Thursday, 4 August 2011


#40 Led Zeppelin: Custard Pie
Foodies must be disappointed. This list is turning into a list of songs about sex, such as this Zeppelin crudity: Chewin' a piece of your custard pie. Listen to Jimmy Pages' guitar whine and wonder, and Planty's harmonica frolics.
I discovered custard pies when I moved to Little Portugal, in Lambeth, South London, where every local deli sells glorious Portuguese flaky pastry cases filled with thick custard. To die for, to quote Nicole Kidman.

#39 John Lennon: Cold Turkey
Not at all about food in any way shape or form. But, wtf, I love it. And I love turkey, whether at my American expat friend’s annual Thanksgiving-in-Exile or in some fancy restaurant at Christmas. I also eat cold turkey, with relish. And, anyway, I couldn’t find the other ‘turkey’ song I like which is a Thai song we heard a lot when we were over there, the lyrics of which my lovely partner swore were ‘tie your turkey tins to cans’.

#38 Hall and Oates: Maneater
OK, pushing it a bit to pretend this is a song about food but, wtf, I love Hall and Oates and one hears them so seldom these days. I’ve never eaten a man but I’ve had a good chew on a few through the years…

#37 Ralph Marterie & his Orchestra: Shish Kebab
When my lovely partner first moved to London, I was still living in Scotland and commuting up and down to see him at weekends. He was living for a while in North West London and there was a big restaurant called ‘Shish’ there that we frequented. It was part of a chain because there was another one up in Shoreditch we’d go to when we went to Columbia Road Flower Market in later years. They seem to have gone now but I enjoyed their slightly upmarket Middle Eastern fast food feel. Also got good shish kebab in the Turkish restaurant down the road from my office, until it went under new management, got all tarted up, the prices doubled, the food went downhill, the portions shrank, and it went bust. Then my lovemonkey and I went to Istanbul on holiday this year and devoured the whole range of shish kebab from marvellous to mediocre.
I know nothing about this record but it sounds suitably twirly and ramshorny.

#36 Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell: The Onion Song
Ah, Motown. Lovely, lovely Motown. Lovely, lovely Marvin. I was never that convinced by Terrell but Marvin was. Despite being married to Berry Gordy’s older sister, he was rumoured to have had a long affair with her, until she died of a brain tumour, after which he attempted suicide. When I was at High School, this man was about the coolest, sexiest thing imaginable, until Bowie.
And, onions? What can one say about the onion. Love onions. Base of countless dishes. Carol Ann Duffy, our splendid Poet Laureate, wrote a fine poem for Valentine’s Day, with an onion theme:
“I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are...”

#35 Lynsey de Paul: Sugar Me
Sugar? Filthy stuff. I use saccharine in my coffee, nothing in my tea, and avoid starches of all kinds in my foods. That is why I look like the young Robert Redford and can leap mighty buildings in one bound. This was some pleasant hokum from Lynsey. Shame she was such a Tory.

#34 Stephen Sondheim: A Little Priest (from Sweeney Todd)
More cannibalism! Brilliant Tim Burton and outstanding performance throughout from Bonham Carter and Depp (who sounds a bit Bowie-esque). Have never eaten priest but I have eaten all sorts of pies in my time. Seeing Ken Livingstone a few days ago reminded me of the time I baked a special Ken Pie for the last mayoral Election. It was a tasty pie with his name spelt out in pastry on the crust but clearly did not contain the necessary magic to help him win the vote.

#33 Gracie Fields covering: If I knew you were coming, I'd have baked a cake
Gives me a very warm nostalgic glow. When I was a kid, people did still bake cakes, all the time. ‘Shop bought’ was unusual and rather frowned upon. One of the joyous discoveries I made when clearing out my mother’s house was her Be-Ro Flour cookbook with all my favourite childhood recipes for cakes and biscuits.

#32 Tom Waits: Chocolate Jesus
Perfect Easter song:
“Well it's got to be a chocolate Jesus
Make me feel good inside
Got to be a chocolate Jesus
Keep me satisfied.”

#31 Dean Martin and Helen O’Connell: How do you like your eggs in the morning?
This was nearly ruined for me by overexposure in a recent advertising campaign but my longstanding fondness for Deano saved it: the old Latin lush.

No comments: