The Coast News Group
Lick the Plate

Food glorious food! Songs that whet our appetite

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I’ll start this column with a challenge for The Coast News readers. Do a YouTube search on the song “Food Glorious Food” from the musical “Oliver,” give the video a listen and just try to get it out of your head for the next 24 hours or longer. It truly is a glorious song and got me thinking about songs that relate to food in general.

Of course what comes to mind first is the iconic “Cheeseburger in Paradise” by Jimmy Buffet. Despite being the obvious choice, the mental images it conjures up are quite spectacular. I mean really, who would not want to be in paradise eating a greasy, delicious cheeseburger?
Going a little further back, Dean Martin singing “That’s Amore” with the line  “When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie that’s amore” and for even more appetite enhancement adds “when the stars make you drool like a pasta fazool that’s amore.” Just FYI, a pasta fazool is also called pasta e fagioli and is a classic Italian dish of beans and short pasta with tomatoes and vegetables. I’d like one now please.
Of course we have “Strawberry Fields” and “Savoy Truffle” by the Beatles. “Raspberry Beret” from Prince, “Tupelo Honey” from Van Morrison and “American Pie” from Don McLean. All fairly obvious choices for inclusion in a column of this nature. 
Then there are the more obscure selections such as “Homegrown Tomatoes” written and performed by Guy Clark and also sung by John Denver. It’s probably the most detailed and accurate food song I found and timely as well with my garden busting with homegrown tomatoes of my own. Here is a sampling of the lyrics.  
“Ain’t nothin’ in the world that I like better
Than bacon & lettuce & homegrown tomatoes
Up in the mornin’ out in the garden
Get you a ripe one don’t get a hard one
Plant `em in the spring eat `em in the summer
All winter with out `em’s a culinary bummer
I forget all about the sweatin’ & diggin’
Every time I go out & pick me a big’n”
My next pick is one of my favorite songs regardless of the fact that it happens to be about peaches, which is a favorite fruit as well. The song is aptly named “Peaches” by The Presidents of the United States of America. Yes, that’s their name and this song rocks. 
“Movin’ to the country,
Gonna eat a lot of peaches
Movin’ to the country,
Gonna eat me a lot of peaches
Movin’ to the country,
Gonna eat a lot of peaches,
Movin’ to the country,
Gonna eat a lot of peaches.” 
It sounds much better than it reads, trust me on this one.
While Tom Waits is not for everyone, he nails the diner experience and makes me want to head on over to the Encinitas Café on the classic “Eggs & Sausage.”  
“Eggs and sausage and a side of toast,
Coffee and a roll, hash browns over easy,
Chile in a bowl with burgers and fries,
What kind of pie?”
To ensure equal representation of several musical genres, I had to include “All You Can Eat” by The Fat Boys. I mean really … we’ve all been there right? 
“$3.99 for all you can eat?
Well, I’m a stuff my face to a funki beat!
We’re gonna walk inside, and guess what’s up:
Put some food in my plate, and some Coke in my cup.
Give me some chicken, franks, and fries
And you can pass me a lettuce I’m a pass it by.”
Speaking of genres, Weird Al Yankovic is a genre all his own and who can forget “Eat It,” sung to the tune of “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. 
“Have some more yogurt, have some more Spam
It doesn’t matter if it’s fresh or canned
Just eat it, eat it, eat it, eat it
Don’t you make me repeat it
Have a banana, have a whole bunch
It doesn’t matter what you have for lunch
Just eat it!”

I’m barely scratching the surface here as there are so many food related songs to choose from. I’ll close with some of my favorites. “Green Onions” from Booker T. & the MGs, “Tangerine” by Led Zeppelin, “Cherry” from Neil Diamond, “Lemon” by U2, “Banana Pancakes” from Jack Johnson, “Pork and Beans” by Weezer, “Pease Porridge” from De La Soul, “Egg Man” from the Beastie Boys and, of course, “Brown Sugar” from the Rolling Stones.
Bon appetite all you foodie rockers!

Lick the Plate can now be heard on KPRi, 102.1 FM Monday – Friday during the 7pm hour. David Boylan is founder of Artichoke Creative and Artichoke Apparel, an Encinitas based marketing firm and clothing line. Reach him at [email protected] or (858) 395-6905.