Sunday is Valentine’s Day! That’s all I have to say about that.
Starting this weekend, Year of the Ox begins on Friday, and in celebration of the animal of honor, here’s a little bloody brawling fisticuffs, parties, and other fun music. The Ox is a reliable, hardworking companion, but a bull can have several meanings from financial to physical. They are not often considered sweethearts, and thus comes their place in these popular music lyrics.
Before we have to focus on our Sunday romance (and there’s nothing wrong with that), here are some bull-referencing metal, rock, country and even Irish punk songs that will start the party early.
“Black Bull” by FOALS
British rockers FOALS’s 2019 single “Black Bull” is apparently supposed to be a commentary on “conflicted masculinity,” if the music reviewers have their say, but it certainly is one of this band’s heavier, most metal infused songs. Whether it stirs political discussion or party-style head banging, get out of this big beautiful bull’s way. He’s not stopping for anyone.
“The Bull” by Kip Moore
Country artist Kip Moore has no problems with conflicts, hardships…or those metaphorical “bulls” who bucked him off in the past. As a matter of fact, he looks back on the challenges, loves, inspirations, successes and fails in his life as just part of what shaped him and made him who he is today. This is a great song for a new year, Lunar or otherwise, that reminds us bad times will happen, but we should be thankful for the experiences to learn.
Plus, it will “sure feel good when I look back and flip the bull the bird.”
“Hats Off to the Bull” by Chevelle
Progressive metal band Chevelle worked really hard to bring you this driving title track to their second album back in 2012, and they really beat themselves up on the video to accompany it. Can’t we all just get along?
“Bullhead” by The Rumjacks
This song by the rousin’ Irish punk band The Rumjacks was released in December in memory of Irish playwright and politician, and eventual martyr from the 1920s, Terance MacSwiney. Sometimes you have to be bullheaded, and fight for freedom, even if it kills you.
Now that we have an earful of the big bovines, we need something, or someone, to round them up. Who better to tackle the toros than the Matador?
“El Matador” by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
I loved these Argentinian ska dudes so much, I used to play their Vasos Vacíos disc constantly back in the day (and by “back in the day” I mean the mid 1990s). “El Matador” is just one of those percussion driven party songs you could listen to again and again, an I’m still hoping some high school or college band somewhere will decide to use this one in a halftime show…I mean it even has a whistle.
Even so, what better way to end this bullish list celebrating the Chinese New Year than with a killer (and slightly blood-soaked) video from a Latin American band belting awesome Afro-Cuban beats with a Euro vibe loved by American music fiends everywhere? Of course, everyone who has a rudimentary grasp of Spanish remembers our Matador is being hunted down for the crime of “thinking differently.” Very timely lyrics, indeed.
Get out there and have some fun this weekend whether with your “valentine,” family or buds, and don’t look back as we enter a new lunar year:
¡Te están buscando matador!