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Coffee Mate: “Milk and Sugar” by G.Love

In the short-lived life of Coffee Mate—a daily(ish) musical discovery series here on Salute—I’ve made a single, grievous oversight, which can never be taken back: despite being the 21st century’s greatest song about coffee and all its trappings, G.Love’s “Milk and Sugar” was not the inaugural selection.

If Coffee Mate ever grows into a sovereign nation (and I’m not saying that’s the plan, but I’m also not saying that’s not the plan), “Milk and Sugar” will be our national anthem, and thus, delaying its selection for three weeks is one of the great failings in recent memory.

For that, I apologize to Garrett Drew Dutton, readers of Coffee Mate (i.e. my aunts), and Independent Olympians from all yet-unrecognized states.

Off 2011’s Fixin’ to Die, “Milk and Sugar” has all the features of a quintessential Coffee Mate selection: it’s a freewheeling, caffeinated punch, and a song that simply feels good to listen to, especially before 10 AM; it’s raucous, a little sloppy; it’s a front-porch blues to clap along to, and a chorus you can fumble your way through, even if the morning has your head a little foggy, and what version you come up with will stick through the afternoon; it has an indefinable jolt, the self-contained potential to set your day on the right course, and a vague, bluesy double-entendre for whatever “milk and sugar” means, in regards to this Folgers-inspired flirtation.

But more importantly than anything else, “Milk and Sugar” boasts the successful use of “percolating” in verse, leaving lesser songwriters in G.Love’s wake: Milk and sugar always on my mind/While that coffee’s percolatin’/Let’s just talk away some time.

Signature G.Love and signature Coffee Mate, “Milk and Sugar” is a particularly potent combination, which feels good to listen to before 10 AM, and with any luck, it sets your day on the right course.


P.S. I deserve credit for the restraint I showed in the ol’ pun department this morning. A song about coffee could’ve been grounds for a lot of bad jokes.

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