30,000 Pounds of Bananas

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About 30,000 Pounds of Bananas

"30,000 Pounds Of Bananas," sometimes spelled "Thirty Thousand Pounds Of Bananas," is a folk rock song by Harry Chapin from his 1974 album, Verities & Balderdash. The song became more popular in its live extended recording from Chapin's 1976 concert album, Greatest Stories Live that started the phrase "Harry, it sucks." The song is based on an actual truck accident that occurred in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1965.


Year:
2010
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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
Just 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 number one

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

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Harry Chapin

Harry Forster Chapin (December 7, 1942 – July 16, 1981) was an American singer-songwriter best known for his folk rock songs including "Taxi", "W*O*L*D", and the No. 1 hit "Cat's in the Cradle". Chapin was also a dedicated humanitarian who fought to end world hunger; he was a key player in the creation of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger in 1977. In 1987, Chapin was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his humanitarian work. more »

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Written by: HARRY F. CHAPIN

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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