The Coffee Song: Why Is It So Popular?

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The Coffee Song was written by Bob Hilliard (January 28, 1918-February 1, 1971), an American lyricist who wrote many other famous songs. For example, In the Wee Small Hours Of the Morning, Any Day Now, Dear Hearts and Gentle People, Our Day Will Come, My Little Corner Of the World, and Seven Little Girls (Sitting In The Back Seat). The Coffee Song is one of the most fun songs with coffee lyrics recorded in the 1946 post-war era, with a catchy tune and rhythm that is non-stop festive.

The Coffee Song has been performed by many artists and groups. To name a few: Frank Sinatra, American singer and actor. Louis Prima, Sicilian-American singer, actor, songwriter and trumpeter. Sam Cooke, American gospel, R&B, soul, pop singer, and songwriter. Rosemary Clooney, American singer and actress. Mike Doughty, American indie and alternative rock songwriter. Stan Ridgway, American multi-instrumentalist, baritone singer, and songwriter. Bob Dorough, American bebop, cool jazz pianist, songwriter, composer, and vocalese singer. The Muppets, famous puppet characters created by Jim Henson starting in 1954-1955.

The Muppets played and sang The Coffee Song as their opening number for a 1997 episode of Muppets Tonight. Every performance of The Coffee Song is different and reflects the style of each musician or musical group. As a result, the song appeals to more and more audiences over time.

Frank Sinatra chose to record this song and helped popularize it at a time when coffee consumption of Brazilian coffee was increasing substantially among US coffee drinkers. The post-war era was a time when people were optimistic about their future. Families were contributing to a record baby boom that would impact the country for generations. The Coffee Song captures the era’s optimism, happy-go-lucky attitude, and anything goes spirit of the time. Frank Sinatra began his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, which helped him become a successful solo artist and an idol of the bobby soxers.

Sinatra’s popularity helped to promote The Coffee Song as a swinging cocktail party type of song and to make it part of many personal collections.

The song is quite simple and direct. The lyrics praise the coffee surplus in Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producer, a position the country has held for the last 150 years. The song tells the story of a politician’s daughter who was fined $ 50 for drinking a beverage different from coffee. The song describes in a humorous way the lack of soda, tomato juice, potato juice or any other drink because coffee is what everybody drinks and sells in Brazil. There are many catchy phrases in the song. The song is easy to memorize and sing. One of the wittiest lyrics according to many is “…they’ve got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil!…”

Some of the lyrics from the song include: “…You date a girl and find out later she smells like a percolator. Her perfume was made right on the grill. Hey they could percolate the ocean in Brazil…Way down among Brazilians. Coffee beans grow by the billions. So they’ve got to find those extra cups to fill. They’ve got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil…”

If you have not listened to The Coffee Song in a while or ever, look for the music video and make some time to enjoy it. This song is one for your music playlist and one to enjoy with a great cup of Brazilian Santos Bourbon gourmet coffee!