Top 5 Food References In Pop/Rock Music

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The Commander's mama is busy cookin' hammy
First let's get to the shocking part of this post: Rock 'n rollers evidently never go near food (insert your own drug joke here).

Bob Dylan has scribed hundreds of songs, but never mentions sitting down for a meal. Ditto the Rolling Stones, Led Zep, Pink Floyd ("Brown Sugar" is not about brown sugar, "The Lemon Song" is not about lemons, and the "can't have your pudding" line is too irrelevant to the song). Joni Mitchell poured every damn detail of her life into lyrics, but not a word about ever putting a morsel of food into her mouth. And the same holds true for almost all of the major artists -- not just from the old days, but even the rap/hip-hop crowd seems to omit eating when describing life on the streets (apparently keepin' it real doesn't include breakfast). Reggae artists mostly sing about being hungry. I guess what I'm really saying is that the research for this post took a lot longer to assemble than I had hoped.

I don't count beverages -- so no "Milkshake" by Kelis, or "Gin & Juice" by Snoop Dogg, or any of the wine songs ("Red Red Wine," that Billy Joel "bottle or red, bottle of white", etc.). This list does not include old blues songs ("One Meatball" by Josh White or "Chicken Heads" by Jimmy Johnson or "Grits Ain't Groceries" by various artists). Names of foods in the song title without the lyrics being about food don't count either, so forget "Cinnamon Girl" by Neil Young, "Strawberry Fields Forever" by The Beatles, "Raspberry Beret" by Prince, and "Mayonnaise" by Smashing Pumpkins. Plus "Ice Cream" by Sarah McLachlan and "Tupelo Honey" by Van Morrison aren't really about ice cream or honey. "Cheeseburger in Paradise" doesn't meet qualifications either, but only because it's just a crummy Jimmy Buffet song. So here goes, from least of the best up to best food lyrics...
5. Savoy Truffle
The Beatles
Lyrics by George Harrison

Creme tangerine and montelimat
A ginger sling with a pineapple heart
A coffee dessert, yes, you know it's good news
But you'll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy truffle


4. Maximum Consumption
The Kinks
Lyrics by Ray Davies

I'll have some clam chowder, followed by beef steak on rye
Pumpkin pie, whipped cream and coffee,
I wanna green salad on the side,
Don't forget the french fries,
Pizza pie, garlic and anchovy.
I keep burning up calories as fast as I keep putting them down,
Eat food, put it in my mouth,
Chew it up, swallow it down,
I'll have two eggs, over light, home made apple pie
Cole slaw as a side order.


3. Punky's Dilemma
Simon & Garfunkel
Lyrics by Paul Simon

Wish I was a Kellogg's Cornflake
Floatin' in my bowl takin' movies,
Relaxin' awhile, livin' in style,
Talkin' to a raisin who 'casion'ly plays L.A.,
Casually glancing at his toupee.

Wish I was an English muffin
'Bout to make the most out of a toaster.
I'd ease myself down,
Comin' up brown.

I prefer boysenberry
More than any ordinary jam.
I'm a "Citizens for Boysenberry Jam" fan.


2. That's What I Like About The South
Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen
Lyrics by Andy Razaf

Let's go down to Alabama
Let's go see my dear old mama
Fryin' eggs and cookin' hammy
That's what I like 'bout the South

She's got baked ribs and candied yams
Sugar-cured Virginia hams
Basement full of those berry jams
And that's what I like about the South

Ham hocks and turnip greens
Hog jowls and butter beans
Mardi Gras down in New Orleans
That's what I like 'bout the South..


1. Call Any Vegetable
Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention
Lyrics by Frank Zappa

Cheesy, cheesy!
(This is a song about vegetables . . . they keep you regular; they're real good for ya.)

Call any vegetable
Call it by name
Call one today

When you get off the train
Call any vegetable
And the chances are good
Ooooh! The vegetable
Will respond to you
(Some people don't go for prunes . . . I dunno . . . I've always found that if they . . . )

Call any vegetable
Pick up your phone
Think of a vegetable
Lonely at home
Call any vegetable
And the chances are good
That a vegetable will respond to you-hoooo

RUTA-BAY-AY-AYGA RUTA-BAY-AY-AYGA
RUTA-BAY-AY-AYGA RUTA-BAY-AY-AYGA
RUTA-BAYYYYY . . .

(A prune isn't really a vegetable. Cabbage is a vegetable.)


Honorable mention: "Eggs & Sausage" Tom Waits; "Hot Potatoes," and "Motorway Food," both by The Kinks (Ray Davies is clearly rock's most prolific food lyricist; ironically or not, he is a vegetarian).
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