Today is National Coffee Day and, in its honor, we’re bringing you 15 of the best odes to everyone’s favorite caffeinated beverage. Brew yourself a cup a joe, pour an extra shot in your latte, and check out:
1. Jimmy Eat World - “Coffee And Cigarettes” (Invented; Interscope, 2010)
When Jimmy Eat World frontman Jim Adkins sings of “coffee and cigarettes” on the group’s eponymous 2010 single, it’s a double entendre. The singer is literally reminiscing time spent over not one, but two vices, and, also, making reference to the Otis Redding classic, “Cigarettes And Coffee,” another great Coffee Day anthem.
2. Descendents – “Coffee Mug” (Everything Sucks; Epitaph, 1996)
One of the most famous (and shortest, clocking in at a mere 34 seconds) punk rock odes to coffee, “Coffee Mug” gets right to the point. With lines like “I don’t need no booze or drugs/I just chug-a-lug-o my coffee mug” and “They haven’t banned/My liquid drug of choice/There’s too many hooked/And they’ve got too much voice,” it’s safe to assume how Descendents like to start their day.
3. Copeland – “Coffee” (Beneath Medicine Tree; The Militia Group, 2003)
In perhaps the most pleasant and earnest track from their debut album, Beneath Medicine Tree, Copeland frontman Aaron Marsh sings “If it’s not too late for coffee/I’ll be at your place in ten/We’ll hit that all night diner/And then we’ll see.” It’s not so much the words but the emotional weight with which he sings them that makes this song indispensible.
4. Black Flag – “Black Coffee” (Slip It In; SST, 1984)
Black Flag’s Henry Rollins mentions coffee exactly 39 times on the group’s 1984 ode to paranoia, rage, and frustration, “Black Coffee.” Caffeine probably isn’t the best method for dealing with said woes (and even Henry admits – “It’s just in my mind”) but hey, if Mr. Rollins wants to toss back cup after cup of joe, who are we to stop him?
5. Forever The Sickest Kids – “Coffee Break” (Underdog Alma Mater; Universal, 2008)
On the one song that could be considered a ballad from their 2008 debut, Underdog Alma Mater, Forever The Sickest Kids recount a not-so-relaxing “Coffee Break,” reflecting on commitment, growing up, change, and disappointment. Okay, this one’s a bit of a bummer. Maybe Jonathan Cook should try a nice chamomile tea next time?
6. The White Stripes – “One More Cup Of Coffee” (The White Stripes; Sympathy, 1999)
Well before they helped spearhead the garage rock revival of the early ‘00s with their breakout hit, “Fell In Love With A Girl,” The White Stripes made a splash in the underground scene with their eponymous debut. On it, they covered Bob Dylan’s classic tune about coffee and letting go.
7. The Wonder Years – “Coffee Eyes” (Suburbia I’ve Given You All And Now I’m Nothing; Hopless/No Sleep, 2011)
On “Coffee Eyes,” when The Wonder Years’ Dan “Soupy” Campbell sings of “coffee eyes and blank stares,” he’s not talking about the beverage in the literal sense, so much as the need to hang on to constants amidst life’s inevitable changes.
8. Blur – “Coffee & TV” (13; Food, 1999)
One of the few Blur songs to feature guitarist Graham Coxon on lead vocals, “Coffee & TV” is the high point of the group’s 1999 effort, 13. It’s not really about coffee, but it was the background song for that famous (and famously parodied) kiss scene in Cruel Intentions.
9. Fall Out Boy – “(Coffee’s For Closers)” (Folie A Deux; Island, 2008)
In typical Fall Out Boy fashion, the title, “(Coffee’s For Closers),” is only related in theme to the song, and has nothing to do with the lyrics themselves. The name is, in fact, a reference to a famous scene from 1992 Alec Baldwin film Glengarry Glen Ross.
10. Garbage – “Cup Of Coffee” (Beautiful Garbage; Interscope, 2001)
“You told me you don’t love me/ Over a cup of coffee/ And I just have to look away/A million miles between us/ Planets crash into dust/I just let it fade away.” And, with that, Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson begins perhaps the most depressing coffee-inspired lyrics of all time.
11. All Time Low – “Coffee Shop Soundtrack” (Put Up Or Shut Up; Hopeless, 2006)
The opening track on fan-favorite 2006 EP, Put Up Or Shut Up, All Time Low’s “Coffee Shop Soundtrack” doesn’t really have anything to do with java, but hey, we couldn’t run this list without it.
12. Less Than Jake – “Black Coffee” (Pezcore; Dill, 1995)
Less Than Jake’s “Black Coffee” is another track which only references coffee in title alone, but, since the ska scene is sorely lacking in caffeinated content, we’re giving it a pass.
13. Green Day – “409 In Your Coffeemaker” (Slappy; Lookout!, 1990)
“409 In Your Coffeemaker” is typical early Green Day: raw, unrefined, and a lot of fun. The title is allegedly a reference to a prank teenage Billie Joe Armstrong pulled on a teacher.
14. The Riot Before – “Words Written Over Coffee” (Firsts Buried In Pockets; Say-10, 2009)
The raw, gut-wrenching honest “Words Written Over Coffee,” the most famous track by now-defunct folk punks The Riot Before, serves as an anthem for anyone who’s spent a contemplative late night, with coffee for comfort.
15. Beastie Boys – “Intergalactic” (Hello Nasty; Capitol, 1998)
Lead single “Intergalactic” from Beastie Boys’ 1998 smash Hello Nasty, isn’t about coffee, but they make a point to let us know how they take it, extra sweet – “I like my sugar with coffee and cream.”
Bonus: Dethklok – “Duncan Hills Coffee Jingle” (The Dethalbum [Deluxe Edition]; Williams Street, 2007)
Dethklok aren’t technically a real band, but they sure did play the most metal coffee jingle of all time in the 2006 Metalocalypse episode, “The Curse Of Dethklok.”