We just couldn't have a pie fest without a playlist of songs about pie — because there are so many! Plus, cooking to music really elevates the emotional potential as we work away in our kitchens. It surely helps that generations of musicians have run with the sweet, savory, serious and often very sexual metaphors they've found hidden beneath their own pies' bubbling crusts.
Like pie recipes, the songs we selected come in a myriad of genres and styles — from Jay & The Techniques' nostalgically playful and kind of sad “Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” to Jimmy Cliff's cry for economic equality “Piece of the Pie” to Sara Bareilles' beautiful tear-jerker “Falling In Love Pie” from the Broadway musical “Waitress.”
There are double entendre-filled tunes including Blind Boy Fuller and Sonny Terry's hokum blues song “I Want Some of Your Pie,” which inspired both Led Zeppelin's “Custard Pie” and the accusations of plagiarism that followed. In “Petootie Pie,” Ella Fitzgerald endeavors to seduce her “sugar fruity dreamy pie” with the line, “You're such a tasty hunk of pastry.”
Don McLean's classic “American Pie” memorializes the 1959 plane crash that killed rock and roll pioneers Buddy Holly, “The Big Bopper” J.P. Richardson and Ritchie Valens. Rhythm and heartbreak drive “I Can't Help Myself” by The Four Tops and D'Angelo's “Devil's Pie” offers a critique of hip hop's destructive obsession with materialism. “Pop Pop Pop - Pie” by the 1960s girl group The Sherrys should get you moving while you bake your own pie for the fest, just like it did when the musicians wrote it after a dance called The Popeye became a national craze.
Please have fun with this playlist and feel free to suggest other pie songs for the WBUR Pie Fest in the comments below!