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30,000 Pounds of Bananas Lyrics

Artist: Harry Chapin
Album: Verities & Ba

It was just after dark when the truck started down
the hill that leads into Scranton Pennsylvania.
Carrying thirty thousand pounds of bananas.
Carrying thirty thousand pounds (hit it Big John) of bananas.

He was a young driver,
just out on his second job.
And he was carrying the next day's pasty fruits
for everyone in that coal-scarred city
where children play without despair
in backyard slag-piles and folks manage to eat each day
about thirty thousand pounds of bananas.
Yes, just about thirty thousand pounds (scream it again, John) .

He passed a sign that he should have seen,
saying "shift to low gear, a fifty dollar fine my friend."
He was thinking perhaps about the warm-breathed woman
who was waiting at the journey's end.
He started down the two mile drop,
the curving road that wound from the top of the hill.
He was pushing on through the shortening miles that ran down to the depot.
Just a few more miles to go,
then he'd go home and have her ease his long, cramped day away.
and the smell of thirty thousand pounds of bananas.
Yes the smell of thirty thousand pounds of bananas.

He was picking speed as the city spread its twinkling lights below him.
But he paid no heed as the shivering thoughts of the nights
delights went through him.
His foot nudged the brakes to slow him down.
But the pedal floored easy without a sound.
He said "Christ!"
It was funny how he had named the only man who could save him now.
He was trapped inside a dead-end hellslide,
riding on his fear-hunched back
was every one of those yellow green
I'm telling you thirty thousand pounds of bananas.
Yes, there were thirty thousand pounds of bananas.

He barely made the sweeping curve that led into the steepest grade.
And he missed the thankful passing bus at ninety miles an hour.
And he said "God, make it a dream!"
as he rode his last ride down.
And he said "God, make it a dream!"
as he rode his last ride down.
And he sideswiped nineteen neat parked cars,
clipped off thirteen telephone poles,
hit two houses, bruised eight trees,
and Blue-Crossed seven people.
it was then he lost his head,
not to mention an arm or two before he stopped.
And he slid for four hundred yards
along the hill that leads into Scranton, Pennsylvania.
All those thirty thousand pounds of bananas.

You know the man who told me about it on the bus,
as it went up the hill out of Scranton, Pennsylvania,
he shrugged his shoulders, he shook his head,
and he said (and this is exactly what he said)
"Boy that sure must've been something.
Just imagine thirty thousand pounds of bananas.
Yes, there were thirty thousand pounds of mashed bananas.
Of bananas. Just bananas. Thirty thousand pounds.
of Bananas. not no driver now. Just bananas!"

From Greatest Stories Live: Ending #1

Yes, we have no bananas,
We have no bananas today
(Spoken: And if that wasn't enough)
Yes, we have no bananas,
Bananas in Scranton, P A

From Greatest Stories Live: Ending #2:

A woman walks into her room where her child lies sleeping,
and when she sees his eyes are closed,
she sits there, silently weeping,
and though she lives in Scranton, Pennsylvania
She never ever eats ... Bananas
Not one of thirty thousand pounds .... of bananas
Comments/Interpretations
by Dan Laverty on 10/20/2008 2:00pm
I remember hearing this song on the jukebox in Blimpie's in Hempstead, Long Island. I also remember Sue and the rest of the Blimpie's employees crying when they found out Harry had been killed. I was an 11 year old red headed kid who knew nothing back then.
by Dan E. Maricich on 11/5/2008 6:59pm
I live not to far from Scranton (I live in Pittston,PA) and I love this song, and even though it is unfortunate, It is good to get small town names in songs.
by Tim on 11/6/2008 3:54pm
I'm from Scranton, and I deliver on that road (Fed Ex) and listening to this song while reading the lyrics, I can totally picture a truck doing that...I'll be thinking bout the song tomorrow and like every other time I'm up there delivering
by Mariel on 12/20/2008 11:37am
My teacher used the end part on a test, "Yes, we have no bananas." Everyone thought it was hilarious, but now that I know the story behind, I don't think it's quite as funny anymore.
by t9mm on 5/8/2009 10:50am
iuhbnhbbuy
by mike rowlands on 7/17/2009 2:56pm
Harry Chapin was a favorite singer of mine and in 1981 I was through hiking the Appalachian Trail, taking a break in Salisbury Conn. when I heard of his death that very day in July. I still think of that day. I rehiked the trail again and in 2005 I stopped near Salisbury and thought of Harry again 24 years later.
by Karbie on 10/18/2009 7:15pm
When you listen to the lyrics--even after it became more comedic--you can see that he had never expected it to turn out as a comic rather than dramatic song. How many songwriters besides Harry would have even responded to the truck driver's widow about how upset the changes made her?
He cut a fan favorite song from the show whenever they played Scranton or in that area out of consideration for someone else's pain. I think that was why his music holds up so well; you always knew he understood the lives and troubles of the "little people" and actually cared.
by Bret Berry on 9/16/2010 3:40pm
Its "And he 'smeared' for four hundred yards"

not slid.
by squirrelbait 09/18/10 on 9/18/2010 9:56pm
I left Scranton PA this morning...but not before having my picture taken at the corner of Irving and Moosik streets, holding 3 bananas. Locals told me this was the sight. There is a street sign very close to there that is old and rusty and says...
"NO LITTERING...$300.00 FINE"
by momma92775@yahoo.com on 5/3/2011 6:38pm
I have gone through Scranton, Pa many times and ALWAYS play this song.....love it....
by Cathy on 1/17/2013 4:04pm
I knew Harry ,he was a humble person but when it came to his cause of ending world hunger he was a Lion,King of the pride.
He will always have a very special place in my heart,
Thank You Harry for your songs,talks and for sharing.
by Corri on 10/11/2013 7:47pm
I also remember where I was when I heard that Harry passed tragically. I was in summer camp as a counselor along the Delaware River. So many of us were upset. I loved Harry... his were the first real folk concerts I went to and they were transcendent. I can imagine them even now, almost 40 years later.
by JiM on 11/10/2013 9:33pm
Just FYI for the younger set. "Yes, we have no bananas" is a song Merv Griffin made famous when he was a big band singer.
by Ernst Bakerquist on 1/21/2014 4:20pm
I met Harry in 1974 after a concert. He acted like he had all the time in the world for me.

I was in LA at the Santa Monica Civic in '76 during one of the shows that made up "Greatest Stories Live". On one of the masters, you can my roommate and I shout out 'BUMMER!' when Harry was intro'ing the song and explaining that first title was "John Wayne Sucks!"

Saw Harry 3 more times, the last in '78 after a show in Norman, OK. Still have my "You can always count on the cheap seats" T-shirt from that show. Got to shake his hand and say Hi.

A friend and I performed "Mr. Tanner" - he sang lead and I sang John's / Mr. Tanner part - years ago. While I loved virtually all of Harry's work, this one was way personal for me.
by Kat on 5/13/2014 6:06am
why doesn't this website have the song
by Barbara on 5/13/2014 6:07am
i <3 harry
by Katherine on 5/13/2014 6:07am
why is this website not helpful


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