mThanksgiving 2012 is over. We can now rest our tired tongues and bellies, gather breath after an incessant amount of pies and lazily nuzzle into November hibernation- better known as food coma. Food has never been the hottest song topic, but every so often musicians let their inspirations roam to broiling new places. Here you’ll find a selection of tracks dedicated to edibles of wide variety- some silly, others funky and even a few romantic. Allow them to tide you over during those hibernating blues, or at the very least entertain you with thinly veiled euphemisms and general goof-factor.
“Salt Peanuts” – Dizzy Gillepsie (1943)
A hectic bebop band anthem seemingly directed right at this food (and simultaneously at nothing at all), “Salt Peanuts” is the only lyric in the song- and it’s in yodel key. This song’s existence is odd and intriguing, and research leads to its additional performers (Kenny Clarke, Charlie Parker) as the only proponents of its popularity.
“Frim Fram Sauce” – Nat King Cole (1945)
“I want the Frim Fram Sauce with the oss’n’fay and shifafa on the side.” This playful jazz hit is catchy and smooth, let’s point out though that while Cole lists many actual foods that he doesn’t want, the aforementioned nonsense dishes are all he wants. Maybe that’s run around for not wanting any food at all, just some silly banter before resigning with a glass of water.
“Ham ‘n Eggs” – A Tribe Called Quest (1990)
“I don’t eat no ham ‘n eggs ‘cause they’re high in cholesterol. Strictly collared greens and the occasional steak, on my plate.” For all those who say old school hip hop is the best hip hop, I encourage you to examine the cholesterol intake-conscious lyrics of this track. Trivial and fun, definitive of 1990’s rap, but far surpassed in quality content by those of today.
“Candy” – Mandy Moore (1999)
This guilty pleasure won the “Candy” spot on the list from Bow Wow Wow by a tiny, tiny hair. Moore’s classic career starter features throwback hairstyles and choreography made for teenage girls to practice. She’s missing her guy like candy, which is a testament to the intensity of her longing (I can relate, Mandy) as well as her youth-inspired metaphor.
“Jazz Potato” – Mr. Scruff (1997)
No lyrics for this one, but a potato this smooth certainly vibes. Top YouTube comment: “Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate.” -Anonymous
“Reading Time with Pickles” – Regina Spektor (2002)
Nobody can make a song about pickles with the loveliness that Spektor is capable of. She employs beauty through metaphors of pickles and companionship, simplicity and love. Delicate and up to many interesting interpretations, I’d guess the song was inspired at first by a literal love of those crunchy second-life cucumbers.
“Cherry Pie” - Katzenjammer (2011)
How many cups of cherries do you take in your pie? Katzenjammer’s Balkin-style beats and carefree vibes make you wonder why you ever considered rationing the sweeter things in life. “Let your belly say when,” sing the Norwegian rockers. Good advice.
“Gravy Train” (Nicolas Jaar remix) – Maceo Plex (2011)
Put this in your ears and get onboard the gravy train of good feelings. It’s another lyric-less tune in the style of experimental minimalism, and possibly the least cheesy of list.
“Hot Cheetos and Takis” – Y.N.Richkids (2012)
Embodying the same attitude as any rapper today, the kids of a Minnesota YMCA after school program started writing raps as exercises of expression, confidence and creativity. The result is this song- now millions of views of viral- rhyming about the joys of convenient store snacks on a hot summer day. Small time topics for small time lyricists, but big time confidence being brewed here folks- the important kind.