(The third post in a “behind the song” series from the Slugs & Bugs Under Where? CD.)
A few years ago, Amy and I were watching Jay Leno on Late Night, and he told the audience that one of his staffers had found something funny/creepy at a convenience store recently. He held up something in his hand and the camera zoomed in on a tin can labeled “food”. I re-winded it over and over and laughed about it for days. Who wouldn’t want a can of food? It’s exactly what you need when you’re hungry!
This was back when Andrew P. and I were in the thick of our writing tenure for VeggieTales and we were constantly on the lookout for funny stuff. I wrote the first verse of Food just building on that Leno joke, and then we came up with some pretty fun banter that relied heavily on two french peas and their ridiculous accents. Try reading this out loud in your very best “french pea.”
Pea#1 sings first verse.
Pea#2: I’ll tell you why they call breakfast breakfast… it’s because in the morning when you’re busy, you’ve got to take a break to eat. And then, you’ve got stuff to do! So you’ve got to eat fast. Break… Fast… Breakfast!!
And ‘”lunch”, well, that’s easy. We call it “lunch” because the only thing that rhymes with crunch-and-munch-a-bunch, is “LUNCH!”
Pea#1: Aaaaand hunch.
Pea#2: Ok, and hunch.
Pea#1: And punch.
Pea#2: OK… yes, and punch.
Pea#1: And scrunch.
Pea#2: Ok, ok, and scrunch.
Pea#1 Wait a minute…. lots of things rhyme with lunch. You don’t even know what you’re talking about! Next thing I know you’ll be trying to tell me that dinner comes from a french word that means “to dine.” You and your etymological fallacies!
Thankfully, VT didn’t go for it, and I got to record it on Under Where?
A few last tasty morsels about Food from Slugs & Bugs Under Where?…
That’s Jeff Taylor playing the piano. He plays texas swing with the Time Jumpers every monday night at the Station Inn here in Nashville, and I knew he’d be the guy to lead the band through this very Texas-swingy tune. Of course, that’s Stuart Duncan again on fiddle, and during Stuart’s solo you can hear Ben Shive, Ken Lewis and I crunch-a-munching on fresh carrots.
I got tickled a couple of times while singing the vocal, and we left one of them in there at the end of verse two. I had just written that verse moments earlier and it was still making me laugh. Food is also the only song on the record with three part harmony, and that was a ton of fun to sing.
After the song was recorded we were listening at home to the rough mix and my daughter asked me what a “mannequin hand” was. When I told her, she was predictably puzzled. But then a few minutes later she was telling her brother Jonah about it and they listened for it and laughed every time it went by after that, so… I felt affirmed.