"Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" is both the title of a suite and of its first part. The suite of four songs (which also include "Nanook Rubs It," "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast," and "Father O'Blivion") appeared on the 1974 LP Apostrophe. The song was released as a single (DiscReet, 1974), backed with "Cosmik Debris."
The suite is a loose collection of musically independent songs, a technique Frank Zappa had already used in 1970-1971 for "The Groupie Routine" and the undocumented "Divan." One must understand the implications of the first line in "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow": "Dreamed I was an Eskimo." This is all a dream. It doesn't need to make sense -- and it doesn't. That's a clever way to tie together unrelated tunes. So we are in the North. An Eskimo boy named Nanook (Nanook of the North was the title of the 1922 Robert J. Flaherty documentary that introduced Inuits to the general public) wants to go to a show. His mother urges him to "Watch out where the huskies go/And don't you eat that yellow snow." The slow 7/8 piece then segues into the 6/4 "Nanook Rubs It."
The song was always performed together with the whole suite. It was featured extensively live in 1973-1974 and from 1978 to 1980. The version found on You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 1 (from 1979) is 20 minutes long and includes all four parts, plus audience participation (a poem recital) and an unreleased bombastic finale to replace the fade-out at the end of "Father O'Blivion" on the record. This one is the ultimate recording of the suite. (See the entries for the other songs for more analysis.)