Food for Thought (song)

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"Food For Thought"
Song by UB40
from the album Signing Off
Released 1980
Genre Reggae
Length 4:10
Label Graduate Records
Songwriter(s) UB40
Producer(s) Bob Lamb

"Food for Thought" was the first single released by British reggae band UB40. It reached No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart in early 1980 and No. 1 in New Zealand in September 1980.

The original single version is slightly shorter compared to the Signing Off album version, with the album version including a break using a synthesiser reverb (an early example of their mixing techniques that can be found on their album Present Arms in Dub).

According to Robin Campbell, the lyrics relate to "the hypocrisy of Christmas, the fact that there are starving people in Africa and here we are all sat around eating our Christmas dinner and praising the Lord".[1] Campbell regards the song as a Christmas song.[1]

"Food for Thought" was released as a double A side along with "King", which was a song written about Martin Luther King,[2] questioning the lost direction of the deceased leader's followers and the state of mourning of a nation after his death.

"Food for Thought" was the first release of a new record label, Graduate Records, a company based, like the band, in Birmingham.[3] It was the first single to reach the UK Top 10 without the backing of a major record company.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

The song is regularly played at Birmingham City FC home matches, while the main tune is sung by the supporters during matches.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "How I wrote... 'Food For Thought' by UB40's Robin Campbell", Songwriting, 15 September 2013
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). Encyclopedia of Popular Music. p. 3605. ISBN 9780857125958
  3. ^ a b "UB40 – Strength in Numbers" by Chris Salewicz, SPIN, June 1985, pp. 60–61