These tunes prove breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Food-inspired shoutouts in music are far more common than we think. In fact, artists pay tribute to their favorite drinks and delicacies both lyrically and visually pretty regularly, from Def Leppard's “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and Sammy Davis Jr.’s “The Candy Man” to DNCE’s “Cake By The Ocean” and N.E.R.D.’s “Lemon.” Both a figurative and literal form of inspiration, meals can act as a driving force, or the nourishment, of artistic creation. While some artists simply pay tribute to their favorite fruits or dishes, others offer up more elaborate declarations to the entire dining experience. One of the most popular is breakfast, which has a bevy of songs written about it, whether it’s the entire meal or just dishes. If you’re a breakfast lover looking for some new songs for your morning playlist, here are ten musical tributes to the day’s most important meal.
“Bacon” by Nick Jonas
The average American consumes around 18 pounds of bacon a year, which, in case you were wondering, is a lot of bacon. In light of this stunning fact, it seems odd that we didn’t get our first true musical bacon tribute until 2016, in the form of a Nick Jonas love ballad to the greasy, crispy breakfast side. Set in a diner during the late (or early) hours of the day, the youngest Jonas’s sizzling beats fill the restaurant like the mouthwatering aroma of bacon as he croons about how not even his girl is more satisfying than those pork belly strips.
“Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson
If you were looking for a song that embodied the lackadaisical nature of breakfast on a sunny Sunday morning, Jack Johnson’s sweet acoustic diddy is the song for you. This musical food tribute pays homage to the soft and syrupy dish, which happens to be the perfect thing for a day spent cuddled up underneath the covers with your sweet someone. As Johnson says, ignore the alarm and if the phone starts ringing, don’t pick it up. Instead, “wake up slow,” “make banana pancakes,” and even if it’s not the weekend, just pretend like it is.
“Breakfast At Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Something
Long before you could actually have breakfast at Tiffany’s, Audrey Hepburn starred in the 1961 film of the same name which earned her a Best Actress Oscar win. Not only did the big screen adaptation of Truman Capote's novella about a “bright young thing” who falls for a young writer solidify Hepburn as a cinematic icon, but it created one of the most famous breakfast references in pop culture. While they don’t spend a lot of time singing about the first meal of the day, Texas band Deep Blue Something would honor the seminal story with their 1995 hit and its accompanying video. Glimpses of Tiffany’s? Check. A Hepburn look-alike? Check. Fancy breakfast on the streets of New York City? Check.
“Biscuits and Gravy” by Kelis
If you’re looking for a sound that’s heavy, hearty and just a little bit spicy (like a plate of biscuits and gravy), then you should consider giving Kelis’ smooth R&B single a listen. While the lyrics don’t have much to do with the dish, it was released as part of Kelis’ 2014 album Food. Cooked up alongside it were tracks like “Hooch,” “Cobbler,” “Jerk Ribs,” and “Friday Fish Fry.” In 2015, the singer explained to Rolling Stone that although much of the album isn’t literally about the food it’s named after, some of it was inspired by the food she ate while in the studio. So don’t let the fact that “Biscuits and Gravy” isn’t entirely about the popular southern dish stop you from using it as part of the soundtrack to your morning meal.
“Blueberries for Breakfast” by The Mamas and The Papas
With all the sugary syrup and that salty bacon, your body is probably going to end up craving something a little more nutritious with your morning meal. What better way is there to add a little healthy goodness to your breakfast than to throw some fruit into the mix? The suggestion from 1960s American folk rock band The Mamas and The Papas of blueberries for breakfast isn’t a bad one, especially when you consider their “afternoon” recommendations.
“Grits” by The Roots
You might know this legendary group as the house band for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, but long before they were playing Rockefeller Center, they were creating waves in the hip-hop genre. The Roots' smooth, near effortless rhymes mixed with their jazzy beats have earned them not just legions of fans since the group started in 1987, but the ability to make just about anything--from the news to breakfast staples--seem cool. So where most would fail in cooking up a believable musical love letter to grits, The Roots—who spend time on the track battling out the best way to eat and cook them—manage to tastefully pull it off.
“How D’Ya Like Your Eggs In The Morning” by Dean Martin and Helen O’Connell
This song about all the ways you can eat your eggs is best served with the movie sequence it’s from. When entertainment legends Dean Martin and Helen O’Connell arrive at a restaurant in the romance musical Rich, Young and Pretty, they immediately place their order of “four eggs, a half a pound of bacon, a coffee and some bread.” What they’re served up is a full musical menu featuring cellos, guitars and even a trumpet. Serenaded by a group of singing chefs, Martin and O’Connell dance their way to their table, dodging about as they share just how they like their eggs.
“Milky Cereal” by LL Cool J
If you can believe it, there’s actually two songs in existence dedicated to celebrating all our favorite cereals. G. Love and Special Sauce’s “Milk and Cereal” is a trippy, repetitive tribute to Apple Jacks and Special K. But actor and rapper LL Cool J’s “Milky Cereal,” which also name drops quite a few cold breakfast brand names, is perhaps the more lyrically clever and creative of the two. The song’s “story” sees LL meeting up with a series of different women such as Lucky Charm and Pebbles, stopping at clubs named Cheerio and running into men named Mr. Cereal and Cap ‘n’ Crunch. Every popular brand from Cocoa Puffs to Rice Krispies are name-dropped in what becomes a tale of cereal-inspired love.
“Toast” by Streetband
In this considerable helping of quirky with a dash of refrain, London’s Streetband pay tribute to “brown bread, white bread, all sorts of wholemeal bread.” The group saw their odd, but catchy b-side “Toast” garner serious attention in the 1970s after comedian Kenny Everett (at the time a DJ) endorsed its comedic storytelling. With an uncanny ability to hit the (musical) spot, this toasty tribute is a uniquely rhythmic journey through creating your perfect personalized piece of toast. Have it with “marmalade, or butter, cheese, tomatoes, beans, banana, or chocolate if you're strange,” lead singer and musical legend Paul Yong recites. Regardless of what bread you use or what you smother it with, this song proves that toast’s culinary versatility means it should always be on the breakfast menu.
“The Coffee Song” by Frank Sinatra
No breakfast would truly be complete without your liquid wake-up call: coffee. In this upbeat, snappy tune from crooner Frank Sinatra, you get a full appreciation for the dark, bitter brew. Cherry soda, tomato juice, and even water are out of the question, according to Sinatra, when you’re in Brazil. But you don’t have to be in a coffee farming country to appreciate coffee (or get a lot of it). You brew up as much as you want in your kitchen and use this secret to get some really mind-blowing flavor.