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I'm looking for songs that either are about food, or reference food heavily. I have enjoyed reading a few really fun threads about food songs. I'm compiling a list for a specific purpose, and have combed the web for ideas - there are lots out there, so I don't really need links, I need some specific suggestions......so I thought I would throw this out to the Chowhounds!

Specifically, I am in need of ethnic songs, or ....even if they are in a different language. So, are there any Vietnamese folk/pop songs that celebrate food? Puerto Rican? El Salvadoran? Guatemalan? Russian? Native American/Inuit/Eskimo? Hawaiian? Filipino? Chinese? Swedish? See what I am getting at?

Any and all help is EXTREMELY appreciated!!!

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  1. Start here:


    That thread has 174 responses. You might also consider retitling your post to make it more specific, since you're seeking songs in languages other than English.

    1 Reply
    1. re: small h

      Hey - thanks for replying - to clarify - I have read all the posts, here and elsewhere, and am in the process of compiling a list of those songs that meet my needs.

      And, I am not necessarily seeking songs in other languages, just trying to dig a little deeper and see if there are songs that illuminate a more diverse cultural landscape. As I said, I am in need of ethnic songs, EVEN IF (not only if) they are in another language.

      I got one from another source - "Si no me dan de beber, lloro" which is a great x-mas Puerto Rican song about going to a party and asking for a drink, or else the person will cry. This is what I am after....whether in English, Spanish, or other languages.

    2. Chowhound is an english-speaking site as I have been reminded numerous times, and a lot of lyrics and poetry don't translate well, so this will be an awkward one.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Veggo

        OK - I think if we discus bun bo hue and enchiladas and entrecote and macarons and chorizo and siu mye that this request isn't too far off - just asking for impressions and remembrances, shared in English, of songs that might related to foods other than the ones already mentioned. Just digging!

      2. Way back in the early years of Disney, there was a Mickey Mouse and Goofy rendering of Funicoli Funicola with food words. The refrain was, "I'm going to eat and eat and eat and eat and eat until I die." I don't know where you find it, however.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Father Kitchen

          Thanks! I will look for it - I appreciate you throwing it out there....a lot of people have brought up "On Top of Spaghetti" and I think this might have the same resonance.

            1. re: SDGourmand

              Ooohhh...this is good....how did you find it? When did you hear it? I love it....

              1. re: saticoy

                It's the theme song to ratatouille.

                1. re: SDGourmand

                  A-HA! I dug a little online and found it - gorgeous, but written directly for the film...I'm looking for more folkloric things - things your Cuban grandmother or Korean aunt would sing while cooking....

            2. How about the remakes from Mad magazine ( or maybe it was Wired )

              To the tune of "Downtown"

              When you eat meat, but hate the meat that your eating then you always know

              Ground round

              It's so unnerving when they're constantly serving at an eating spot

              Ground round

              It may be called chopped sirloin or hamburger or beef patty

              No matter what they call it, it is overcooked and fatty

              What can you do

              something something something...stand up on the table, sound off to you waiter and

              Ground round...

              Cant remember the rest

              I think there was one about chopped liver too
              ( Tune of Moon River )

              Chopped liver...onions on the side, my social life something something

              My friends shun me, they out run me,...

              The smell of my breath is slow death, sad but true...

              Not what you're looking for?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Shrinkrap

                Not exactly what I am looking for, but thanks for a great belly laugh!! Not really looking for parodies (no Weird Al!), more for songs that truly celebrate a food - along the lines of Jambalaya by Hank Williams or That's Amore by Dean Martin...but more off the beaten path.

              2. There is a Putumayo Kids cd called Picnic Playgrond. Every song is about food! In a variety of languages.

                My daughter loves it; but I think I love it more!


                1 Reply
                1. re: danagrace

                  Oh thank you so much for this! I can't wait to dig into these songs - not just for my project, but for my son and my dancing pleasure....I love getting a great mom tip combined with a great chow tip! THANKS!

                2. madeline l pots- the pasta song

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SDGourmand

                    This looks promising - she has other food-oriented songs too, like Everybody Eats and a whole song about Brussels Sprouts. Thanks for the rec!

                  2. A Canadian band - The Arrogant Worms - have a few food related songs. The Hot Dog song seems particularly apt. I think my favorite may be Carrot Juice Is Murder. Yes, they are funny songs, but not parodies!


                    1. There's an Israeli kids' ditty that goes something like:
                      Artik, mastik,
                      shokolad, banana
                      something, something.

                      I'd have to ask my kid if you want the rest, but the part I've written translates out to
                      Ice pop, chewing gum,
                      chocolate, banana

                      I don't know if it's an actual song or a playground chant.

                      Edited to add: Wow, Google is amazing. The song, which is actually called "Artik, Kartiv" was a non-successful candidate for a Eurovision competition. The song is generally about first love, but the chorus is
                      Artik, kartiv,
                      shokolad, banana,
                      Artik, kartiv,
                      shokolad, limon.

                      Artik and kartiv are both slang for popsicle-type treats.

                      Here's the link. Try to ignore the cheesy dancers.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: rockycat

                        This is exactly what I am talking about, and the Eurovision aspect makes it that much crazier. EXCELLENT - thank you so much!!!!

                        1. re: HillJ

                          Thanks HillJ - I'm well-acquainted with both of these lists, and many others like them, but I appreciate the input. I'm really looking for specific songs that are still under the radar of these kinds of lists...specifically those with ethnic slants.

                          1. re: saticoy

                            African beer song (under the radar


                            Writer Yvonne Machaka Mhinga
                            Year 1998
                            We MaDlamini
                            Uph'umqombothi (3x


                            I work hard every day
                            To make my beer
                            Wake up early every morning
                            To please my people with African beer
                            I make sure the fire burns
                            To make my beer
                            My special beer Umqombothi
                            Is African beer

                            We MaDlamini (Everybody)
                            Uph'umqombothi (Come and drink my)
                            We MaDlamini (magic beer)

                            I work hard to make them happy
                            Every weekend (Umqombothi)
                            Makes them party to the rhythm
                            Makes them dance, this magic beer (Umqobothi)
                            I wanna make you happy (Umqobothi)
                            I wanna make you smile (Umqobothi)
                            I wanna make you dance (Umqobothi), dance
                            I'll make sure there's a party
                            Where they drink my special beer
                            Umqombothi is magic beer
                            Umqombothi is African beer

                            Chorus 3x
                            We MaDlamini (Everybody)
                            Uph'umqombothi (nawu)
                            We MaDlamini Uph'umqombothi (nawu madoda)

                            Wozani ka MaDlamini
                            Wozani ngithi wozani
                            Wozani ka MaDlamini
                            Come on I wanna make you happy
                            I wanna make you smile lets boogie together
                            Umqombothi (Umqombothi)

                            I work hard every day
                            To please my people with African beer

                            Repeat Chorus

                            © Yvonne Chaka Chaka

                            1. re: HillJ

                              Wow - you made me smile, and I didn't even drink any special beer. AWESOME - thanks!

                        2. http://www.putumayo.com/en/catalog_it...
                          as mentioned above, with song list

                          Food, Wine, & Song - Music and Feasting in Renaissance Europe

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: HillJ

                            WHOA. That Renaissance album is wild, and needs much more investigation. There are definitely some prospects on there.....maybe even material towards a dissertation....THANK you!

                            1. re: saticoy

                              You're welcome, saticoy. You might find the international music section of Amazon.com a surprisingly good research tool.

                          2. How about Una Mas Cerveza by Billy Bacon and the Forbidden Pigs

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                              YES - looks like I have a very diverse beer tradition to draw upon. THANK you - I love this song! I used to go see BB and the FP all the time. Any Czech, German, other beer songs out there???

                              1. re: saticoy

                                hehehe I didn't think anyone knew Billy Bacon and The Forbidden Pigs. Great band, saw them several years back as well.

                            2. Check out the line "La cocina de comadres manos, chocolate tamales y ajo"

                              (Little Christmas Tree - Spanish version)
                              by Tish Hinojosa

                              Arbolito, tengo siete anos, tengo pecas, yo te los regalo
                              Viene mamacita con luces y esferas para vestirte y ayudo,
                              Pero, no me deja con los Icicles

                              La cocina de comadres manos, chocolate tamales y ajo
                              Donde esta mi madrina y Santo Clos, no son los regalos que quiero,
                              Solo el paquete, para adivinar

                              Donde pasan los anos y suenos y abrazos viejo navidad
                              Amistades parientes y el Andy Williams con noche de paz
                              Arbolito que brillante estas!

                              Arbolito tengo quince anos, tu estrella ya mero alcanzo
                              Lo que yo deseo es secreto, te digo, se llama,
                              Ay mama mira mi hermana no deja con los icicles


                              Arbolito, tengo trienta y algo, cuantas veces hemos platicado
                              No mijita, pon las esferas, verdad que parece Better Homes magazine,
                              No me importa, son mis icicles


                              1. I just HAVE to relate this:

                                Many years ago my wife and I were at a delightful Christmas Pageant on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, and bought one of the VHS tapes of previous pagents they were selling after the performance. One of the "Christmas Songs" was in Spanish and English, and I thought I heard the word "chocolate" in it, so I listened closely, and sure enough, the words were, "Maria, Maria. Come quickly and see, they're eating all the chocolate, there'll be none left for me". I kid you not !

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: souschef

                                  Thanks for the Tish tip - good stuff! Funny story too....makes me think that I should also be scouring holiday songs for food references....this is an apparently never-ending quest!

                                2. You no doubt have already thought about, "Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie, Filé Gumbo", or have you ?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: souschef

                                    Yep. That was the one that set the whole thing in motion!

                                  2. There is the French song "Paroles Paroles" by Dalida, where two lovers are having a quarrel, and in response to his words she says "caramels, bonbons, et chocolats".

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: souschef

                                      Dalida - Italian Egyptian naturalized French....this has great possibilities! The only other candy song I have is Candyman by Sammy Davis Jr....THANKS!

                                    2. Well it's American but New Orleans voodoo and mentions gumbo - Dr John "Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya" come to think of it there's a track on the same LP called "Mama Roux"!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: themags

                                        EXCELLENT! The first one is now on the list....the second one has some VERY bizarre and slightly disturbing lyrics....not really about food....I need to listen to that!

                                      2. Would a song about a café count?

                                        "Le Café Aux Trois Colombes" by Joe Dassin. A place where lovers who have no roof meet. They have nothing but they have all their life. I think wine is mentioned in the song.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: souschef

                                          Yes! Yes! I have a whole subcategory including The House of Blue Lights, Smokey Joe's Cafe....I will dig into the lyrics and see. I'm loving being turned on to all this music I wasn't familiar with!

                                        2. Frim Fram Sauce, sung by Diana Krall and others.

                                          "Enciendete Candela" by Susana Baca - "Light the flame, cook up the onions". BTW if the stuff I am suggesting is too far out, please let me know and I'll stop. I have a bunch of other stuff in Spanish, but am on vacation right now, and can't access my CD's.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: souschef

                                            PLEASE do not stop! You are a great help and thinking about French and Peruvian food and music is making me hungry and happy!

                                          2. "Le Temps de Cerises" by Nana Mouskouri. Cherry season and all the stuff that goes with it.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: souschef

                                              sous, can you share a little more about how/when/why you found these food songs, and what cultural strings they pluck for you? I'm so intrigued by all the French-language picks...how did you first hear them and why do they spring to mind now?!

                                              Nana Mouskouri - gorgeous - I'm thinking of a theme with this song and Apple Blossom Time....any Spanish-language seasonal fruit celebration songs in that incredible playlist you have in your head?

                                              1. re: saticoy

                                                I have been a keen music lover all my life, and listen to songs in a variety of languages, even those that I don't understand. I have a Portuguese last name but don't speak Portuguese. I do, however, listen to a lot of Portuguese (Brazilian) and Spanish music.

                                                I've been a fan of Nana Mouskouri for the last 40 years, and I do speak French. How do these song titles pop up in my head? Wish I knew! You just have to think hard enough.

                                            2. "Arroz Con Leche" (Rice Pudding). Traditional Spanish song.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. Daaaay oh!

                                                The Banana Boat Song by Harry Belafonte

                                                1. "Underneath the Mango Tree". I have no idea whom it is by, but it was used in a James Bond Movie. Lines I remember:

                                                  Underneath the mango tree me honey, and we come watch for de moon

                                                  Mango, banana and tangerine

                                                  Sugar and aki (sp?) and cocoa bean.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. "Mando Goemcho" from the Konkani (Goan) movie "Amchem Noxib". Check it out on YouTube. One line on food. I can get you a translation if you want.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                      I love this - and yes, if you could get me the food line, that would be wonderful.

                                                    2. "Panis Angelicus" (Bread of Angels).

                                                      It's available done by a whole slew of people, but I like it best by Chloe Agnew of Celtic Woman.

                                                      1. "In Heaven There Is No Beer"

                                                        "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall"

                                                        "Drinking Rum and Coca-Cola"

                                                        1. Here's an interesting twist. It's about drinking, but not about food or drink:

                                                          "Estoy Enamorado" by D'Nigma and others.

                                                          First two lines:

                                                          "Quiero beber los besos de tu boca
                                                          Como si fueran gotas del rocio"

                                                          Which translates to:

                                                          I'd like to drink kisses from your mouth
                                                          As if they were drops of dew

                                                          1. "Something Cool" by Jane Monheit

                                                            1. "Les Amis" by Georges Moustaki. The first few lines translate to:

                                                              I would like to offer you my friends at my table
                                                              The best wine, the best food
                                                              Tobacco perfumed by delicate herbs
                                                              And liquors of intoxicating colours

                                                              Here are the words:

                                                              Je voudrais mes amis vous offrir à ma table
                                                              Les meilleurs vins, les meilleures nourritures,
                                                              Du tabac parfumé, des herbes délicates,
                                                              Et des liqueurs aux couleurs enivrantes.

                                                              Des filles qui seraient parmi nous, seraient belles,
                                                              Prêtes à offrir tout un lit de tendresse.

                                                              Je voudrais regarder briller vos yeux de grâce,
                                                              À votre bouche, surprendre un sourire.
                                                              Je voudrais chanter toutes les musiques,
                                                              Charmer vos coeurs en charmant vos oreilles.

                                                              (au Refrain)

                                                              Je voudrais allumer des bougies silencieuses
                                                              Qui danseraient des danses amoureuses
                                                              Et je me sentirais alors un peu des vôtres,
                                                              J'aurais moins froid et je serais moins seul.

                                                              (au Refrain) bis

                                                              1. "Carmina Burana" by Carl Orff. It is about eating and drinking and debauchery. You have definitely heard parts of it as it's been used in lots of movies. Worth getting the CD and listening to it all. One of my favourite pieces of music. Sung in Latin. Get the version by Seiji Ozawa and the Boston SO. Very rhythmic music.

                                                                1. How about this - a whole recipe in a Spanish song, by Marta Gomez, from Colombia. I really love her voice.


                                                                  (Marta Gómez)

                                                                  1/4 de vino blanco
                                                                  1 cebolla
                                                                  Vino y un puño de ajonjolí

                                                                  4 zanahorias
                                                                  1/2 panela
                                                                  clavo, canela
                                                                  y un poco de anís

                                                                  Y está el amor cocinándose,
                                                                  y está el dolor alejándose.

                                                                  Y está este beso a término medio
                                                                  solo para ti.
                                                                  Ven a sacarlo pronto del fuego
                                                                  antes de hervir.

                                                                  1/3 de luna llena
                                                                  un cuarto y muchas velas
                                                                  y un lugar para dormir

                                                                  4 pies descalzos
                                                                  1/2 panela
                                                                  clavo, canela
                                                                  y un poco de ti

                                                                  Y está el amor calentándose,
                                                                  y está el dolor alejándose.

                                                                  Y está este cuerpo a término medio solo para ti.
                                                                  Ven a sacarlo pronto del fuego antes de hervir.

                                                                  Volver atrás


                                                                  Para citar esta página: http://www.cancioneros.com/nc/8075/0/...

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. Aksenchu ATE the positive... Elimin ATE the negative...
                                                                    tra la tra la

                                                                    Rosemary Clooney (George's aunt) sang "Come on-a my house...I will give you candy...peach, pear...pomegranate... Easta egg..." many foods in that song.

                                                                    Leon Russell sang "Salty Candy".

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                      Salty Candy! Scandinavian salt lakris! THANKS!

                                                                    2. Does this count?

                                                                      "Piel Canela" (Cinnamon Skin). Spanish. The only reference to food in the song is the cinnamon colour of the skin.

                                                                      1. "Agua ge beber" (water to drink). Portuguese. Song written by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Brazil's most famous songwriter.

                                                                        1. In the movie "Like Water for Chocolate" the nursemaid rocks the little girl and sings to her "Masa, masa........", masa being cornmeal, I believe (I don't speak Spanish).

                                                                          1. "La Finca" (The Farm) by Marta Gomez, on the CD "Cantos de Agua Dulce" (songs of sweet water). She has a fund for kids, called "Agua Dulce". I highly recommend all five of her cd's.

                                                                            Translation of the first few lines of La Finca:

                                                                            Stories with flavor of parsely and onions,
                                                                            songs from fresh water accompanied by rum
                                                                            my heart is open, always looking for new memories
                                                                            to tell the stories of all my dreams at once.

                                                                            1. Don't Buy the Liverwurst


                                                                              These are not the lyrics I know (close with some variation).

                                                                              1. I GAVE MY LOVE A CHERRY

                                                                                I gave my love a cherry without a stone
                                                                                I gave my love a chicken without a bone
                                                                                I gave my love a ring without an end
                                                                                I gave my love a baby with no cryin'
                                                                                [ string ]
                                                                                How can there be a cherry without a stone
                                                                                How can there be a chicken without a bone
                                                                                How can there be a ring without an end
                                                                                How can there be a baby with no cryin'
                                                                                A cherry when it's blooming it has no stone
                                                                                A chicken when it's pipping it has no bone
                                                                                A ring when it's rolling it has no end
                                                                                A baby when it's sleeping has no cryin'

                                                                                BTW saticoy, when you have a thread title in all CAPS you are shouting. Please don't shout in future.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                  Thanks for the etiquette check, and all the input. Sometime ya gotta shout to be heard....I will consider your request in my future postings.

                                                                                2. Any interest in camp songs? One that springs to mind is one we sang in Girl Scout camp in the 70"s: Fried Ham.

                                                                                  Lyrics as I remember them:
                                                                                  Fried ham, fried ham
                                                                                  Cheese and bologna
                                                                                  And after the macaroni
                                                                                  We'll have onions, pickles, and pretzels
                                                                                  And then we'll have some more fried ham
                                                                                  Fried ham, fried ham

                                                                                  I'm sure there were probably some others with food references, but I'd have to think some more about it to remember them.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: queenscook

                                                                                    I remember that one! And like thirty years later, my daughter became a girls cout camp counselor, 3000 miles away, with some of the same songs.

                                                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                      Here's another I remember; many food references, though not solely:

                                                                                      As I was walking down the street one dark and dreary day,
                                                                                      I came across a billboard, and much to my dismay,
                                                                                      The sign was torn and tattered from the storm the night before
                                                                                      The wind and rain had done its work and this is what I saw:

                                                                                      Smoke Coca-Cola cigarettes, chew Wrigley's spearmint beer
                                                                                      Ken-L Ration dog food keeps your complexion clear
                                                                                      Simonize your baby with a Hershey's candy bar
                                                                                      Texaco's the beauty treatment used by all the stars

                                                                                      Soooo . . . take your next vacation in a brand new Frigidaire
                                                                                      Learn to play the piano in your winter underwear
                                                                                      Doctors say that babies should smoke until they're three
                                                                                      And people over 65 should bathe in Lipton's tea . . .
                                                                                      With Flow-Through teabags

                                                                                  2. Drink to me only with thine eyes,
                                                                                         And I will pledge with mine;
                                                                                    Or leave a kiss within the cup
                                                                                         And I'll not ask for wine.
                                                                                    The thirst that from the soul doth rise
                                                                                         Doth ask a drink divine;
                                                                                    But might I of Jove's[8] nectar[9] sup,
                                                                                         I would not change for thine.

                                                                                    I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
                                                                                         Not so much honouring thee
                                                                                    As giving it a hope that there
                                                                                         It could not withered be;
                                                                                    But thou thereon didst only breathe,
                                                                                         And sent'st it back to me;
                                                                                    Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
                                                                                         Not of itself but thee!

                                                                                    1. Here's one about celebrating the end of slavery. It's in Portuguese, and the translation to two of the lines is:

                                                                                      I remember the manioc stew
                                                                                      and drinking alua

                                                                                      Are you done with your project or do you need more material?

                                                                                      Lyrics of 13 di maggio - (13 de mayo) by Fiorella Mannoia
                                                                                      (C. Veloso – C. Veloso/ P. Fabrizi)
                                                                                      Il 13 di maggio a Santo Amaro
                                                                                      in piazza del mercato i neri celebravano
                                                                                      (come da sempre fanno)
                                                                                      l’addio alla schiavitù, alla schiavitù
                                                                                      l’addio alla schiavitù
                                                                                      l’addio alla schiavitù
                                                                                      alla schiavitù
                                                                                      Dia 13 de maio em Santo Amaro
                                                                                      Na Praça do Mercado
                                                                                      Os pretos celebravam
                                                                                      (Talvez hoje inda o façam)
                                                                                      O fim da escravidão
                                                                                      Da escravidão
                                                                                      O fim da escravidão
                                                                                      Quanta Pintòba
                                                                                      profumava l’aria
                                                                                      e poi, poi Maniçoba
                                                                                      e gusto d’Aluà
                                                                                      Per salutare Isabel, o Isabel
                                                                                      per salutare Isabel
                                                                                      per salutare Isabel, o Isabel.
                                                                                      Quanta Pintòba
                                                                                      profumava l’aria e poi, poi Maniçoba
                                                                                      e gusto d’Aluà.

                                                                                      1. Willie Bobo's Fried Neck Bones and Some Homefries


                                                                                        1. "C is for Cookie" from sesame street!

                                                                                          1. and a bunch more...
                                                                                            1. One Meatball (Dave Van Ronk) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE_xaE...
                                                                                            2. The Newbeats - Bread and Butter (1964) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m1cP0...
                                                                                            3. (Hot Tamales) They're Red Hot 1936 - ROBERT JOHNSON http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOXXh2...
                                                                                            4. dee dee sharp - mashed potato time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQBKpV...
                                                                                            5. John Lee Hooker - One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMYQnp...
                                                                                            6. Maceo Parker LIVE "Pass The Peas" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJmIN8...
                                                                                            7. Louis Jordan & The Tympany Five ~ Beans and Cornbread (1949) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM9jT2...
                                                                                            8. Donald Byrd & The Blackbyrds Cornbread http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxnKe-...
                                                                                            9. Frank Zappa & The Mothers - Call Any Vegetable, Live Fillmore East 1970 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPJuOC...

                                                                                            1. Not sure if you're still looking, saticoy, but I heard an interview with Sol y Canto, a Boston-based Latin duo, today on All Things Considered. They recently recorded a CD of food songs in Spanish. Sounded like great stuff. It's called Sabor y Memoria.