Witty Tunes for Foodie Families

Songs about liver, ten thousand pancakes, and eating worms? Absolutely!

These are just a few of the topics Gunnar Madsen covers in his 2018 Parents’ Choice Awards Gold Medal–winning CD, I Am Your Food. Kids and kids-at-heart will appreciate the singer-songwriter’s charming, catchy tunes and clever, sometimes poetic, lyrics. Chew on this:

“Liver, it’s the chosen food of potentates and kings; but simple folk enjoy it too, sometimes with onion rings.” In another song, Madsen considers the merits of a “diet of worms,” noting, “it looks like spaghetti, except that it squirms.”

Madsen’s songs feature elements of pop, folk, and country music. “Ten Thousand Pancakes” hooks you with a catchy, driving beat and a memorable chorus about all those carbs: “Just put one fork in front of the other, and soon you’ll be bolted to the ground… you’ll put on 300 pounds.” In an eerie ballad about food poisoning, Madsen tells the tale of a summertime picnic gone very wrong: “Sweatin’ under stretched plastic skies, Russian roulette, bacteria cries, egg salad in the sun.”

Asked about his local roots, Madsen says he came to UC Berkeley in 1974 and never left the area. “Besides the food,” he says, “music is what kept me in Berkeley.” His
a cappella group, The Bobs, was from Berkeley, and Madsen was music director at Epic West (now the Julia Morgan Theater) and has supplied music to the Aurora Theatre, Berkeley Rep, and Berkeley Shakespeare Festival (now the California Shakespeare Theater). “I could go on,” he adds, “but I’ve gotta’ get to the farmers’ market!”


—Rachel Trachten