Ants Marching

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"Ants Marching"
Single by Dave Matthews Band
from the album Under the Table and Dreaming
Released September 1995
Format CD single
Recorded Bearsville Studios, Bearsville, New York, August 1995
Genre Folk rock, jazz fusion, bluegrass
Length 4:31
Label Bama Rags Records
Songwriter(s) David J. Matthews
Dave Matthews Band singles chronology
"Typical Situation"
"Ants Marching"

"Typical Situation"
"Ants Marching"
Audio sample

"Ants Marching" is a song by American rock group Dave Matthews Band. It was released in September 1995 as the second single from their debut studio album Under the Table and Dreaming. It reached #18 on the Alternative chart and on the mainstream rock chart as well.[1][2] The song was considered a successful hit single.[3][4] A different recording of it was included on their prior album Remember Two Things. This version was significantly longer, clocking in at 6:08.[5] According to, the song is possibly one of Dave Matthews Band's best known songs, and Dave Matthews described it as being "our anthem." Dave Mathews wrote the music and lyrics prior to its first performance in 1991.[6]


The song is centered on the idea that people get caught up in the monotony of their everyday lives and forget to focus on what is truly important. The metaphor used is that people are like marching ants in the line, "All the little ants are marching, red and black antennae waving, they all do it the same, they all do it the same way." The title of Under the Table and Dreaming is derived from the verse:

Goes to visit his mommy
She feeds him well - his concerns, he forgets them
And remembers being small
Playing under the table and dreaming.

Track listings[edit]

U.S. CD single[edit]

  1. "Ants Marching" (Album Version) – 4:31
  2. "Ants Marching" (Live Version) – 4:45
  3. "Ants Marching" (Live Acoustic Version) – 4:19[7]

Australia CD single 1[edit]

  1. "Ants Marching" (Album Version) – 4:31
  2. "Ants Marching" (Live Version) – 4:45
  3. "Ants Marching" (Live Acoustic Version) – 4:19
  4. "All Along the Watchtower" – 7:04

Australia CD single 2[edit]

  1. "Ants Marching" (Album Version) – 4:31
  2. "What Would You Say" – 3:41
  3. "Typical Situation" (Edit) – 3:57
  4. "Ants Marching" (Live Version) – 4:45


Chart (1995) Peak
US Billboard Pop Songs[1] 19
US Billboard Alternative Songs[1] 18
US Billboard Adult Pop Songs[1] 22
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[1] 25