10 Songs About Coffee That You Will Love
If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that people love coffee, and when people love something, they write songs about it. So here are our favorite songs about coffee, which will no doubt get you excited to start your morning on the right note!
Songs About Coffee
Let’s begin with an old school classic by The Ink Spots.
Java Jive by the Ink Spots
“Java Jive” by the Ink Spots, has been a beloved ode to coffee since 1946! Beginning with the catchy couplet, “I love coffee, I love tea / I love the Java Jive and it loves me,” this song describes a man’s devotion to coffee in all its forms. It’s a song that captures the simple, beautiful pleasures of a cup of coffee, and plenty of us can relate.
There’s an artful musicality to this song, and it’s a reminder of how something as mundane as coffee can hold a world of poetry and sensation. The vocal harmonies blend as smoothly as a cup of light roast, and the rhythmic acoustic guitar beneath them gives the song its mellow flavor.
- You Might Also Enjoy: Songs About Water
What I Want is a Proper Cup of Coffee by Trout Fishing in America
Some coffee lovers are very particular about how they take their morning cup, and they won’t stoop to drink anything that isn’t prepared exactly how they like it. “What I Want is a Proper Cup of Coffee” is an old English music hall song about some historical coffee snobs, and thanks to its face-paced tongue-twister chorus, it’s become a popular singalong hit for children’s bands such as Texas duo Trout Fishing in America.
Each verse of this song tells of a different historical figure (the Sultan of Persia, the historical highwayman Ben Turpin, Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Queen of Sheba) demanding “a proper cup of coffee / served in a proper copper coffee pot,” before finally concluding “If I can’t have a proper cup of coffee in a proper coffer coffee pot / I’ll have cuppa tea!”
This is a comedic song that imagines coffee snobbery as something old and universal. It suggests that at the end of the day, no matter how famous we are or how many great conquests we have made, we all just want a proper cup of coffee. In other words, it puts legendary figures in a human light.
There is a lot of theatricality and fun wordplay in this song, which is what makes it so beloved by children. It’s a very fast-paced song, and it’s probably best to make sure you’ve got some caffeine in you if you’re going to attempt to sing it! So if you’re looking for great songs about coffee in the morning, this gem by Trout Fishing in America should be at the top of your list.
The Coffee Song by Frank Sinatra
Who knows how to make coffee better than the Brazilians? Brazil has been the world’s leading exporter of coffee beans for years, and this song by Frank Sinatra revolves around one inarguable fact: “They’ve got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil.”
“The Coffee Song” was written by Bob Hilliard and Dick Miles and famously recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1946. The lyrics comically exaggerate the Brazilians love for coffee, suggesting that it’s all they ever drink (water is even outlawed!). Beneath Sinatra’s powerful vocals, the full-bodied orchestra takes this song to new heights and makes it a perfect pick-me-up for any coffee lover.
Interestingly, Frank Sinatra’s affection for Brazilian culture did not stop here. In 1967, he would go on the collaborate with Antonia Carlos Jobim, the master of Brazilian Samba and Bossa Nova, on the album Frances Albert Sinatra & Antonia Carlos Jobim. Perhaps Sinatra’s interest in Brazilian music all started with a cup of coffee.
Taylor the Latte Boy by Kristen Chenoweth
Here’s a perky, high-energy ballad about young love! “Taylor the Latte Boy” was written by musical theatre composers Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich and performed by American actress and Broadway singer Kristen Chenoweth in 2005. It tells the story of a young woman’s crush on a Starbucks barista named Taylor.
She declares her love for him and sings about her belief that the triple latte he gave her means he loves her, too. The girl in the song seems to envision her mundane encounter at the coffee shop as a fairytale romance, a perfect portrayal of a teenage crush!
“Who’da thought love could be so caffeinated?” sings Chenoweth, and it’s a great metaphor for youthful infatuation. Meeting the person who makes our heart flutter really does feel like being hopped up on a strong cup of coffee.
Black Coffee in Bed by Squeeze
This 1982 single by UK pop band Squeeze leaves a bitterer flavor behind. “Black Coffee in Bed” is about the aftermath of a painful breakup. The singer bemoans that all that remains of his former lover is a stain on his notebook left by her coffee cup to haunt him with her memory.
There’s something remarkably poignant about the image of the coffee stain that gives the song its title. Anyone else might overlook it, but to the man in the song, it holds all the loss and emptiness that burdens his heart.
“Black Coffee in Bed” is known for more than just its lyrics, though. The distinctive electronic keyboard riff that opens the song carries some cynicism, but it is not filled with the same despair as the lyrics, and it suggest that although this is a sad moment, it is not the end of the world. Meanwhile, the energetic backing vocals add some pep and support for the grieving front man and make this a truly memorable song.
Black Coffee by Ella Fitzgerald
If any voice could ever carry all the anguish and catharsis of the blues, it was Ella Fitzgerald’s, and in this smoky jazz standard, she brings us a woman’s lament of abandonment.
“Black Coffee” was written in 1948 by Sonny Burke and Paul Francis Webster, and it has been covered by a number of female artists over the years, notably Sarah Vaughn and Peggy Lee. Ella Fitzgerald’s 1960 version was included on the soundtrack to the film Let No Man Write My Epitaph, which accounts for its enduring popularity.
The song relates the sorrows of a woman whose “love has gone away.” Left to her own devices, she “drowns her past regrets / in coffee and cigarettes.” It’s telling that she chooses black coffee. She doesn’t bother trying to sweeten it with cream and sugar. It’s as if she is reveling in her own misery, and there’s a plaintive sense of honesty to it.
Musically, “Black Coffee” is stripped down to an austere minor-key piano track, making it as dark and plain as a cup of black coffee itself, but Fitzgerald’s rich voice brings out the full flavor.
death bed (coffee for your head) by Powfu ft. beabadoobee
If that last song wasn’t sad enough for you, this 2020 single by Canadian hip-hop artist Powfu is sure to generate a few tears. Powfu was inspired to write this emotional song after watching a series of sentimental romance movies, and he used it to explore some painful themes. “death bed” recounts the thoughts of young man who is on his death bed and saying goodbye to his lover. He recalls their happy memories and seems to accept his death, but he regrets that he will have to leave her alone.
The chorus, provided by British singer beabadoobee, might be his lover’s reply. She offers to “make a cup of coffee for your head” to keep him awake, suggesting that she has not yet accepted his death and is still doing all she can to stave it off.
beabadoobee’s innocent, childlike vocals are part of what makes this song so gut-wrenching. There’s a sad naiveté to her offer to make coffee, as if she is doing all she can to help her lover despite the fact that they are both fighting a tragic losing battle.
One More Cup of Coffee by Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan brings us another song of two lovers’ separation in his song “One More Cup of Coffee.” This song was included on Bob Dylan’s 1976 album Desire, and it has his typical acidic taste. In it, a man describes his mysterious and distant lover and the strange bohemian background from which she comes. Emmylou Harris joins Dylan in the chorus, and they both request “One more cup of coffee for the road / One more cup of coffee ‘fore I go / To the valley below.” Perhaps this is the man’s way of delaying his inevitable departure from a doomed romance.
The complex fiddle and vocal melodies give this song a vaguely Eastern feel, suggesting that lover in the song may be a wanderer or a Roma, and maybe her itinerant culture is the reason she cannot love the narrator. But Dylan to leave room for interpretation in his lyrics, and this song is no exception. In any case, it manages to tell a dark and poetic story centered on the image of a final cup of coffee before a lonely descent.
“One More Cup of Coffee” has been covered by numerous other artists, including Robert Plant, the White Stripes, and Tom Jones, each of which added their own unique spice to Dylan’s original composition.
Coffee Morning by Laura Nyro
Off of her 1976 album Smile, American singer Laura Nyro brings us a smoky, sensual coffee-themed romance. In “Coffee Morning,” a woman and her lover express their passion for one another in the early morning, which coffee serving as the central metaphor for a steamy love affair. “It’s a cheap and bitter world,” the lover tells her, “but I burn for you.” The morning might be cold and dark, but they find the warmth of a cup of coffee in each other’s embrace.
Nyro uses some richly poetic language to set the scene in this song, and her soulful voice makes it all the more poignant. There’s also a lot of contrast and shade in both the lyrics in the music. This isn’t just a sentimental love song. There are hints of danger in lines like “Mister, don’t forget your black winter cape” and “Come on ‘til I forget the war / And the pain in my head,” and that’s what gives this song it’s dark roast feel.
Nyro gives us only hints of the full story, and we are left to fill in the blanks on our own.
Coffee Blues by Mississippi John Hurt
Finally, Mississippi John Hurt brews up an erotic ballad with his blues piece, “Coffee Blues. Hurt first recorded the song 1928, but his most famous version wasn’t released until 1971. In it, a man extolls the virtues of his girlfriend, who serves him his preferred brand of Maxwell House coffee. Even after she leaves him, he attempts to track her down in search of his “Lovin’ spoonful.” He’s addicted to the caffeine and he can’t do without it.
There are some pretty obvious sexual metaphors in this song, which is all part of the fun. It’s a lustful, scandalous tale which is ostensibly just about coffee, and that’s what gives it its good humor. It also makes sense. The ways in which we talk about the pleasures of a cup of coffee are not too different from the ways in which we talk about sex, and perhaps it was this observation that led Mississippi John Hurt to “Coffee Blues.” Actually, coffee could very well be taken as a metaphor for sex in just about any of the songs on this list!
“Coffee Blues” is one of Hurt’s most well-known compositions, and it was one of the many songs he performed for his much younger admirers throughout the folk revival of the 1960s. In fact, the lyrics to “Coffee Blues” provided the inspiration for folk-rock group The Lovin’ Spoonful’s band name.
It’s amazing how many emotions can be contained within a single cup of coffee, but it isn’t surprising how many artists have been moved to music by their daily cup of coffee. Coffee is a big part of human culture, and it plays a role in the lives of billions of people. So it’s no wonder there are so many great songs about coffee!
By now, you’re probably hankering for a cup yourself, so why not let the songs on this list provide the soundtrack to your next brew? Hopefully, they’ll help bring out the flavor.
If you enjoyed the article, be sure to subscribe to my Devoted to Vinyl YouTube channel and Facebook page.