Thanksgiving… what does it make you think of? In addition to family, old friends and gratitude for life, Turkey Day seems to serve as both the holiday with the worst decorations and the pace-setter on gluttonous holiday indulgence for the rest of the year - not to mention the floodgate-opener to Christmas decoration/preparation/celebration. There's also the politics of Thanksgiving, with generations gathered to argue Obamacare, Ebola and Ferguson as we celebrate our first intrusion into the lives of the American Indian. Sure, we might catch a parade or two as well... if torturous boredom is your thing.
The food, however, is the primary focal point of the day. Turkey, ham, beer, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, cranberries, beer, apple pie, more beer, stuffing, biscuits, maybe a bong rip if you’re in one of the greener states and, yes, more beer. Food is the biggest part of Turkey Day, and we love it. In fact, food is so damn wonderful that it’s often lionized in song. So, as we prepare for Thanksgiving, we’ve compiled some mouth-watering jams to whet the appetite and start you on your path to gluttony of the gut. In other words, here are 10 Awesome Songs About Food.
Bow Wow Wow - I Want Candy
Album: The Last Of The Mohicans EP
Originally performed by sixties pop group The Strangeloves, “I Want Candy” was turned into an iconic new wave song by Bow Wow Wow. Not only did this version come equipped with a kick ass video, it also introduced us to Anabella Lwin, a woman who has been the focal point of many “she’d be a perfect girlfriend” discussions. While Bow Wow Wow never amounted to much outside this cover, it is one of the best songs about food ever.
Fats Domino - Blueberry Hill
Album: Blueberry Hill
A song often heard being belted out by Richie Cunningham, Blueberry Hill has an interesting lineage. First sung in 1940 by country icon Gene Autry for his film The Singing Hill, The Glenn Miller Orchestra would add a jazz swing to it a year later. In 1949 the great Louie Armstrong took a turn with “Blueberry Hill”, even going so far as to change the lyrics. With all that great talent behind it, it wasn’t until 1956 that the song found a home with blues singer Fats Domino. When sitting around the table, thinking back to all you’re thankful for, let this song play the soundtrack to that awesome girl or guy you didn’t think you’d hook up with but did.
Black Flag - Black Coffee
Album: Slip It In
You can’t have Thanksgiving without coffee and you can’t find a better tune about black coffee than this one from Black Flag. Only the boys behind the four bars could turn the simple act of sipping a hot cup of Joe into an anthem of rage and disassociation. When you’re feeling out of place at the big family reunion because your Grandma keeps asking why you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend and your mom weeps silently that you never finished school or don’t call enough, slip into a back room and blast this ode to the best digestible accessory of the disenfranchised.
Kelis - Milkshake
Never before has a rich desert been so effective in making boys run to a yard. Kellis takes her blazing hotness and sultry voice, applies them to this creamy delight and proceeds to push the limits of metaphor to the absolute extreme. Perhaps this isn’t the most family friendly food song ever and maybe not one that screams Thanksgiving but, be honest, how awesome would the family reunion be if that guest your sister brought decided you needed some milkshake. Best. Thanksgiving. EVER!!
Fat Boys - All You Can Eat
Album: Krush Groove Soundtrack
Back before hip-hop was about the rhyming resume (my chains, bitches, money, cars) or the faux intellectual “indie” scene, it was just groups rapping about things they enjoyed. Rocking the party, picking up girls and, yes, eating. The Fat Boys, one of the most criminally overlooked hip-hop groups ever, dropped this elegy to over eating on the soundtrack to Krush Groove. Not only is this jam fat like a deep fried Twinkie (RIP my beloved sponge), but it’s the theme to any Thanksgiving spread when your eyes are bigger than your stomach.
X-Ray Specs - Junk Food Junkie
Album: The Anthology
Who can’t relate to being a Junk Food Junkie? Seriously, who doesn’t eye the apple pie before the turkey or salivate over the cobbler before digging the stuffing? Junk food is the backbone of our obese American nation and, slowly, we’re spreading the love of this death inducing style of consumption around the world. X-Ray Specs, a British punk band that everyone should love, was one of the first to put the global love of crappy food into song. I’m so inspired, I’m going to eat a box of Ho-Hos right now!!
Weird Al Yankovic - I Love Rocky Road
Dizzy Gillespie - Salt Peanuts
Album: Absolutely The Best: Dizzy Gillespie
“Salt Peanuts” is the first jazz tune that got me into the genre and it continues to be one of my favorites. Sure it’s a standard, but most things become standards because they kick so much ass. The interpretations of “Salt Peanuts” from Charlie Parker, Arturo Sandoval, Miles Davis and the others all add something to the original but never surpass it. Dizzy Gillespie takes the jazz swing to another level with this jam and then christens it about an awesome snack food. It’s all win here!!
The B-52s - Rock Lobster
With one of this best surf riffs ever strummed and a funky beat that makes even the whitest white people boogie, Rock Lobster is forever in the pantheon of bad ass food songs. I defy you to try and not dance when this plays. If your Thanksgiving party becomes stale or you see Grandpa passing out after a tryptophan overdose, throw “Rock Lobster” on shake a claw to B-52’s ode to the funkiest crustacean ever. Granted you don’t serve lobster at Thanksgiving, but hey, maybe we should. It wasn’t on the original Pilgrim/Indian table but neither was beer or soda.
Tom Waits - Eggs And Sausage
Album: Nighthawks At The Diner
You really can’t get any better than Tom Waits. The man is so damn good he makes a boring night in a diner sound like the coolest place on Earth. Waits even makes the menu sound soulful and cool. Listen to how his grizzled voice wraps around the term “Eggs and sausage, side of toast, coffee and a roll”. Just imagine if your Thanksgiving was this cool. The grandparents were old jazz flappers slinging stories of prohibition, mom and dad were getting stoned while they whipped up the meal and talked about traveling the world high. You sit there strumming a guitar and bopping your head while the fedora your late uncle gave you rests on it. Badass Thanksgiving all the way!!