songs-about-food

Even though, songs about food may not be the most commonly used idea or concept by singers and songwriters; nevertheless, there are more than just a few songs about food out there. Songs and food are two quite distinct subjects in nature. But, musicians have more than often composed music with food in the title of their tracks. Since all musicians are artists, the finesse is accomplished by a distinct character to relate it to their concept and ideology.

In this article, we are going to take you through a variety of reasons, concepts, and explanations of songs about food.


The Message conveyed in Songs About Food

So far, we have seen that food is used as a figure of speech in the title of a track. Food is actually used as a metaphor to apprehend the artist’s psychology of emotions through lyrical poetry. Lyricists have used words such as chocolate, candy, apple and sugar to connotate emotions such as love and its variations.

Metaphors about food are also used to express feelings of hope and loss. Singers of various genres have used lyrics about food to explore feelings associated with passion and desire.


Expressions in Songs About Food

More often than not food quotations convey secret meanings which are misunderstood by the listeners. Musicians have used these words to spark thoughts and feelings about life and philosophy. Songs with food in the title, or in their lyrics, also convey a range of emotions associated with pleasure and happiness. Some songs about food induce ambiguity such as double meaning and suggest a hidden desire.


Artists’ Thought process behind Songs About Food

Some songs about food elicit deep contemplation. Certain foods inspire composers and vocalists to write songs. Such songs are frequently odes to their favorite meals or to anything ridiculously beautiful to them. Food is also used to represent temptation and passion in music videos.

So far, we have covered the general concepts we were able to decipher from analyzing various songs about food. We wanted to cover all the variations in such concepts and therefore we have a list of the best songs about food followed by a brief synopsis of some of the songs.


Best Songs About Food

“My Boy Lollipop” – Millie Small

This is one of the oldest songs featured on our list. The original reggae version was first released in 1964 by Jamaican singer Millie Small. The background music of well-timed blows of trumpets and strikes from keyboard with plays of harmonica in between makes it one of the best classic reggae soundtracks of all time.

The lyrics start directly with the title of the song “My Boy Lollipop”. It is mainly used to display how sweet her love for her boy is, like a candy. The latter lyrics are perfectly rhymed with the overall rhythm of the song and repeatedly express the comparison of her love with sweet things such as lollipops, candy, and sugar dandy.


“Banana Pancakes” – Jack Johnson

This is a soft rock song about food released by the artist Jack Johnson in 2005. The background music in this song is a simple and organized jingle that uses acoustic guitar riffs and soft beats of bass.

The singer speaks about a rainy day where a person needs to just ditch all the work and sleep until late in the afternoon. And then wake up to have banana pancakes to enjoy the weather. Later, he wants to stay indoors with his lover on a rainy day to enjoy the ambiance of the weather. The artist repeats this expression through the song after the chorus.


“Passionfruit” – Drake

This is a song about food that has food mentioned only in its title and nowhere else. It is a far cry from the hip-hop/rap style music Drake is normally known to be associated with. By the title “passionfruit” the artist wanted to summarize all the things he might be passionate about.

The artist simply used the word “fruit” instead of “song” so as to derive the title of “passionfruit” instead of “passionsong”. The rhythm of soft drums and flutters of snares form a great combo of background music. Along with the persistent background music the artist speaks of the things he is passionate about.


“Sugar” – Maroon 5

Maroon 5 is one of the most famous indie/pop music bands out there. So, it is more than obvious to have them featured in this list of songs about food. This song is not their most famous track but it has definitely managed to be one of their best song released. The collective tempo of varying drum beats and fusion of electronical flutters combine to make a catchy indie/pop background music. The lyrics basically mean how deep he is in love with his lover. And “sugar” is used as a metaphor for the lover, to convey the fondness.


“Birthday Cake” – Rihanna

Rihanna has a dirty history of being out-of-the-box and flamboyant with her music, statements, and philosophy. However, sometimes this might seem weird and this song about food is no exception.

Rihanna’s body is referenced in this song, which mentions birthday cake. As it is called “birthday cake”, you might just think it is a birthday party song. But, don’t be fooled by the name of the song. This song is nowhere near to any song fit for a birthday party. It depicts the bliss of getting down and dirty as being dissimilar to that obtained from eating a real birthday cake.


“Pour Some Sugar on Me” – Def Leppard

“Pour Some Sugar on Me” basically means the release from all the burden, unnecessary thoughts, and all those daily life pressures a person faces. It represents close relationships, as do most other songs titled after foods. It’s an offer to get together for a night of pleasure from one person to the next.


“Strawberry Fields Forever” – The Beatles

“The Beatles”, as we know is probably the most popular rock band of 1960s. So, it is a basic benchmark to have their song about food in this list. “Strawberry Fields Forever” is one of the Beatles’ most difficult efforts, as well as a watershed moment in 20th-century music.

But what if someone said there is a “Strawberry Fields” recording that outperforms the single released in February 1967? Is this a ridiculous claim? Or is it a portal to one of the most revealing Beatles recordings?

“It’s real, you know,” the writer John Lennon remarked in 1970. “It’s about me, and I don’t know anything else really. The only true songs I ever wrote were ‘Help!’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever”.

Strawberry Fields was the Salvation Army children’s home. Lennon used to play as a boy, despite his Aunt Mimi’s warnings that the grounds were dangerous. The Beatles may have sensed they had reached a middle-aged point in their career, thus an impetus to look back to childhood, as Lennon was then.


“Red Red Wine” – UB40 (originally by Neil Diamond)

Heartbreak and the usage of red wine to numb the memories of a love lost are depicted in this 1983 reggae song. The lines are dedicated to love, but the chorus is dedicated to wine, which is depicted as an oxymoron. The wine gives you a million-dollar feeling while also making you melancholy.

Diamond wrote “Red Red Wine” from the perspective of a heartbroken man who can only forget the love he’s lost with the help of the titular beverage. While strings, organs, and rhythm-guitar clicks murmur consolingly, Diamond shouts out these lyrics about his own tribulations. The song failed to chart when it was released as a single in 1968, peaking at #62. “Red Red Wine,” on the other hand, went out into the world and found its path.


“Bacon” – Nick Jonas and Ty Dolla Sign

In this song Nick Jonas directly expresses his love for bacon. There is nothing hidden or metaphorical meaning in this song about food, which is bacon. In the video of this song the singer sings, dances and takes selfies while eating bacon in a diner. At one point of the video, Nick Jonas even jumps into the kitchen and fries some bacon and hands it out. By doing this, Nick Jonas wanted to show how much he loves bacon. Ty Dolla Sign does his bits a hip-hop artist in between.


“The Blacker The Berry” – Kendrick Lamar

“The Blacker The Berry,” by Kendrick Lamar, is an unmistakable fist-pumper for the masses. The Compton visionary uncovers dark recesses in Black America’s brains, shedding light on the complexity of their experience. However, dismissing this song as just another “black thing” is a disservice to the discussion.

The artist’s proclamation of racism, intolerance, apartheid of black community was portrayed by the title of this song about food. The lyrics and overall vibe of the song tend to form a momentum which can be loosely translated as “The Blacker The Berry The More The Racism.” And “Berry” means person.


“Cola” – Lana Del Ray

The title of this song about food has no substantial meaning or implication in the lyrics nor the vibe. The analogy of this song does not really reveal why it was named “Cola”, even though, the word “Cola” is used in the lyrics twice.

This can be confirmed after the artist personally gave the following statements on media. She said “When I wrote that song, I suppose I had like a Harvey Weinstein/Harry Winston-type of character in mind. I envisioned, like, a benevolent, diamond-bestowing-upon-starlets visual, like a Citizen Kane or something,”

Del Rey added. “I’m not really sure. I thought it was funny at the time, and I obviously find it really sad now. I support the women who have come forward. And I think they’re really brave for doing that.”

She also said, “Obviously I don’t feel comfortable with it now,” and that she would retire the track immediately because of the sexual harassment allegations on Harvey Weinstein.


“Peaches N Cream” – Snoop Dogg

If we do a background check on Snoop Dogg, then it will not be very surprising to think about Snoop comparing fruit and cream to a woman’s body. This is exactly how the artist uses “Peaches n Cream” in his song.

He talks about the desirable and seductive parts of a woman’s body, imagines them in different ways, and then transitions into the chorus lyrics of “Peaches N Cream.” Much of the context of the song is vulgar as it is not considered to be offensive in the hip-hop/rap culture nowadays.


“Peaches” – The Presidents Of The United States Of America

“The Presidents Of The United States Of America” is a modestly successful rock band having released their song “Peaches” in February, 1996. As a rock band, their thought process was supposed to be modest but the analogy proved it otherwise. In the first part any listener would think that the singer is decently comparing ‘Peaches” to the fruit itself and decide that the meaning of the title is the literal meaning of that word. But the listener will be disrupted in the latter part of the song where the singer startles by comparing peaches to private parts of women. The final representation is a vulgar comparison of women’s private parts with peaches.


“Chocolate” – 1975

Chocolate starts off on a positive note with a clap-happy drum beat and a melodic guitar line. Matthew Healy’s vocals enter in a lighthearted manner, and the track is well underway. He has a distinct voice, and it’s refreshing to hear him sing in his native dialect – a concept lost on many of today’s popstars. The verse and chorus practically merge into one, creating a compelling and continuous hook for the song. Those colorful guitar lines continue in the background, adding a lot to this happy little tune. It does get a little repetitious at times, but a short breakdown with sweeping strings changes the dynamics before the chorus kicks back in.

The lyrics find front-man Matt Healy escaping from the police with a lover and a stash of marijuana. (“Chocolate,” after all, is British slang for weed.) “Now we run away from the boys in the blue/And my car smells like chocolate.” In this song about food, “Chocolate” was referred to the drug ‘Marijuana”.


“Oats In The Water” Ben Howard

The music is almost haunting yet compelling. The lyrics paint the picture the artist intended. The song was introduced on the TV series “The Walking Dead” as a sort of theme song for characters in it. Your heart will pound in full measure from the first note of the opening haunting chords to the compelling words. The artist did an amazing job conjuring up such grief and beauty.

In this song about food, “Oats in the water” has been referred to sadness and grief. The metaphorical analogy would be that oat is a thing that should not be in water but if it is in water then there must have been a tragedy. That tragedy is referred to grief and solitude described in the song.


“Cake By The Ocean” – DNCE

Cake By The Ocean is a frothy pop dream, consisting primarily of one long hook and an easy-to-remember chorus, with the extra excitement of hearing a former Disney star cuss and refer to “eating cake by the ocean.”

The song” comes off as a 70s-inspired ball of pure nonsense. Apparently, the song’s initial inspiration came about after some confusion about the “Sex on the Beach” cocktail.


“Sugar Mountain” – Neil Young

‘Sugar Mountain,’ written by Neil Young in 1963, is a meditation on aging. Young penned the song in response to being kicked out of his favorite youth club after becoming 19 years old, according to his friend Joni Mitchell.

Mitchell wrote ‘The Circle Game’ as a way to console Young. Young later revealed to an audience that he wrote 126 (!) verses for ‘Sugar Mountain,’ and that he purposefully included the most awkward verse (“Now you’re underneath the stairs/And you’re givin’ back some glares”) because “I decided to put it in the song, to just to give everybody a frame of reference as to, you know, what can happen.”

‘Sugar Mountain,’ at over six minutes and with only Young’s voice and acoustic guitar, lags a little, but it also taps into a wonderful reminiscence. Although nostalgia is an odd form for a young guy, this is the same writer who subsequently wrote “Old man, look at your life, I’m a lot like you.”


“Bon Appetit” – Katy Perry and Migos

Katy Perry is no stranger to sex-as-food metaphors (the molten popsicles of “California Gurls,” the whipped cream-shooting bras of her touring act) or even protracted, over-the-top sexual metaphors (the molten popsicles of “Peacock”). So when a phrase about being “spread like a banquet” emerges on her new track, we know she’s back to her old Perry obsessions, rather than scrounging for a chuckwagon commercial. But she’s never gone as far as she does in “Bon Appetit,” a joyously ludicrous exercise in chewing the comedy scenery by depicting female sexuality as a four-course-plus meal. Perry’s bombardment of carnal/culinary one-liners may leave you undecided whether to laugh or gag; the song should come with its own Heimlich technique, just in case.


“Cookie Jar” – Gym Class Heroes

Gym Class Heroes may be credited as being particularly imaginative in their approach to creating this song. We’ve had to listen to misogynist hip-hop musicians glamorize their adulterous lifestyles with uninspired lyrics for years, but Gym Class Heroes have demonstrated that you can dehumanize and humiliate women in a unique and original way.

In this song about food, who’d have guessed that women might be compared to the various types of cookies contained in the cookie jar? ‘Butter Pecan Puerto Ricans,’ ‘Oatmeal Raisin Asians,’ ‘Hazelnut Brazilians,’ and ‘Macadamia Caucasians,’ according to Gym Class Heroes. They also like ladies, comparing them to ‘double stuffed or thin mint’ cookies. But, as they so brilliantly put it, it doesn’t seem to matter what flavor your cookie is as long as you receive it.


“The Ketchup Song” – Las Ketchup

The original version of this song about food was released in “Spanglish” in the year 2002. If you went on vacation to Europe in summer or were within spitting distance from a soundbox, you’ve probably heard this song before. Las Ketchup is a band of a trio of slightly odd-looking women from Spain. The video of this “Song About Food” includes dance moves (wiggle your hands, lift your thumb, raise your arms, bang your knees together) as well as a sunny film in which the trio serve drinks at a beach bar.

The chorus of this song has an interesting story behind it. Diego, a young man, walks into a nightclub. “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang, is played by the DJ, who is a friend of Diego’s. Diego dances and sings along to the song, copying the chorus with Spanish gibberish. As a result, “Aserejé” is a nonsensical term, and the chorus “Aserejé, ja, de je, de jebe tu de jebere…” is a clumsy parody of the Rapper’s Delight’s “I said a hip-hop, the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop…”

“The Ketchup Song” got its title as a reference to the band’s name which is “Las Ketchup”, loosely meaning “The Ketchup Song” from the band “Las Ketchup.”


Conclusion

Food has been used in songs in many different ways by artists. A title of a song with food might not actually mean that artist will talk about food in the song. Food items are often used as figures of speech to apprehend the imagination of the artist. Every song about food has its own distinct concept of the hypothetical representation of the artist.

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Arifur Rahman
Hello, my name is Arifur Rahman. I am a guitarist & music composer. I write about music & guitar at Calibbr.

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