The holidays are here again, and with them come the monotonous, often-dreaded, family gatherings, … and with those gatherings comes a lot of food, right? The turkey may be roasting in the oven, the cranberry sauce may be poised for slathering, and the biscuits are flaky and golden-brown, but you’re still missing choice music for this occasion.
While you gorge on that spread, sing along to five handpicked songs to help you enjoy your feast—because just giving you Dave Matthews Band’s “Too Much” wasn’t enough.
“Savoy Truffle” – The Beatles
The Beatles can get away with writing songs about anything—isn’t “Piggies” enough proof of that? In “Savoy Truffle,” also found onThe White Album, the Liverpool lads fawn over dessert foods comprising crème tangerine, Montélimar, cool cherry cream and nice apple tart—among other confections, but the Savoy truffle beats ’em all. With the classic Fab Four-mula—hooky lines, parallel harmonies, Piccadilly brass and funky keyboards, this track gets our mouths watering for any of these treats, and really, we don’t mind whether it’s Savoy truffle or ginger sling with a pineapple heart—we’ll eat them both.
“Peaches” – The Presidents of the United States of America
In the mid-1990s, the alt world was obsessed with produce: The cover of No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom features a rotting trio of oranges in the corner under hovering fruit flies, Modest Mouse released the EP The Fruit That Ate Itself, and The Presidents of the United States of America were catapulted into mainstream radio with “Peaches.” With an ominous start that eventually turns into a fun rocker, this song simply pledges alt rock’s allegiance to the juicy fruit. Frontman Andrew McKeag attests he plans to move to the country and eat a lot of peaches—a simplistic lifestyle that could convince anyone to abandon a concrete jungle. McKeag presents the versatility of peaches and craftily calls them nature’s candy “in my hand, or can, or pie.” At that rate, we could eat an entire meal of just peaches. LOOK OUT!
“Maximum Consumption” – The Kinks
It’s not what you’d expect from the group that released “All Day and All of the Night” or “Lola.” In “Maximum Consumption,” vocalist Ray Davies lists his food order on his fingers and asks for clam chowder, beef steak on rye, pumpkin pie, whipped cream and coffee—and that’s just verse one. These Brits perfectly represent the American tradition of Thanksgiving, which is to shamelessly shotgun as much food as you can, until you throw up or fall asleep (the latter a food nap, as it’s considered). The song explains that the protagonist needs all this food because he’s a “nonstop, high-grade performer.” This most likely won’t be the case for any Americans on Turkey Day, but we know we “gotta eat food,” and The Kinks know that “it’s good for you.”
“Red, Red Wine” – UB40
Being with family has a way of making people want to drink. It’s something about the nagging grandma, the uncle who shouts inappropriate comments at inappropriate times, or the hot gossip the aunts and cousins dish up that you couldn’t care less about. You may not get away with swigging Wild Turkey while eating wild turkey, but red wine is always a refined beverage that’s fitting at any Thanksgiving dinner table. Neil Diamond, who penned the lyrics, craftily added a serenade you’ll find yourself repeating to your glass of merlot: “Red, red wine/Stay close to me,” as your family becomes progressively unbearable.
“Hungry Eyes” – Eric Carmen
No one said this song was specifically about Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. This song is about intense desire—hunger, if you will. And after you croon, “Stay close to me,” to your red, red wine, look at the smorgasbord of peaches and Savoy truffles with hungry eyes. You will no doubt feel the magic between yourself and the food you’re about to consume ad maximum.