I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

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"I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts" is a novelty song composed in 1944 (as "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Cocoanuts") by Fred Heatherton, an English songwriter and published by Box & Cox Publications (ASCAP). In 1950, it was a top-ten hit in the U.S. for Freddy Martin And His Orchestra with vocalist Merv Griffin and sold over three million copies.[1] The following year, it was a number-25 hit for Danny Kaye.

It celebrates the coconut shy (coconut toss) at funfairs, and the catchy chorus is the call of the showman "standing underneath the flare" (of gaslight), inviting the public to "Roll up, bowl a ball, a penny a pitch." The ball is tossed or bowled (as in cricket) or pitched at the coconuts, with the object of knocking one off its stand.

It was a staple song of the Billy Cotton Band Show on British radio and television. The song is still played over the public address at Cambridge United football matches after home wins.

The song appeared in I Could Go On Singing (1963), Judy Garland's last film. A portion of the song also appeared in Disney's 1994 The Lion King (sung by Rowan Atkinson) and in the 1967 The Jungle Book. Nicolas Cage also sang part of this song in National Treasure: Book of Secrets. Ringo Starr sang an impromptu version of the song in Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles' TV special broadcast by the BBC on 26 December 1967.[2] Also, actors Hayden Rorke and Bill Daily performed a few lines of the song on ukulele in the 1969 I Dream of Jeannie episode "Uncles a Go-Go."

Swedish performer Povel Ramel wrote a Swedish version of the song in 1950. This version, "Far jag kan inte få upp min kokosnöt" ("Dad I can't crack my coconut open"), has little to do with the original. It is sung by a little boy who, in the course of his attempts to open his resilient coconut, disfigures his mother, demolishes the family's furniture, and finally blows their house up. This version also features prominently in the film My Life as a Dog (1985), as well as in the Swedish version of The Lion King.

The song is also known in Finland from Kipparikvartetti and M. A. Numminen versions, Kuinka saisin rikki kookospähkinän, which are featuring a similar tragicomic story.

The 2011 British 3D computer-animated family film Gnomeo & Juliet includes a portion of the song.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Merv Griffin AllMusic.com
  2. ^ Walter Everett The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver Through the Anthology Oxford University Press US 1999 ISBN 0-19-512941-5 page 132.

External links[edit]