Lana Del Rey Likes Food, Too: The Five Best Pop Songs about Eating

June 28, 2012 5:11 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Lana Del Rey
Lana likes beer. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

It's too bad that pop stars have to double as superheroes, or we'd see more of them giving interviews about how they indulge themselves, just like the rest of us do. Barring that, we sometimes see little glimmers of their attitudes towards their food sneaking into their music. Here are our five favorite songs with big, famous food moments.

1. Beer - Lana Del Rey

You wouldn't know it from the protective instincts that looking at her fey frame evokes, but there's actually a ton of beer-drinking on Born to Die, internet-singer Lana Del Rey's divisive debut album. Sometimes, she's singing about how "Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice" is the height of girlyness, but the generation-hipster pander of the image is enough to make you vomit, even if you've only had a sip. By the time she sips "cherry schnapps in the velvet night" later on in the song, which comes very late in the album, you've had all you can take of her high-brow artifice or low-brow rape fantasies.

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Punch-drunk love is inoffensive, but it gets tedious. She has a voice, and a brain, and as long as she's using one, she should be using the other. But let's move back a moment to why the heck we care in the first place: her debut single and love letter to all men, Video Games. In its sharpest moment, we're introduced to the object of her affection when he "[opens] up a beer / [says] get over here / and play your video games."

Here, it's her attempt to cleave flesh-and-bone with a knife as dull as her lyrics that make us hurt just as much as she does.

2. Pasta and Three Bottles of Wine - Billy Joel

As much as we'd prefer We Didn't Start the Fire to have been a song about fast food, we have to hand it to Billy Joel: his catchy, idiotic Scenes From an Italian Restaurant more than makes up for it. The very first sign of a lyrical, structural post-modernness in music, the song imagines Billy Joel meeting up with someone he hasn't seen since high school for unlimited soup and breadsticks at the Olive Garden. They proceed to talk about other people who are way more interesting and popular than they are, and Billy Joel insightfully notices that anyone can go to a restaurant at any time. We don't know how Billy Joel got away with it. He's the American heterosexual-male Bjork.

3. Cup of Coffee - Garbage

This is a song that begins about coffee and then becomes about everything but the coffee that the singer doesn't drink. For Garbage, one of the more radio-friendly 90s plunge bands, we took a startling break from the harder stuff for a song that's gut-wrenchingly sad. Her world comes crumbling down around her when her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her anymore, and a cup of coffee stays still, untouched, in favor of the cataclysm.

4. Liquorice - Azealia Banks

In hottest rapper ever Azealia Banks's claim-to-fame track 212, lots gets eaten. Her follow-up track, Liquorice, saw her using the divisive candy to deliver a punchy story about all the politics of dating someone outside your race. She begins in a place of stereotyping, with her looking for the cliche "rich white man" to spoil her, and while the song never rejects that initial premise, its hook meanders a bit, only to evolve into real, genuine sweetness.

5. Cake - 50 Cent

'Nuff said: there will never, ever be a line as eloquent, clever, direct, and quotable as 50 Cent telling the object of his affections how much he loves her in 21 Questions.


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