Jim Stafford

Spiders and Snakes

Composed by David Bellamy / Jim Stafford

Song Review by

The novelty has well-worn off most of Jim Stafford's material, but there is still some homespun giggle left in "Spiders & Snakes," Stafford's claim to fame. "Spiders & Snakes" received ample amounts of airplay on country radio throughout the 1970s, but it managed to give Stafford his highest-numbered single on the pop charts, peaking at number three in December of 1973. His style never strayed from the countrified candor and simple humor that he gave to his biggest hit, which is why three other cuts from his self-titled album made it into the Top 40. "My Girl Bill," "Wildwood Weed," and "Swamp Witch" all followed in "Spiders & Snakes"' footsteps with their pun-filled lyrics and their easy listening melodies, a style that was quite popular during the decade that led to a myriad of one-hit wonders. But "Spiders & Snakes" has a little more substance than Rick Dees' "Disco Duck" or Larry Croce's "Junk Food Junkie," mainly because the song appeals to all ages and also because it contains a bouncy chorus that is catchy and extremely memorable. The lyrics are waggish, juvenile, and playfully sung, which gives way to the song's rustic snicker. All of Stafford's hits were produced by Lobo, who played with him in a band called the Legends along with Gram Parsons in the early '60s. As a solo artist, Lobo had a string of hits himself, most notably "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo" and "I'd Love You to Want Me." Although Jim Stafford's innocent brand of song is no longer prevalent, there's something about the unsophisticated, innocuous air of "Spiders and Snakes" that still takes effect with every listen.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1974 Special Music 3:03
Sounds of the Seventies: Seventies Top Forty 1992
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:04
Branson USA, Vol. 3: Country Legends 1993
Various Artists
Priority Records
Silly Songs [K-Tel] 1993
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:07
Hot Stuff Catalog Sampler , Vol. 2 1994
Various Artists
Mercury 3:06
Prom Night: The 70s 1995
Various Artists
Special Music Company / Special Music
Greatest Hits 1995 Curb 3:05
Rock On 1973: Diamond Girl 1996
Various Artists
Rock On 3:05
I Love Rock & Roll: Hits of the '70s, Vol. 3 1996
Various Artists
Priority Records 3:08
Music Power 1996
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:05
Best of Jim Stafford 1998 Universal Special Products / PSM 3:08
Wacky Favorites: Crazy Hits 1998
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:02
Class Reunion: The Greatest Hits of 1973 1998
Various Artists
Rebound Records 3:05
DJ Don's Party Mix: Children's Party 1999
Various Artists
Power Records (Fitness/Dance) 3:05
More Fabulous 70's, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
A M W Music 3:06
AM Gold: Mellow Hits of the '70s 2000
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:05
Friends Reunited: Music of the Year 1974 2004
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 2:59
Classic Country: Stars of Branson 2005
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:09
70s Music Explosion: Escape 2005
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:04
Barry Williams Presents: 70s Music Explosion 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:04
True 70s 2006
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 2:59
70s Music Explosion [Time Life] 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:04
Pop Goes the 70s
Various Artists
StarVista / Time/Life Music 3:04
Super Hits of the '70s: Have a Nice Day, Vol. 12
Various Artists
Rhino 3:08
blue highlight denotes editor's pick