Dragons are some of the most referenced mythical creatures in all kinds of art. They’re powerful, imposing, and indestructible, representing endless metaphorical meanings. While they may not have truly existed as animals, dragons have made their way into our hearts through art, literature, cinema, and music.
In this article, we’ll go over 21 songs that include dragons in their lyrics. Many will use them as metaphors for deeper concepts, while other songs are literally about dragons flying into town.
1. Dragons Of The North – Einherjer
Dragons of the North is the title track to the first full-length album released by Norwegian metal band Einherjer. The band itself makes a lot of music talking about Viking and Norse culture, so it’s very interesting to get into if you’re unfamiliar with the content. The dragons being unleashed in the song are the dragon-prowed boats of Viking raiders rather than any scaly beast, but much of the imagery used to describe the destruction wrought on the villages is the same as if a fire-breathing dragon appeared from the north.
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2. Becoming The Dragon – Trivium
Becoming The Dragon from Trivium speaks of becoming a dragon both literally and metaphorically. It discusses living free of fear, how nothing will be able to break down their scales, and once the transformation is complete they can ascend to the dragon gate. In the song, the singer quite literally turns from a koi to a dragon, but metaphorically the song is about becoming unstoppable and achieving your goals.
3. Where Dragons Dwell – Gojira
Where Dragons Dwell by Gojira is about finding the courage to overcome your fears within yourself. It can be looked at in two ways, either you find strength within yourself (where the dragon dwells), or at some point repressed fear within yourself will come back to the surface. Either way you decide to look at it, the song describes self-awareness and the acknowledgment of internal conflict using the dwelling place of dragons as a metaphor.
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4. Puff The Magic Dragon – Peter, Paul, & Mary
Peter, Paul & Mary based the lyrics for Puff The Magic Dragon on a poem written by 19-year-old Cornell student Leonard Lipton. The song, poem, and story the poem were based on describe a totally real dragon that would come and play with little children. Allegedly the song contains numerous references to the use of marijuana, though the band members have denied those claims repeatedly. Some of those references make sense like “puff,” “papers,” and “dragon (draggin),” but without confirmation, we’ll just have to take them at their word.
5. Heart Of A Dragon – Dragonforce
You probably wouldn’t have guessed it, but Dragonforce has a few songs that talk about dragons. This one is about going forward and uniting in your passions, presumably using the heart of a dragon to represent courage and an undeniable will to achieve said goal. While it does describe riding to war, it’s not the kind of raiding song that Dragons of the North is.
6. Flight Of Dragons – Evil Scarecrow
If you’re looking for a dark and dreary song about dragons showing up and attacking everyone, this is the song for you. In it, the singer describes the power of dragons and past attacks they’ve witnessed, while saying they thought the dragons had gone away. Apparently, the dragons decided to come back, attacking the village even though they tried to appease it with a virgin sacrifice.
7. Smaug’s Song – Karliene
Smaug may be one of the most famous dragons in all of literature, serving as the main antagonist of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work The Hobbit. This song is written from the perspective of Smaug, describing the fear he instills in any foes who attempt to reach his mountain and the treasure hoard stored within.
8. Dragon Attack – Queen
The dragon in this song is the guitar on the singer’s back, with the major attack in the title being that Queen had changed sounds from their other hits like Bohemian Rhapsody at this time. The song describes the group’s love of music, but the dragon on their back is the band’s past and how any time they try to do something new or different, they’re attacked or confronted with those past styles.
9. Dragons Awake – Guided By Voices
Guided By Voices released Dragons Awake in 1999 on the album Do The Collapse. In the song, the singer struggles with feelings related to imposter syndrome and the inability to find joy in the short-term sexual encounters they find themselves. It’s one of their more popular songs, though the dragons are really described in the song.
10. The Dragon Of Judah – Canibus
The Dragon of Judah uses layered biblical metaphors throughout the song to describe the struggles between good and evil, mostly discussing the dragon from the Book of Revelation. They then go on to liken those biblical metaphors to things they’ve witnessed today, including police beatings and some sort of rapture. It was originally released on Canibus’ Melatonin Magik album in 2010.
11. Black Dragon – Dissection
Black Dragon from Dissection is more of a cult chant of prayers than just a song. The singer calls on multiple dragons of history to rise up and grant them power and cleanse both the group and the world. Jörmundgandr, Leviathan, Apep, Tiamat, and chiefly the Black Dragon of Chaos are all named in the song.
12. The Curse Of Castle Dragon – Paul Gilbert
The Curse Of Castle Dragonwas released in 2006 as part of the albumGet Out Of My Yard. Despite its heavy-metal influence, the song is only instrumental, so it doesn’t actually discuss any dragons in its non-existent lyrics. Generally, though, it’s the heaviest metal song on the album and one of Paul Gilbert’s best works.
13. Black Dragon Fighting Society – My Chemical Romance
Black Dragon Fighting Society was released by My Chemical Romance in 2010 as part of their album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. The biggest success of the song was its use in multiple video game soundtracks and as a fast-paced hype song to get pumped up to.
14. Dragon Queen – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Dragon Queen is a female empowerment song talking about how strong their love is. It’s so strong she questions her lover how they could think their love wouldn’t leave a scar and wonders why they keep deciding to run off. It’s a great take on the punk genre and was released in 2009 as part of their It’s Blitz! album.
15. Dance With The Dragon – Jefferson Starship
Dance With The Dragon was released in 1976 for Jefferson Starship’s Spitfire album and is a massive commentary on the Vietnam War and its aftereffects in American society. The song uses the dragon to refer to the American war machine as both something that horrifies them and makes life here hard, while also being regrettably proud of it and wanting to make sure the wars and losses weren’t all for nothing.
16. The Jaws Of The Dragon – Martie Peters Group
Released in 2022 as part of their Turn Hate Into Fire album, The Jaws of the Dragon. It’s an intense song about a dragon trying to kill a group of people. It features a very fast-paced guitar solo that makes you feel like you’re running away from a dragon yourself.
17. Tears Of The Dragon – Bruce Dickinson
Tears Of The Dragon is a heartful song full of regret for the way a relationship has ended up and all the unsaid things between the two parties. The part of the song discussing the burning tears of a dragon is metaphorically representing the overwhelming wave of emotions and hot tears that can burn your face when you’re truly upset over something. The song was released in 1994 on the Balls To Picasso album.
18. Guardians of the Dragon Grail – Majesty
This song describes a group of people who consider themselves the guardians of a great treasure, and among them, only the chosen will become riders of dragons and take to the skies in defense of their treasure. It appears that treasure is their religion, painstakingly chronicled and protected since ancient times, with the dragons serving as the answer to their prayers.
19. Peter Killed The Dragon – Josh Ritter
Peter Killed The Dragon, but not just that, he did it with his bare hands. While the song mentions that, it’s used as a metaphor while the rest of the song describes the unfair situation the singer finds themselves in. Unfortunately, they’re separated from a loved one that they wish they could be with already. It’s a catchy and upbeat song that was released on the album The Animal Years (Deluxe Edition) in 2006.
20. Sea Dragon – Covet
Sea Dragon is another instrumental song, so unfortunately we don’t get more descriptions of massive flying dragons in this one. What’s really cool about it is that it’s part of a genre called math rock, a style close to post-rock. It makes use of complex rhythm structures, odd time signatures, angular melodies, and dissonant chords. It’s a style I recommend checking out if you’ve never heard of it before.
21. I Saw A Dragon – Helen Reddy
I Saw A Dragon comes from the Disney movie Pete’s Dragon, where it’s played when Lampie enters the pub after actually spotting the dragon in the movie. Eventually, everyone in the pub starts singing and dancing to celebrate his discovery of a dragon in the real world. It’s also played again at the end of the film after the dragon (who’s nice in this case and not murderous at all) saves the town from a looming threat and the others go to say goodbye to it.
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As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.
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Introduction: My name is Pres. Lawanda Wiegand, I am a inquisitive, helpful, glamorous, cheerful, open, clever, innocent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.
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