8 Songs About Hamburgers
For the last two years, the world has endured some challenging times. The economic challenges brought on by pandemic-related lockdowns have proven especially daunting for the restaurant industry, which lost a reported $240b in revenue with 110K restaurants closing either temporarily or permanently. As people slowly return to in-house dining, recall that music can play an important psychological factor in encouraging your guests’ dietary choices. From fast-food to table service restaurants, burgers are on the menu at 40% of the biggest restaurant chains in the U.S. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite songs about hamburgers to whet the appetites of guests everywhere.
Jimmy Buffett – Cheeseburger in Paradise
Truly, is there a more ubiquitous track addition to our songs about hamburgers list than Jimmy Buffet’s classic? Here, the beach bum god croons over easy breezy guitar lines about one of his greatest loves (ostensibly followed by margaritas), the cheeseburger. Over the course of three minutes, Buffett waxes poetic about the various ways that he loves burgers, contrasting his love for the food against vegetables and healthier meals. With the line “but that American creation on which I feed,” Buffett makes the consumption of burgers a patriotic act, something that imbues the diner with a sense of national pride. Buffett’s charm is in the simplicity of his desires that his greatest conflict —perhaps in his entire life— is in determining the best side items and drink. To that end, his appeal is understandable: just a guy that wants a good burger and fries.
Todd Rundgren – Boogies (Hamburger Hell)
Another rock anthem, Todd Rundgren’s “Boogies (Hamburger Hell) turns the spirit of Buffett’s song on its head. Rundgren’s central character visits a buffet whereupon he eats, among other things, burgers. As such, Rundgren offers up a treatise on consumerism through the lens of a restaurant. A cynical ennui to the song is punctuated with lines like “You might as well stuff yourself, they’ll only throw it away.” Fortunately, Rundgren’s concerns here have been addressed through various restaurant technology interventions that mitigate food waste. Still, while Rundgren’s point stands, so too does his delicious description of a burger, a sumptuous treat that one should never ignore. That this number is set to such a solid groove only further justifies the inclusion of this song into any restaurant playlist featuring songs about hamburgers.
Skee-Lo – Burger Song
Skee-Lo made his career on his nerdy persona, wishing that he was taller, a baller and that he had a girl in the hood (he would call her). That general tone remains consistent on “The Burger Song,” which sees the emcee reflecting on his life through self-deprecating humor and charm. As he rhymes that “If you ever wanna be as phat as me, you gots to be a…,” Skee-Lo offers a clever turn of phrase by conflating the word “fat” with the slang term “phat.” Beyond that wit, though, the rapper uses food to underscore his image, enumerating popular menu fast-food menu items to show off his own popularity, all while leaning into his fat/phat analogy. The result is an examination of the power of food items to convey cultural significance, particularly burgers. For Skee-Lo, there are fewer things cooler than burgers. When coupled with a golden age hip-hop beat, this is an ideal track for any songs about hamburgers list.
ZZ Top – Burger Man
Texas blues rockers ZZ Top have built a decades-long career out of turning the bluntest innuendos into rock songs. That trend continues here with “Burger Man,” a goofy but no less entertaining number that is either about a grill cook flirting with someone or, as the video suggests, a man who is literally turned into a hamburger. Burgers are a metaphor here for something highly coveted and longed for, making this a silly but fun addition to any list of songs about hamburgers. Before we leave this subject, a special farewell to bassist Dusty Hill, who the world lost at the end of July, you will be remembered.
The Moldy Peaches – These Burgers
The song “These Burgers” by lo-fi indie-poppers The Moldy Peaches is a strange pick for our list, but hear us out. Where every other song on this list extols the virtues of hamburgers somehow, The Moldy Peaches are here to examine the pitfalls of conformity through the lens of mass-manufactured foods. To that end, restaurateurs can look to menu engineering to reconsider the types of items they offer and even data analytics for what sells the most. With that restaurant technology, owners and operators can make informed decisions about the potential costs of homogenized foods and saturated marketplaces by thinking outside the bun.
People Under the Stairs – Eat Street
The music of People Under the Stairs is celebratory and mostly rated PG, making it ideal for any restaurant playlist. With “Eat Street,” the hip-hop group offers up their own entry into our songs about hamburgers playlist, with a track that enumerates the best foods out there. As such, the emcees use food as analogies for the simple joys in life. While each rapper reflects on their favorite spots to eat, burgers are repeated entries into the best things to eat at their favorite eateries. This is a short and fun old-school track that can help lighten the mood in any establishment.
Beck – Deep Fried Love
It’s easy to forget just how weird an artist Beck was when he initially started. With “Deep Fried Love,” Beck uses lo-fi recording techniques and a seemingly stream-of-thought vocal delivery that is as surreal as it is strange. For Beck, burgers are an integral part of American culture, a common food item that, as with Jimmy Buffett, is part of the national landscape. Unlike Buffett, Beck uses burgers as a tongue-in-cheek indictment of the system, primarily for a similar reason to the aforementioned Moldy Peaches, as an inescapable and unavoidable menu item. That’s not inherently a bad thing here, as Beck goes on to reflect on burgers as a way of life, a thing that, like art, you consume in the margins of your life.
Masta Killa – Old Man
Before we get too deep into our final entry into our list of songs about hamburgers, a brief warning that some o the language may be a bit strong for listeners; fortunately, there are edited versions (included here) of this track ideal for any playlist, so keep that in mind as you proceed. As one of many emcees from the Wu-Tang Clan, Masta Killa is no stranger to catchy hooks. That hook is handled with charm by the great Ol Dirty Bastard, using a line from the Sanford and Sons series to reflect on his favorite burger style: double meat, cheese, onions, special sauce, and more. With the right restaurant technology platform, you can ensure that every order goes out to your guests using logistics tools like kitchen display systems to guarantee that every order is customized to each customer.
Songs About Hamburgers – Conclusion
While the pandemic has yet to run its course fully, thankfully, the world is slowly returning to some sense of normalcy, with many restaurants returning to form. With more and more people vaccinated comes the possibility of the widespread, in-house traffic needed to help businesses rebound. As guests return, we were happy to dig deeper into our songs about restaurants series and developed our songs about hamburgers list of suggestions designed to gird even the finest playlists while adding a little joy to each diner’s experience and enhancing the overall customer experience. Did your favorite burger-themed song cut? Let us know in the comments section below!
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About the Author
Syd is a content marketing specialist, which are fancy words for writing pretty to tell a good story. He likes writing things about food, drinks, and music. He’s a musician himself, a father of two, and loves his wife a whole lot.