Friday Five: Pi Day

Juli Thanki | March 14th, 2014

Today is Pi Day, and while we’re not that great at math here at E145, we do like made-up nerd holidays that encourage the consumption of the world’s greatest food: pie. It can be sweet, it can be savory, and the presence of fruit can let you pretend that you are eating something healthy, when deep down you know it’s a plate of diabetes.

It seems that songwriters like pie as much as we do, because numerous songs mention it, including “Sweet-T-Pie” (not to be confused with “Sweetie Pie”) “The Girl on Sugar Pie Lane,” “Easy as Pie,” “Shoofly Pie,” “Pumpkin Pie,” “Sweet Potato Pie,” “Key Lime Pie,” and, of course, “American Pie.” Here are five of our favorites

5. The Brothers Comatose – “Pie for Breakfast”

Since we post Friday Fives in the morning, you’ve still got oodles of time to find breakfast pie. This post will be waiting when you come back.

 

4. Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet – “Sugar and Pie”

Perhaps the only thing more delicious than pie is the music made by this supergroup.

 

3. The Greenbriar Boys – “Methodist Pie”

Just to be clear, this is a pie made for Methodists, not a pie made of Methodists. Cannibalism at church potlucks is frowned upon.

 

2. Patty Griffin – “Making Pies”

Any pie made while listening to Patty Griffin will be flavored with salty tears. That’s probably what happened here.

 

1. Tom T. Hall – “Mama, Bake a Pie (Daddy, Kill a Chicken)”

Only a master songwriter like Tom T. Hall could pen this tale about a wounded, alcoholic veteran returning home, combining dark humor and gutwrenching pathos to create a doozy of a song.

  1. bob
    March 14, 2014 at 8:26 am

    I can see why you have the Tom T. song #1. I never heard that on the radio.

  2. Barry Mazor
    March 14, 2014 at 9:19 am

    From the heart of the alt.country scare, Mssrs Jeff Tweedy (vocal on this) Gary Louris, et al, with Golden Smog’s Pecan Pie, 1995:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntM9LJj3QK8&feature=kp

  3. Jack Williams
    March 14, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Custard Pie – Led Zeppelin
    Sweet Thistle Pie – Cracker
    Honey Pie and Wild Honey Pie – Beatles

  4. Arlene
    March 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Here’s a song that really IS about “pi.” Lucy Kaplansky’s father, amateur musician Irving, was a very prominent mathematician who had chaired the Math Department at the University of Chicago. Professor Kaplansky, whose students at Harvard had included singer/songwriter/satirist Tom Lehrer, wrote “A Song About Pi,” which his daughter has often performed in concert. The melody is based on assigning notes to the first 14 decimal places of pi:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJkwlnN7VII
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irving_Kaplansky

    Also, there’s Don McClean’s “American Pie.”

    • Juli Thanki
      March 14, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      Thanks for the “A Song About Pi” info; I’d never heard it before. Double thanks for not mentioning Madonna’s “American Pie” cover, which is surely played on a loop in Hell.

  5. nm
    March 14, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Did I miss it, or has no one actually mentioned Dylan’s “Country Pie”?

  6. Jack WIlliams
    March 14, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Oh, and there’s Paul McCartney’s Flaming Pie from the album of the same name. Very good album, too.

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