Muskrat Love

Album: Song of Joy (1976)
Charted: 4


  • This was written by the Texas singer Willis Alan Ramsey in 1972, who recorded it as "Muskrat Candlelight." America recorded the song on their 1973 album Hat Trick (it charted at #67 US) before Captain & Tennille recorded their hit version in 1976. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, WA
  • This song really is about two muskrats making love. It's not to be taken seriously, and even contains synthesized sound effects to simulate the muskrat copulation. This sound was played at the end of the song and included in the end groove of the 45 single, so when the record ended, it played the muskrats on a loop until the record player was attended.
  • America was known for their self-penned, panoramic songs "A Horse With No Name" and "Ventura Highway" when they issued "Muskrat Love" as the first single from their third album, Hat Trick, in 1973. A rather literal cover song about little furry creatures was a questionable career move, and the album underperformed.

    For their next album, they brought in a rainmaker: Beatles producer George Martin. It worked, and they recovered with the hit "Tin Man."
  • This song's composer, Willis Alan Ramsey, is one of the more mysterious men in rock. Based in Austin, Texas, his 1972 self-titled album was released on Shelter Records when he was 21. It quickly got lots of attention, and Ramsey was lauded as a new breed of "progressive country" performer.

    It wasn't just "Muskrat Candlelight" that got covered: The Bellamy Brothers took "Satin Sheets" to #73 in 1976; Jimmy Buffett recorded "The Ballad of Spider John" and "Northeast Texas Women"; Jimmie Dale Gilmore did "Goodbye Old Missoula."

    Ramsey was poised for stardom, but it wasn't to be: He moved to Los Angeles and worked on songs at Leon Russell's home studio, but couldn't get a sound he liked. That lifestyle didn't suit him, so he moved back to Texas and sat out his Shelter contract. In the '80s, he went to the United Kingdom and studied Celtic folk music, eventually moving back to Colorado. From time to time, he is rumored to be working on a second album, but nothing has appeared.
  • This was not the first, or biggest song about a rodent. Michael Jackson had his first #1 as a solo artist with "Ben," a song about a rat, in 1972.

Comments: 15

  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenWhen this song comes on, my hand breaks the sound barrier as it moves to change the station.
  • Penny Lesley from Beyond HellIn memory of my mother...
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaStrange song.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 12th 1973, "Muskrat Love" by America entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #86; and on September 16th,1973 it peaked at #67 {for 1 week} and spent 8 weeks on the Top 100... It reached #11 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...Between 1972 and 1983 the trio had seventeen Top 100 records; seven made the Top 10 with two reaching #1, "A Horse With No Name" for 3 weeks on March 19th, 1972 and "Sister Golden Hair" for 1 week on June 8th, 1975...R.I.P. original member Dan Peek {1950 - 2011}.
  • Brian from Nictaux, NsThis is one of two C&T songs which include the sounds of muskrats, the other is "Tahoe Snow" (from 'the Secret of Chrismas')
  • Brian from Nictaux, NsCaptain & Tennille used to sing this song at the Smokehouse (Encino, CA) constantly. almost every night. Sometimes several times a night at the request of the audience. However, this song almost never become a single because C&T and A&M never thought it had "hit potential". A radio station in Wisconsin was constantly receiving requests to play "that muskrat song" and their Music director called A&M and bet them it would be a hit if they released it as a single. Guess he won!
  • Brian from Nictaux, NsSome copies of this 45 were actually flawed as the needle of the record player went into the center before the ending of the song (the drumming) was finished.
  • Karen from Manchester, NhI remember listening to the 45 of this, and the sped-up synth line...I thought it was a flaw in the record, and it drove me crazy. You mean to tell me that it was done on PURPOSE?
  • Elmer from Westville, OkI remember "Muskrat Love" from 1976. Weird not cute! It got all the way up to #4 on the Billboard charts though. I guess that shows you there's no accounting for bad taste!
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxThe world's collective IQ drops a point every time this song is played.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyIn July of 1976 First Lady Betty Ford invited the Capt & Tenille to perform at the White House, the Queen of England was a guest at that time. They played "Muskrat Love" and the Queen was the only one who didn't applauded whe they finished the song!!!
  • Jesse from Madison, WiMy 45 plays the synthesized rhythm track at the end of it. And those two frisky muskrats were courtesy of The Captain's E-mu modular synthesizer. Otherwise a great classic and an all time favorite of mine!
  • Musicmama from New York, NyI always think of this song as pornography for rodents.
  • John from Brisbane, United StatesCredit credit and credit more for what they have done to this all so peaceable good music.A ton of flowers is what I want to throw to you on you for this lovely song.
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaGreat song! Give Captain & Tenille cresit for recording such a silly song and releasing it as a single. I think a lot of people like it who don't want to admit it.
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