Know Your Onions!


Apparently, today is International French Onion Soup Day. I’m a big an of French culture, onions and soup, but I’ve never drank evan a spoonful of french onion soup. It doesn’t look like it would be too difficult to make, so I guess it’s something to add to my list of things to do in 2013. A while back, I noticed I’ve got over three dozen songs named after this useful vegetable, but only one about onion soup. The late Vic Chesnutt‘s Onion Soup may or may not be French, but he does refer to it as “exquisite” in the song from his 1995 album, Is the Actor Happy? Pixies founder, Black Francis, has been pursuing a solo career as Frank Black for some time now. His Dog in the Sand album from 2001 includes a song called Richard Onion, which is about an American aerospace engineer named Robert Zubrin

Back in 1968, The Beatles included a song called Glass Onion on The White Album. The song’s lyrics refer to a number of earlier tunes by the band and it was covered by Sandel as part of The Beatles Complete on Ukulele project in 2011. A decade later, The Rutles released a brilliant parody of the Fab Four’s music to accompany their film, All You Need Is Cash. Cheese & Onions is one of the many fine songs written by Neil Innes & Eric Idle for the project. It was recorded by Galaxie 500 in 1991 and included on the band’s Uncollected compilation. Incidentally, cheese & onion crisps were first developed in Dublin in the 1950s by the Tayto company and, like Guinness, are now popular all over the world. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell had a hit with The Onion Song in 1969 and another duo name Bob & Marcia recorded a reggae version on their Young, Gifted & Black album the following year. More recently, The Shins included a track called Know Your Onion! on their Oh, Inverted World album from 2001. The Coastals recorded a version a decade later for their Under the Covers album. Bon appetite!

Onion Soup – Vic Chesnutt

Robert Onion – Frank Black

Glass Onion (Beatles cover) – Sandel

Cheese & Onions (Rutles cover) – Galaxie 500

The Onion Song (Marvin Gaye cover) – Bob & Marcia

Know Your Onion (The Shins cover) – The Coastals


4 thoughts on “Know Your Onions!

  1. Ahem, what about the brilliant Booker T. Jones and “Green Onions”? As one of the most recognizable instrumental songs in the past 50 years, this omission brought tears to my eyes. Here it is from last year’s Americana Music Awards show:

    • That was the first song I thought of, Jim, and I left if off because it’s so well known. I had toyed with putting up Mo’ Onions, a less appealing follow up by Booker T and the lads

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