Breakfast is one of those things that are highly romanticized in the zeitgeist. Typically I’m a cynic who hates putting too much pressure on any concept, let alone one that boils down to something as simple and inconsequential as putting nutrients into your body. However- of the mythologized concepts- breakfast is the Atlas carrying the weight of the world and deserves the adoration it receives. Therefore it deserves a decent playlist devoted to it. Here we go:
‘Banana Pancakes’ Jack Johnson
If you came to this playlist expecting this absolute classic not to be included – you’re delusional. I listen to this song at least twice a week, and I don’t even like banana pancakes. That’s how great it is. ‘Banana Pancakes’ sounds how the sun breaking through the clouds feels in February after the long winter. This song hugs the soul and would be perfect backing to put the kettle on.
‘Toast’ The Street Band
I listened to this after picking this article up, as advised by my intrepid editor Gem. As always, she knew best. It’s as if ‘Parklife’ by Blur took a breath. It’s a beautiful, fast-paced, and mundane elegy to a staple of most people’s daily existence. As someone who depends on the simple things in life for joy, this lit up my day as nothing has recently. Toast scraping backing sounds and “boo boops” included, this one is an unusual delight.
‘Lovely Day’ Bill Withers
“When I wake up in the morning love and the sunlight hurts my eyes” and the undeniable track behind those words is so comforting to me I cannot accurately express the feeling. Withers’ buttery smooth vocals and the uplifting lyrics will turn any morning into a ‘Lovely Day’. Trust me.
‘Maggie May’ Rod Stewart
Bare with me on this one. This classic seventies track is a foot-tapping head-bopping classic, prancing about the kitchen to Rod’s gravelly vocals and the cymbal heavy track is one of the great joys of existence. “I suppose I should collect my books and get on back to school” and the subsequent few lines are one of the few sections of any song I physically cannot help but scream out loud. This song energizes and allows you to bring some seventies Rod Stewart glamour to your kitchen.
‘This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)’ Natalie Cole
This song is lightness and joy. Hearing this upbeat love song within my waking up period puts a spring in my step so strong I’m skipping. The high pitched “so long as I’m living true love I’ll be giving” is an auditory experience that will pull at even the most stoic face’s smile muscles.
‘All I Want Is You’ Barry Louis Polisar
Simple, upbeat, accordions- what more can you want? “If you were a wink, I’d be a nod” is a line that every time I hear it I’m surprised at how it works, but boy oh boy does it. The infamous opening to the 2007 indie teen comedy Juno featuring this song and an ungodly amount of orange juice is burned into my brain and I wouldn’t have it any other way for the elation I feel at this bop.
‘Dancing With Myself’ Billy Idol
This one you could debate, you would be wrong, but you could try. In a list and a world where music is mostly about romantic love, we need to remember that dancing by ourselves is not only okay but necessary. Making your favourite breakfast to this classic and reminding yourself to dance even if there’s no one to dance with – especially then- is what self-love is. So, go and love yourself.
‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)’ Stevie Wonder
Please take a second and imagine the flair with which you could plate and serve the breakfast du jour to this absolute heavyweight hit. There is a reason we all know this song, it’s because it is the ultimate upbeat crowd-pleaser. Please your breakfast companions and put on some Stevie.
‘Get Up Offa That Thing’ James Brown
This might be oversharing, but like many students, I have issues finishing food before it passes well beyond peak freshness. That’s why this year I pledge that the only funk anywhere near my breakfast will be James Brown. This song does more to energize than any amount of coffee and carbs could ever. Also, some of your more inventive dance moves will appear and you will feel like you’re hosting a one-person set, its good for the spirit to feel that kind of confidence to start the day.
‘It Must Be Love’ Madness
These next two are sentimental, but I stand by them for anyone. ‘It Must Be Love’ is a song rooted in those hectic “people are coming” mornings that epitomize my childhood. As a life long Madness fan, my father would often sneak this on as he did his few sanctioned tasks in my mum’s busy kitchen and now those opening bars can lift any weight off my shoulders. This steady hit is a perfect breakfast hit as it is simple, uncomplicated, and hearty – as any good breakfast should be.
‘Sweet Caroline’ Neil Diamond
There is no bad time for this song. Possibly the most universally loved song, ever, this is the quintessential good-vibes breakfast song. Another nostalgic one for me and if it doesn’t scream early morning sunshine, then what does? Plus, I cannot fathom anyone not getting a burst of glee at lyrics like “And when I hurt/ Hurting runs off my shoulders/ How can I hurt when holding you”.
Begin with a classic breakfast titled song, end with one. When I hear this one it conjures the picture-perfect breakfasts from the Tropicana advert and makes me feel as glossy as the ad is. The infamous lines of the classic “How do you like your eggs in the morning?/ I like mine with a kiss” reminds us breakfast isn’t a time to be fussy but instead to absorb the moment and the love of the moment. Be that a family breakfast, one shared with a significant other or made for one before a long day of appreciating yourself.
Breakfast, the often ignored and nearly always rushed meal, is made a lot more palatable with a good playlist. I hope this playlist, and whatever your brekky beverage of choice is, quenches your thirst.
Listen to the full playlist below.