop group Beastie Boys. It is a funky, party anthem with a catchy melody and a sample of James Brown’s “Ain’t It Funky Now”. The lyrics are about the Beasties trying to pick up women, and the song has become a classic of the hip hop genre.

You’ll love these rock songs about being in a band.

4.) “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa

“Push It” is a 1987 song by the American hip hop group Salt-N-Pepa. This dance-floor anthem features a catchy beat and empowering lyrics. The song is often praised for its message of female empowerment and is a classic of the hip hop genre.

Classic rock cowbell songs

5.) “We’re An American Band” by Grand Funk

Grand Funk’s drummer Don Brewer sings lead vocals on this song and uses the cowbell througout. The cowbell is played on the offbeats, which gives this rock classic a syncopated feel. It is a distinctive part of the song’s sound and has become one of its most memorable elements.

6.) “Mississippi Queen” by Mountain

The cowbell is used in the intro of the song to count off the tempo. It is played by drummer Corky Laing, and it gives the song a driving, funky feel. The cowbell is not used throughout the song, but it is a memorable part of the intro and helps to set the tone for the rest of the song.

7.) “Good Times, Bad Times” by Led Zeppelin

“Good Times, Bad Times” is the opening track on Led Zeppelin’s self-titled debut album. It is a hard rock song with a driving beat and a memorable riff. The song is about the ups and downs of life, and it is a classic example of Led Zeppelin’s signature sound.

8.) “Low Rider” by War

The song “Low Rider” by War is a celebration of the lowrider car culture that was prevalent in East LA during the 1970s. It’s an anthem for Chicano youth who take pride in their cars and enjoy cruising them down the streets. The song’s catchy melody and funky groove made it a hit, and it helped to define the sound of the era.

Oldies cowbell song

9.) “Incense and Peppermints” by Strawberry Alarm Clock

“Incense and Peppermints” is a psychedelic rock song by Strawberry Alarm Clock. The 1967 release reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song is about the carefree lifestyle of the hippie counterculture, and it is known for its catchy melody and memorable lyrics.

Dance cowbell song

10.) “Groove Is in the Heart” by Deee-Lite

“Groove Is in the Heart” is a house and club/dance song released in 1990 by Deee-Lite. This chart-topping song is about the joy of dance and music that transports us to a state of happiness. It encourages people to let their bodies go and let the music take them away.

Bonus cowbell song:

“Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Öyster Cult

A Saturday Night Live sketch called “More Cowbell” featured this song by Blue Öyster Cult in 2000. In the sketch, Christopher Walken plays the band’s record producer. In his signature quirky style, he demands more cowbell be added to the song. The sketch became a popular internet meme, and it helped to revive interest in the song.

There you have it, a top-ten list of our favorite cowbell songs ever written. For more great playlists, check out these articles:

Songs About UFOs

Robot Rock (and Artificial Intelligence Songs)

Songs About Phone Calls

By Greg Johnson | Published 8/25/2023