Shirley Caesar isn't cooking 'beans, greens' at Thanksgiving
Posted November 18
Updated November 19
NEW YORK — Shirley Caesar won't be cooking "beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes" at Thanksgiving this year.
The legendary gospel singer, who is enjoying viral success with a remix of one of her sermon-songs featuring a line referencing food items, says she's not cooking this year during the U.S. holiday.
"I ain't cooking nothing," 79-year-old Caesar said with a laugh in a phone interview with The Associated Press on Friday. "Absolutely zilch."
The Grammy-winning singer has become a hot topic online after her song, the 9-minute "Hold My Mule," was re-created with a new addictive beat. On the song, Caesar tells the story of "Shouting John," who is told he is too loud and cannot dance in church because of his excitement.
But Caesar later sings in a live version of the song that John fires back, explaining that God created this land and he's been blessed with "beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, lambs, rams, hogs, dogs, chicken, turkeys, rabbits. You name it!"
In the new alteration of her song, the viral clip includes the question, "Grandma, what are you cooking for Thanksgiving?" The response is a video of Caesar singing the line "beans, greens..." as well as videos of various people dancing happily.
"I was excited. I'm just grateful that I've been chosen, that the Lord is blessing me like this," Caesar said. "This is a mind-boggling thing for me. Who would have thought that something like that would have gone viral?"
The online video being used of Caesar is a few years old, from when she performed the track live; she said she originally recorded the song in 1988.
Caesar's singing the words "you name it" sparked the #UNameItChallenge online, which features people doing dances to the song. Chris Brown and other celebrities have participated, though Caesar said she's not enjoying all of the videos.
"There's those where they have women showing their rumps, their butts ... I think they call it twerking ... I want them to know that I see it as a sign of disrespect because I'm a pastor, I'm a gospel singer and I love the Lord," she said. "I'm shocked they would do that."
Other videos and photos show people prepping food, including greens and beans, for Thanksgiving.
Caesar admits while she likes cooking, she's not that into it.
"I think that I could really love it if I knew how to do a lot of it," she said. "There are certain dishes I can cook, but then there are so many things that I cannot cook."
She said she usually has a big Thanksgiving dinner at her home, but that's changed.
"A lot of my family members are dying out ... so I'm going to go and have dinner with a friend," said Caesar (her husband passed away in 2014).
The gospel music icon, who has won 11 Grammy Awards, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this year. Her latest album, "Fill This House," debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's gospel albums chart.
She said she loves that her newfound fame is introducing her music to younger fans.
"They don't really know who I am unless their moms or their grandparents tell them. I'm glad," she said. "I mean, little 3-year-olds are singing, 'I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes.'"