Christian musician Matthew West has won multiple Dove Awards and an American Music Award and was nominated for five Grammys.
Even so, fans sometimes buy tickets to his concerts based on their enjoyment of a tune that likely won’t ever win any honors: “Gobble Gobble.”
The official video for the Thanksgiving-themed silly song was released in fall 2020 and has tallied 3 million YouTube views. It depicts West wearing a turkey outfit and dancing around a table as he sings about cranberry jelly, gravy boats and dinner rolls.
It employs silly G-rated humor that attracts youngsters and parents alike and has served as a bridge for new fans to discover his Christian music.
Used by God
“I’ve got kids coming to my shows now that actually found my real music by way of some of my goofy songs,” West said. “So you just never know how God might use a different part of your gifting in a unique way.”
The lyrics bemoan the dearth of Thanksgiving songs in popular culture and celebrate various types of food in silly song style: “I stick a straw in the gravy boat/ I’mma eat a dozen dinner rolls.” The chorus is simple: “Gobble gobble one/gobble gobble two/ gobble gobble me/ gobble gobble you.”
“Gobble Gobble” is one of several popular silly songs West has written over the years. “Quarantine Life” (with more than 2.8 million YouTube views) expressed the feelings of lonely Americans in April 2020: “I think I might have had a birthday/but I don’t know what month it is.”
He began singing silly songs, West recalled, when he was a new artist and didn’t have a record deal.
“I was an independent artist traveling around playing college campuses, and a lot of times the colleges would set me up in an area of the campus where there really wasn’t an audience,” West related.
“People were just walking by, and so I would play my normal songs, and maybe one or two people would come. And then to try to get people’s attention, I would just start making up a song about some college kid who, you know, was stuffing doughnuts in his face or something. … And the crowd would start to gather. And I always remembered that.
“Over the years, as my career has progressed, I started to realize how humor can play a really important role in music.”
Musicians “can take ourselves too seriously,” West admitted, and silly songs are a way to stay grounded and connected with fans.
Making people smile
“So I like to write funny songs just to make people smile,” he said. “It’s been really cool to see how even the funny songs have brought a smile to people’s faces during a tough time.”