Oh no, not another Monday-morning listicle! I promised myself I wasn’t going to subject you to yet another themed countdown of songs, but when it’s National Coffee Day, how can I not spotlight a handful about the bitter brown stuff most of the world can’t get enough of?
If you ask me, it’s pretty much Coffee Day every morning (and afternoon and evening…). But since this is an official holiday, here are six of my favorite songs that include coffee in some context.
1) “The Java Jive,” The Ink Spots (1940)
Leave it to the Ink Spots to make drinking coffee sound like the sexiest thing in the world. Though, I must admit, I prefer my coffee with cream and sugar to “a slice of onion,” but who am I to judge?
2) “Percolator (Twist),” Billy Joe & the Checkmates (1961)
Inspired by a Maxwell House jingle, the Checkmates’ “Percolator (Twist)” instrumental mimicked the popping coffee percolators and molded the common household noise into a fun, catchy xylophone riff. For more on both the song and its label, Doré Records, check out this article from my pals at Popdose.
3) “Sugar Shack,” Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs (1963)
Because everyone knows the best part of stalking a waitress at a diner is the endless coffee. I love this song and its crunchy guitars so much I’ll even forgive Mr. Gilmer for his “expresso” indiscretion.
4) “Coffee Blues,” Mississippi John Hurt (1966)
Though it’s not really about coffee (but also not about drugs, either), just for today, let’s pretend that ‘Sippi John was spreading the good news of caffeinated beverages, and the Lovin’ Spoonful really just f’king loved dark roast.
5) “Early Morning Blues and Greens,” The Monkees (1967)
An ode to those disappointing mornings when even the coffee sucks, “Early Morning Blues and Greens” ethereally uses waking up as a life metaphor, in which Davy Jones decides to “drink his coffee slow” while “watching his shadow grow.”
6) “No Sugar Tonight,” The Guess Who (1970)
“Lonely feeling, deep inside / Find a corner, where I can hide.” I feel ya, Guess Who. That’s how I feel when there’s “no sugar tonight in my coffee,” too. I mean, you are talking about sugar and coffee, right? Guys…?
Did I skip your favorite coffee-flavored jam? Let me know in the comments!
This Week on REBEAT!
– On this date 47 years ago, The Prisoner premiered on ITV in England. Stoking the universal paranoia of surveillance, it became a cult favorite spy drama and, after its incredibly brief run, left a lot of unanswered questions. Later today, Jim Ryan takes us back to the Village, where Patrick McGoohan might be still stuck on a giant chessboard.
– British singer/songwriter Vashti Bunyan gained a cult following when her album Just Another Diamond Day found its footing in 2000. The actual date of release, however, was 1970. Because of its initial lack of success, Bunyan abandoned a musical career — until now. Tomorrow, she releases new album. Sharon Lacey will have the full scoop, including an exclusive interview with Bunyan herself.
– You probably thought we were done proselytizing about the British Invasion 50th Anniversary Tour, didn’t you? Joke’s on you — even though it wrapped a week ago, new photography contributor Steve Gardner and I are collaborating on an extensive tour pictorial including his gorgeous, artistic photographs and a review of the legendary concerts. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this absolute feast for the eyes.