We asked you to nominate some songs that take the form of recipes. And – would you believe? Many of them turn out not to be about food at all.
For example, Keep on Churnin' ('Til the Butter Comes), a typically ribald song by R&B shouter Wynonie Harris, offers the instruction: "Keep on pumpin'/ Let the butter flow/ Wipe off the paddle and churn some more." What can he mean, readers?
Smut aside, many songs have employed the recipe form to illustrate the ingredients of romantic success, with Dean Martin's 1955 song Memories are Made of This an exemplar: "Take one fresh and tender kiss/ Add one stolen night of bliss." A bizarre postscript to this: the song was adopted as the unofficial anthem of the Hungarian diaspora after the 1956 revolution against Soviet rule.
Lee Hazlewood develops a fatal taste for Nancy Sinatra's Summer Wine. She outlines the ingredients: "Strawberries, cherries and an angel's kiss in spring." Sounding decidedly less tempting is Alligator Wine – Screamin' Jay Hawkins' deranged schtick should a warning to us all. And topping off our outsider-cuisine strand is Tom Waits, whose Filipino Box Spring Hog offers what AshenFacedSupremo calls "a touching cameo of the great man's home life … his methods would scare the Hell's Kitchen out of Rambo, never mind Ramsay".
The narrator of Ann Peebles' 99 Pounds breaks down her lover's attributes: "Twenty-five pounds of pure cane sugar/ in each and every kiss …" You get the picture. It's "an absolutely classic slice of Hi soul", as RR nominator seeoou asserts.
Australian songwriter Paul Kelly deploys a Thunderclap Newman guitar motif in How to Make Gravy, but it's far from a utopian picture. Says RR regular SpottedRichard: "Not only is it a request for instructions on how to make gravy, it's a really sad story of a someone reaching out to friends/family when faced with spending Christmas alone … It's a gut wrencher of a song."
Kentucky Skank is also something of a gut-wrencher – quite literally, since it begins rather dauntingly with what appears to be the sound of a toilet flushing. It could, however, be the sound of letting "the music flow". And though Lee "Scratch" Perry wouldn't perhaps be my first choice of cook, in fairness, he appears to show some know-how on preparation of fried chicken.
Oi Polloi's Anarcho Pie is a recipe for radical transformation: "Using the spare bits of pastry, decorate the top of the pie with a pastry anarchy sign – symbolising our never-ending resistance to the omnicidal system that perverts our lives." More politics of the liberal hippie variety with Blue Mink's 1970 soul-pop hit Melting Pot. BeltwayBandit makes the case for it – providing you can "forgive the rather un-PC language". It's "a recipe for a get-along scene" (they mean a multicultural society, folks). "Oh, what a beautiful dream!"
Purple Stew also features people in a pot. But Thurston Harris's trash-rock novelty – like Sheb Wooley's Purple People Eater, whose success it was aping – refers to a more sinister recipe.
Here's the playlist:
Keep on Churnin' ('Til the Butter Comes) – Wynonie Harris
Memories Are Made of This – Dean Martin
Summer Wine – Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood
Alligator Wine – Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Filipino Box Spring Hog – Tom Waits
99 Pounds – Ann Peebles
How to Make Gravy – Paul Kelly
Kentucky Skank – Lee "Scratch" Perry
Anarcho Pie – Oi Polloi
Melting Pot – Blue Mink
Purple Stew – Thurston Harris
* Listen to these songs on a YouTube playlist
* Read all the readers' recommendations on last week's blog, from which I've selected the songs above
* Here's a Spotify playlist containing readers' recommendations on this theme
* We'll reveal the next Readers Recommend topic at guardian.co.uk/readersrecommend at 10pm on Thursday.
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