Staying in my house all day, every day, has made me realize that I am simply just existing from meal to meal. So, I decided to think about songs that have food in the title and analyze them to figure out the deeper meaning. If there is any. The songs I chose are all really good, so listen to them and satisfy your musical cravings. If you’re not hungry now, you will be by the end of this post.
Salad Days - Mac DeMarco
Yeah yeah, I like indie music. “Salad Days” is about Mac reminiscing on his youthful days, despite only being in his 20s when he wrote this song. It is inspired by Shakespeare’s play Antony and Cleopatra. Cleopatra thinks about her days with Julius Caesar calling them “My salad days” (Caesar salad, anyone?).
Mashed Potatoes - Underground Springhouse
This song by the Athens based band Underground Springhouse starts off with the opening line “Wake up and do the same old thing that I do, every day.” That really hits different with what’s going on in the world. The song is really groovy and just about being mixed up, like a mashed potato.
Big Pot of Hummus - Tom Rosenthal
Tom Rosenthal is not going to let anyone keep him from his big pot of hummus, or from letting him have a good day. I feel like there is definitely a deeper meaning to this song, probably about persevering through troubled times. But I just like how much he loves hummus. Next he should write a song about pita chips. Yummy.
King of Carrot Flowers Pt. One - Neutral Milk Hotel
Neutral Milk Hotel really likes to create different meanings for their songs that can be confusing to unravel, but I’ll try to explain this one. Carrot flowers are carrots that are really old and the king in tarot cards represents being the master of a card. The message of the subject being young while also being the king of carrot flowers presents a contradiction - the subject is young, yet also the king of growing old. That’s really all I have for this one, it’s a good indie-folk tune from the 90s.
Flaming Hot Cheetos - Clairo
The song title came to be just because Clairo was eating Flaming Hot Cheetos while working on the demo. The song is actually about a past relationship that Clairo mistakenly romanticized. Clairo really wants her ex to have the same strong feelings that she has and this song is an embodiment of that.
Chicken Bone - The Kooks
The meaning of this song is really interesting. Basically, Luke Pritchard doesn’t like the claustrophobia of the city, so he visits a girl. She looks after him, feeding him chocolates and wine. Luke is a pretty skinny guy and the girl isn’t, so she calls him Chicken Bone. All of his sorrows and worries are gone when he is with her, and he just can’t get enough.
Hot Dog - Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin is inspired by rockabilly music, which makes this an interesting but fun song. Robert Plant stated that this song is a tribute to Texas and its people. All of the band members have “countrified” their instruments, with John Paul Jones playing afford to go?” or “kiss you ‘til your lips explode?”. He pleads with his girlfriend to just use the spare bedroom if she brings him home. This is a fun song and I’m still not sure if his girlfriend actually cheated on him.
Coca Cola - Bosley
The curves of a girl who the singer is infatuated with is compared to a bottle Coca Cola in this song. A lot of similes are used in this song, like “my baby’s cool like an ocean roller” and “like a wave on the beach, don’t let me crash.” The two subjects are obviously really excited to just be with the other, it might be love but it could also be lust.
Horchata - Vampire Weekendpiano, Jimmy Page on guitar, and Robert Plant sounding like Elvis on this track. Hot dogs are the most American food and Led Zepplin’s most American song.
Cheeseburger Family - Jack Stauber’s Micropop
Any Jack Stauber song is a trip and difficult to decipher. Despite that, I think this is literally a song about a family who are cheeseburgers. In the short video clip that inspired this extended version, there is a dad, mom, sister, and brother cheeseburger riding around in a car. Yeah, just about cheeseburgers.
Burritos - Sublime
There are two possible inspirations for this song, one being depression and the other being substance withdrawals. Bradley Nowell gives multiple examples of things he doesn’t want to do, including partying, taking his dog for a walk, reading about O.J., or eating a burrito. He is very adamant that there is no way he will leave his bed today, which can be a response to depression and substance withdrawals.
The Ballad of Mr. Steak - Kishi Bashi
This song is a story about a man eating a steak, but with the use of metaphors there comes a different meaning. The dissatisfaction with physical pleasures that Kishi Bashi experiences could be the other meaning of the song. It could also be about relationships - with one line saying “when a man’s in love he’ll do anything he wants.” Basically, this song can be boiled down to chasing instant gratification without thinking about how it will have an effect long-term.
Another Piece of the Cake - Summer Salt
Celebrating a birthday with friends in a nostalgic fashion is what this song is about. Matthew Terry sings about how, to celebrate his birthday, his friends went to a drive-in, played 80s hits on a cassette and bought Razzles and Raisinets. This song could be used for some inspiration on what to do when you can finally reunite with your friends.
Milkshake - St Francis Motel, Portugal. The Man
There’s a smooth retro feel to this song. I couldn’t decipher this one, so I did some research. I found one possible meaning of this could be about people during the summer of 2019 throwing milkshakes on fascists and white supremacists. I’m not sure if this is what they were going for, but that’s big, if true.
Sex and Candy - Marcy Playground
According to John Wozniak, this song is about seeing a girl and falling in love. This song made Marcy Playground a one hit wonder and it sounds exactly how you would expect a top song from the 90s to sound.
Key Lime Pie - Kenny Chesney
I might get some confused reactions for the existence of this song on my list. I’ll be honest, I grew up in the south listening to country music, and this isn’t a bad song. Kenny Chesney just really likes key lime pie. Who can blame him? I also admire that he is appreciating the women who made him his pie. Support your significant other!
Pancakes - LANY
I realize this isn’t technically a dessert, but this is the best category it fits under. This is a really cute love song about craving someone else, not just physically but mentally too. Pancakes and champagne are mentioned a lot and could reference how you can be so comfortable with someone at night with champagne, but also during breakfast in the morning. This is one song that I think really embodies true love.
Cherry - Lana Del Rey
This slow Lana song is about a guy who takes a lot of risks and that makes Lana “fall to pieces.” She knows what true love feels like and she knows there are difficult moments associated with it. That is why she stays with him. It’s a beautifully crafted song (as are most of her songs) and talks about cherries and peaches.
Strawberry Afternoons - Lonely Benson
“Strawberry Afternoons” is a really dreamy song about the pure bliss of being with someone else. It really focuses on the little things of love, like buying them coffee or knowing the name of your partners perfume.
Raspberry - Grouplove
My love of this song came when I heard the beginning of this track shouting out Carolina. The whole song is about being embarrassed while talking to someone and turning red, then blaming it on eating raspberries and getting seasick on a boat. It’s a pretty interesting cover up if you think about it, let me know if the excuse works for you.
Watermelon Sugar - Harry Styles
Harry gets nostalgic in this jammy tune, thinking about a past summer that was filled with fruit and love. Harry stated in his NPR Tiny Desk Concert that the track is about “that initial euphoria of when you start seeing someone ... just being around someone and you have that excitement about them.” That pretty much sums it up.
Peaches - The Presidents of the United States of America
The lead singer of this band wrote this song about a girl while he was sitting under a peach tree she had in her yard. Some speculate that it is a metaphor for socialism, but I don’t think it’s that deep. This is just a pretty good combination of folk and 90s rock.
Pink Lemonade - The Wombats
Matthew Murphy said that this song is about how he got hammered in Barcelona and convinced himself that he was being cheated on by his girlfriend. So, the song is basically about him questioning the other guy and if he can “take you places I can’t
I never knew what horchata was until hearing this song but upon looking it, I have come to learn that it is various flavored plant milk beverages. The thing I love the most about this song is that they rhyme “horchata” with “balaclava,” “Aranciata,” and “Masada” which is just pure lyrical genius. Listen to the song and experience the greatness.
Hot Chocolate - Tyler, The Creator, Jerry Paper
There is no underlying meaning to this song, Tyler just really likes hot chocolate. This is technically a wintertime song but I find myself jamming to it on any normal day. If anyone was curious, Tyler prefers his hot chocolate made with 2% milk, marshmallows, extra whip, and even cinnamon. Sounds like a delicious combination.
Coffee - beabadoobee
This song makes me feel some type of way, with it’s beautiful acoustic guitar and beabadoobee’s soft voice singing about making coffee for her boyfriend. This is another song about the little things of love and being in a relationship.
That completes my deep dive on songs that have food (or drinks) in their titles. I know there are a bunch of more popular songs I could have written about, but I like how all of these songs vibe together. If you’re feeling really hungry after reading this (I know I am after writing it), feel free to treat yourself and order some delivery.
I am a Senior Political Science major with a minor in mass communications and have been with WUSC for a while now!!! I will talk about movies, politics, local news, and anything else on my mind. The best part is the indie music I am going to play; I really strive to play indie music by underrepresented groups (women, POC, LGBTQ+, etc) and just have a good time!!!