Playlist: Food for Thought

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means it’s time to loosen your belts for all the glorious food you’ll ingest. To prepare for stuffing, gravy, pies, and family fights, here are some songs to get you in the spirit of the season. Granted, not all the songs are about food, in fact most of them aren’t, but they at least have some sort of food in the title. Try not to get hungry while you’re reading. Save up that strength for next week!

“Hot Dog” – LMFAO

Since this track comes from the party rockin’ duo, you know this song is going to be anything but serious. The cheesy disco inspired track that makes you think of Donna Sommers’ “Bad Girls,” talks about going to the club and getting a hot dog right after. That’s right, this is a track dedicated to the plump meat. The duo talks about what makes a good hot dog (onions and green peppers) and how some vendors “be faking”  with their wares. It’s a weird song, but it’s pretty fun and who hasn’t had that extreme craving for a hot dog? (Make mine Chicago style, please).

“Cherry Pie” – Warrant

Everyone knows this song is not about pie, (spoiler it’s about sex) but it still remains Warrant’s biggest hit. And they hated it. The track was originally not supposed to be on their 1990 album, but the president of Columbia Records, their label at the time, wanted a hit single. So they threw something together and the result was this hit. It was so huge that the company demanded they change the name of the album from Quality You Can Taste to Cherry Pie. The band hated the song, especially because many marked it the end of hair metal. It’s kind of sad thinking singer Jani Lane had a legacy he hated.

“Satan Gave Me a Taco” – Beck

In this bluegrass inspired song, Beck sings about a rotten taco Satan gave to him and how it lead to his downfall. It all started with a taco that had chicken that was “all raw and the grease was mighty thick. The rice was all rancid and the beans were so hard.” From there things get worse for the singer as he tries to find a drink, gets beaten by an old woman who thinks he’s a freak, almost gets decapitated, smokes some heroin, and eventually opens up a taco stand in hell. So I guess the moral is don’t eat tacos from Satan no matter how good they look.

“Chop Suey!” – System of a Down

System of a Down’s debut single put them on the charts and grabbed mainstream media by the throat. The racing guitars and Serj Tankian’s abrupt singing style made everyone take notice. It’s still regarded as one of their best songs. Of course, it’s not about a Chinese stew, but about how people are thought of differently depending on how they die. It’s not really clear where the title of the song came from. Some say it steamed from them having to make the title more radio friendly, others say it’s a play on word suicide: “Suey-cide.” Who knows. Side note: A classmate of mine in 7th grade used to sing the opening verse and got amazing when someone else knew the “real thing” as he puts it. I don’t know why I remember that.

“M+M’s” – Blink-182

So it may not be spelled exactly like the candy, but it’s pretty close. This is one of Blink’s earliest songs that talks about the perils of liking a friend and not wanting to spend nights alone anymore. It has a lot of their humor in it and is pretty catchy with the speeding guitars and Mark Hoppus’ flat, yet charming delivery. The song didn’t receive much radio airplay, but the video did get banned from MTV because it showed gun violence. Once you actually watch the video, you see how tame it really is.

“Eat It” – “Weird Al” Yankovic

When it comes to songs about food “Weird Al” is the king. Since he loves talking about food so much, many of his songs could’ve been on here. But this is the one that popped into my head instantly. This classic takes the popular Michael Jackson track “Beat It” and turns it into a song about eating what’s on your damn plate. “Weird Al” crafted it be just as catchy as the original tune along with an almost shot-for-shot remake of the video. As always, it’s hilarious and may make you a little hungry.

“I Like Food” – The Descendents

This seminal punk band gets straight to the point with this track. Clocking in at only 16 seconds, the lyrics are nothing but “I like food/food tastes good” shouted over and over by frontman Milo Aukerman. He then goes on to talk about “greasy fries” and “juicy burgers,” making your mouth water. It’s short and sweet, but you can’t disagree with the message: food is indeed good. With it’s rapid pace and wild vocals, this track is perfect for the upcoming holiday because it captures how you feel while choking down that last turkey leg. Then of course comes the regret, which you get over once the sweet potato pie comes out. Fun fact: Taking Back Sunday covered this song on their track “Suburban Home/I Like Food.”

“Mexican Seafood” – Nirvana

No song captures Kurt Cobain’s fascination with the human body like this one. Having nothing to do with food at all, the song talks about disgusting human fluids (cum, diarrhea, blood) and a body that’s badly infected. The chorus is Cobain hoarsely singing “Only hurts when I- hurts when I pee.” Whatever disease he’s singing about it does not sound nice. It’s one of the band’s weird, off beat songs that never made it on to any of their albums. Instead it made it’s first appearance on the 1992 rarities collection Incesticide.” It’s a short, yet gross track that reminds you the human body isn’t always so nice to us.

“TV Dinners” – ZZ Top

ZZ Top are some pretty cool guys, but this has got to be one of their strangest songs. It’s exactly what the title says; there’s no underlying message or symbolism here. This track is about TV dinners and which types are the best. It seems to be a love/hate relationship with the food as shown in the line “TV dinners my skin is turnin’ red/Twenty year old turkey in a thirty year old tin.” Even though it reminds you how sad and gross the dinners can be, this guy can’t enough of them. It’s a simple, yet funny song from the guys with some slick and killer riffs (would you expect anything less?).

“Ham ‘n’ Eggs” – A Tribe Called Quest

Though this is a humorous track from the rap outfit, it still celebrates eating good food. Though they all claim not to eat ham n eggs “because they’re high in cholesterol” they happily rap about their favorite meals like turkey, collard greens, chicken, and beef jerky. By the end one of them admits to eating the dish all the time. Even though it’s on the lighter side, it’s still impressive with smooth rhythms and flawless flow. The guys obviously had fun while making the song, but put the same amount of passion and heart that they do for their other material. It’s a cool song that would be perfect to play while everyone is chowing down on Thanksgiving.

“This is Not a Song, It’s a Sandwich” – Psychostick

Psychostick are the “Weird Al” of the metal world. They may not have mainstream popularity, but they’re pretty well known online. A lot of their songs have silly lyrics about the awesomeness of beer, boring chores, taking a shower, and the epicness of beards just to name a few. They have a few songs that talk about food, but this is funniest. Despite the heavy guitars and throbbing drums, this is not a song. It’s a sandwich. That’s the entire track. Psychostick talks about why you are indeed listening to a sandwich. It’s funny, strange, and weird, but fucking great. Even though it’s funny, it’s something you can bang your head to. If you haven’t heard of this band, check out the rest of their catalog.

“Custard Pie” – Led Zeppelin

In the same vain as Warrant, this is not about a delicious desert used frequently in comedy sketches. This is yet another song about sex as so eloquently put by Robert Plant on the line “I chew on a piece of your custard pie.” This song has everything that’s great about Led Zeppelin: Plant’s wild, howling vocals, Bonham’s powerful drumming, and Page’s heavily Blues-inspired riff. The sound is dirty, rough, and little bit sleazy, which could also be applied to what they’re talking about. It’s a classic track from Zeppelin that shows how they blended Blues and hard rock flawlessly. Maybe this one isn’t appropriate for the family, though.

“Fresh Strawberries” – Franz Ferdinand

This is a clever song from the Scottish band that uses the fruit as metaphor for death. It’s painted right in the opening lyric: “We are fresh strawberries/Fresh burst of red strawberries/Ripe, turning riper in the bowl/We will soon be rotten/We will all be forgotten.” It’s actually an interesting and creative way to talk about the inevitable end of life. Though the topic is bleak the music is actually upbeat and happy sounding, taking cues from ’60s psychedelic rock. If you don’t want to bring down the holiday party it’s best to avoid this one.

“Peaches” – Presidents of the United States America

Surprisingly, this is one of the few songs that’s actually about the food it’s named after. This simple tune talks about a man who is going to move to the country and eat a lot of peaches. It’s one of those weird, yet lovable songs from the ’90s where you’re not sure what you like about it. You just know it’s good. The song is actually about a girl singer Chris Ballew had a crush on. He wrote it while sitting under a peach tree as he waited for her to show up to confess his love. Whether you love the catchy hook or the ridiculous ninja filled video, it’s one of those songs you can’t help but like.

“American Pie” – Don McLean

It would be wrong to not include this song on the list. This is the first tune people think of when it comes to food songs, even though it’s not about food. This American classic is about the death of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens aka The Day the Music Died. It’s one of those staples in music that everyone knows about. It’s also one of those songs where the only words you know are the chorus. It lamented the end of an era in a deceiving way since the music sounds pretty upbeat. I’m pretty sure there’s an unwritten rule that says you have to hear this song at least once in your life.

“The Thanksgiving Song” – Adam Sandler

C’mon, this is one of the few Thanksgiving songs out there. It had to be on here! It’s from a time when Adam Sandler was actually funny and creative. On the track he talks about eating turkey while making several pop culture references to Mike Tyson, Betty Grable, Jimmy Walker, and Sammy David and how he only had one eye. It actually sounds like Sandler put in random lyrics because they rhymed, but it’s still fucking funny. Just check it out for yourself.

What are some of your food related songs? Let me know and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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