Top 5 Food References In Pop/Rock Music

The Commander's mama is busy cookin' hammy
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




(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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