‘Tiger King’: All the Weird, Totally Real Music in Netflix True Crime Series, From ‘I Saw a Tiger’ to ‘Here, Kitty Kitty’ (Videos)

Joe Exotic didn’t write any of them, however

Tiger King

Mild spoilers for Netflix’s “Tiger King.” Don’t read until you finish.

If you’ve seen “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” on Netflix, then you already know that one of the most wonderful things about this almost unbelievable true-crime docuseries is the extremely corny, low-rent pop and country music that keeps popping up again and again.

If you’ve finished all seven episodes, we’re happy to confirm that these songs are all real, like, actually real. Not parodies, not tongue in cheek, but all recorded and shared with deadly seriousness by the two people whose conflict is at the center of the series: Joe Exotic of Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma, and Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue in Florida.

And because we assume that like us you’re now hellbent on watching the full-length videos, we’ve stepped in to help. Below, please enjoy all the weird, wonderful and completely real music from “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”

SONG: “I Saw a Tiger”
FOR: Joe Exotic, Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park

No, Joe Exotic did not write or perform this surprisingly touching ballad about being changed by, uh, seeing a tiger. This song, like all the songs Joe claimed to have performed, is actually the work of songwriter Vince Johnson and singer Danny Clinton.

The duo told Vanity Fair that Joe convinced them to write these tunes pro bono, on the grounds that they would get massive exposure by being featured on his reality show. According to Johnson, Joe would basically give them a topic — for instance, being changed by seeing a tiger — and they’d turn that into a song on a super-fast turnaround.

Alas, if you’ve seen “Tiger King,” then you know that Joe’s reality show never happened. Nevertheless, he kept stringing Johnson and Clinton along — apparently he didn’t even tell them he planned to shoot these admittedly incredible music videos. Joe also continued taking credit for this music for years, labeling them “Joe Exotic Country Music” on his YouTube page and, according to his former friends and co-workers, insisting he sang these songs even to people who were there when he didn’t actually do that.

This song is so corny it’s almost a bag of tortilla chips, but honestly, it’s somehow still not bad. Someone should hire Johnson and Clinton to make non-grifter music.


SONG: “Beautiful, Wild and Free”
FOR: Big Cat Rescue

By far our favorite song from “Tiger King,” this ballad recorded in 2010 is shockingly catchy despite the ultra corny earnestness. Honestly, we’d love to hear what it sounds like when an artist with a budget records it because this melody is actually pretty dope. According to the Big Cat Rescue YouTube page, songwriter Terez Hartmann, “a seasoned entertainer, speaker, forward-thinking pioneer, entrepreneur and business professional with a background in marketing and psychology,” was “so deeply touched by her experience with the magnificent cats of Big Cat Rescue” that she wrote this banger. Good job. (Not kidding!)

SONG: “Because You Loved Me”
FOR: Joe Exotic, Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park

Again, Joe definitely did not write this or actually sing this song. Vince Johnson and Danny Clinton did. We don’t have much to say about it except that it made us bob our heads even as we were agog at how Joe huckstered all those people into appearing in this cheap music video.

SONG: “This Is My Life”
FOR: Joe Exotic, Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park

Notable for underscoring some truly sad moments during the documentary but uh, Joe really definitely should have given Vince Johnson and Danny Clinton credit.

SONG: “Pretty Woman Lover”
FOR: Joe Exotic, Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park.

Joe Exotic is actually gay, but he still asked Johnson and Clinton to make this, uh, weird ode to being a major player.


SONG: “My First Love”
FOR: Joe Exotic, Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park

“A million miles later, I’m a ghost from the past. You were my true love, one that was supposed to last.” There, that’s a lyric from this song, which also includes the line “I could grow a garden, 18 miles high.”

SONG: “GW and Me”
FOR: Joe Exotic, Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park

GW is Joe Exotic’s brother, Garold Wayne, who died in 1997. This song is all about why Joe claims he established Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. Honestly, it seems like Joe loved his brother a lot and was deeply traumatized by the loss. But he still definitely did not write this song.

SONG: “Here, Kitty Kitty”
FOR: Joe Exotic, Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park

We saved the most holy s— for last. Yet another one from Vince Johnson and Danny Clinton, this song is chock full of — there’s really no other way to put it — probably actionable accusations of premeditated murder against Big Cat Rescue proprietor Carole Baskins. In case you’re wondering, Joe accuses Carole of murdering her second husband, who disappeared without a trace in 1997. She has consistently maintained her innocence, she was never considered a suspect by police, and as you know from watching “Tiger King,” in the end it’s Joe who ended up in jail after being convicted of trying to pay someone to murder her.