1940s

Song of the Week: Arthur Askey, I Want A Banana (1942)

If the melody of the verse in this 1942 song from Arthur Askey sounds vaguely familiar, and if the lyrics seem reminiscent of those of some earlier song, it may be because composer Tolchard Evans and lyricist Ralph Butler drew inspiration from the prolific Con Conrad and writer Billy Rose who twenty years earlier had penned the by then already classic song recorded in 1924 by Billy Jones and Ernest Hare in America and by Jack Hylton and others in the UK, I’m Gonna Bring A Watermelon To My Love Tonight.

The lyrics seem a bit of a giveaway:

… Watermelon (1924) … Banana (1942)
I brought my love an apple
She let me hold her hand
I brought my love an orange
We kissed to beat the band
I brought my love bananas
She hugged me all her might
I’m gonna bring a watermelon
To my girl tonight
You brought me back an orange,
It gave me great delight
You brought me back a lemon,
And you squeezed me tight,
You brought me back a grapefruit,
I paid you with a kiss,
Now, when you’re in Jamaica,
Please remember this

As for the melody, well, just listen, and tell me what you think?  Not often, anyway, that fruit get to be celebrated in popular song.

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