Ever stopped to think about the sheer volume of pop songs that are written about coffee? Brian has…
by Brian King on November 27, 2013
When you do stop and think about it, you’ll realise that there are absolutely loads of pop songs about coffee out there!
Perhaps it’s the caffeine that helps to keep prolific songwriters up all night writing hit songs. Or perhaps musicians just have a love of the socialising that often comes with a cup of coffee. Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt that coffee has popped up in the charts regularly over the years.
Here are just a light sprinkling of famous songs with a mention of coffee in them, there are plenty of others.
Blur – Coffee & TV
Taken from the album ‘13’, Coffee and TV was sung by Graham Coxon, rather than their usual front-man Damon Albarn, however Albarn is credited with the song writing rights. The coffee in this song stands for an opportunity to stop, slow down and take breath. Rather than serving as an energy boost, Albarn acknowledges that there is also something quite relaxing about a cup of coffee. The song only ever reached number 11 in the UK charts however it is still regarded as a classic today, and it appeared on the band’s ‘Best Of’ album in 2000.
Bob Dylan – One More Cup of Coffee
This is a duet with Emmylou Harris and is taken from Dylan’s album ‘Desire’, One More Cup of Coffee. It tells the story of a gypsy lady and the man that leaves her. The song has a decidedly Middle Eastern flavour due to the use of a harmonic minor scale. It is a song that has been covered by many artists such as Bic Runga, The White Stripes and Robert Plant.
Editors note: The White Stripes version is excellent, so we’ve added both to our youtube and spotify playlists.
Black Coffee – Burke/Webster
This famous jazz classic was written by Sonny Burke (music) and Paul Francis Webster (lyrics) in 1948. It was then recorded by Sarah Vaughan on Columbia Records and it charted in 1949. The song went on to be covered by many artists over the years including Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Petula Clark and Sinead O’Connor.
The Coffee Song – Frank Sinatra
The Coffee Song was initially recorded by the legendary Frank Sinatra in the year 1946. It was written by Dick Miles and Bob Hilliard. Sometimes it is subtitled ‘They’ve Got an Awful Lot of Coffee in Brazil’. The song sends up the surplus of coffee in Brazil, and jokes that no other drinks are available. It mentions that the daughter of a famous politician was prosecuted for drinking water! Sinatra recorded another version of the same song in 1961. It has since been performed by a great assortment of artists, from Sam Cooke to the Muppets!
The tip of the iceberg
There are plenty of other songs about coffee, from the famous ‘You’re the Cream in my Coffee’ by Nat King Cole, to ‘Black Coffee in Bed’ by Squeeze. It seems that coffee gives musicians and song writers an awful lot of inspiration! Whatever the reason for coffee’s popularity in music, there’s no doubt that the humble coffee bean has definitely played its part in modern music. One more cup of coffee for the road?
What do you consider the cream of coffecentric songs that I haven’t mentioned? Please, share them in the comments below.