Post # 263 Muscially Delicious

June 10, 2014 at 2:16 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 263 Muscially Delicious

The other day I was wandering around the house cleaning and a song was going through my head.  “My baloney has a first name.  It’s O-S-C-A-R!  My baloney has a second name.  It’s M-A-Y-E-R!  I love to eat it every day and if you ask me why I’ll say cuz Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L–O-G-N-A!”  A little ditty from a commercial about sandwich meat.  Coincidentally, a sandwich meat that my mother bought all the time.  Baloney, mustard, cheese, lettuce, and tomato on white bread were a staple of my youth.  But it got me to thinking about songs involving food, not just commercial jingles but “serious”, mainstream songs.

I like all kinds of music so coming up with a decent list was pretty easy.  I was surprised how easy it was once I got into it.

Eat It! by Weird Al was the first to come to mind.  “Just eat it, eat it, eat it, eat it Get yourself an egg and beat it Have some more chicken, have some more pie It doesn’t matter if it’s boiled or fried”.  True to Weird Al’s form, the song is hilarious, done to the tune of Beat It by Michael Jackson.  At one time, I had all of Weird Al’s songs memorized, but not so much any more.  He’s even got one whole CD dedicated to his food songs.

World War II had a lot of songs that involved foods of various kinds.  Part of it was that it made the troops who were far away from home remember what they’d left behind, but another part was because at home, singing about things that were typically “American” lifted their spirits.  The one that popped to mind first was “Rum and Coca Cola” by the Andrews Sisters.  “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree”, “Shortnin’ Bread”  and “Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy” are referred to by The Two Fat Ladies in their shows.  Rosemary Clooney sang “Come Ona My House” and offered candy and treats.  One of the best from this time is “In The Cool Cool Cool of the Evening” which lists food after food and barbeques and weenie bakes and on and on.

Even earlier than that songs were about “Tea for Two” and “Yes, We Have No Bananas”.  Shirley Temple sang about “Good Ship Lollipop” and “Animal Crackers in My Soup.”

Food in songs and song titles ain’t so rare.

“Be Our Guest” in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was a huge production number and it was all about food and dishes and cutlery and stoves and punch bowls all singing and dancing in glorious abandon.  Made for a good musical number.  Another good musical number from another movie was “Food Glorious Food” from Oliver!.  Another food related movie is Alice’s Restaurant, but that’s a different story altogether.  Then there’s Monty Python’s Spam-A-Lot.

There have been a ton of hit songs about food in the mainstream, too.  Who remembers “Lollipop”?  Lollipop Lollipop Oh Lolly Lollipop *POP!*  And “Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.”  Not really impossible, but damn difficult.  One time a “friend” gave me a section of citrus telling me it was white grapefruit and very sweet.  It was lemon.  Pucker city!  “I like bread and butter.  I like toast and jam.  That’s what my baby feeds me.  I’m her lovin’ man.”  That one has been done many times.  “There’s nothing in the world that I like better than bacon and lettuce and home grown tomatoes!”  I first heard this from John Denver but it had been around for a long time before he sang it.  “Jambalaya crawfish pie the filey  gumbo” is another one that has a life of its own.  And “Who can take tomorrow wrap it in a sigh cover it in chocolate and make a strawberry lemon pie?  The Candy Man!”  Two other mainstream hits involving foods that I like:  “It was a one eyed one horned giant purple people eater!”  It’s about eating, right?  And “Apple peaches pumpkin pie” was really about a game, but who can resist a song lyric like that?

The food songs that have stayed with me longest are the ones from my childhood.  There were two that I used to sing like it was my job.  The first was The Big Rock Candy Mountain. “Oh, the buzzin’ of the bees in the peppermint trees ‘Round the soda water fountains Where the lemonade springs and the bluebird sings In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.”  I was in my thirties before I found out there was a children’s version and an adult’s version.  The one I knew was from Captain Kangaroo and had nothing to do with cops and cigarettes, etc.  I like the children’s version better.  The other one, my sister taught us.  “On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed.  It rolled off the table and onto the floor, and then my poor meatball rolled out of the door.  It rolled in the garden and under a bush.  By then my poor meatball was nothing but mush!”  We sang that every time mom served spaghetti.  All during the meal.  On into the evening after the meal.  All the way to bed time.  She didn’t serve spaghetti often enough for us.  I think we ate spaghetti with such gust because we like the songs.

I’m going to finish up now with a link to a video about food that’s one of my favorites.  Hope you enjoy it too!




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