God, Make It A Dream

Harry Chapin was a genius storyteller and it is a shame that he died so young.  Songs like “Taxi” (Harry, keep the change) “Cats in The Cradle”, “WOLD” and “I Want To Learn A Love Song” are some of the hits that are instantly recognizable.  (Click on his name/link above and read the very interesting story of his career)

There is, however, one of Harry’s  songs that has a cult following, not unlike Arlo’s “Alice’s Restaurant” and that song is titled “30,000 lbs of Bananas.”

(I’ve provided the lyrics below the video of Harry performing  at the renowned Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ on this date, 41 years ago on October 21, 1978!)

Print
“30,000 Pounds Of Bananas”
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 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 of bananas

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
With 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.

[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

[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

[Chosen Ending:]
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!”

About Ray V.

Living in Aiken, South Carolina, USA, I like to share what I am looking at, thinking about or listening to. I refer to this as the view out my window. Thanks for stopping by.
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5 Responses to God, Make It A Dream

  1. Jim Borden says:

    Harry Chapin! One of my all-time favorites. Got to see him perform once, and my “wife to be” got to kiss him after the show (as did hundreds of other women). One of my all-time favorites is Story of a Life. Thanks for bringing back some great memories!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Live & Learn says:

    God Yes! He was so great!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. E. says:

    Harry came to my college campus when I was there. He spoke to those who came outside. His sole purpose of visiting was to talk about hunger. Quite a man. Socially involved activist to be sure. I also recall him being a pretty big fella. Not fat by any means, but tall and “big boned.” That’s my memory anyway. Now that I drive Uber, this line comes to me once in awhile, “Taking tips, getting stoned.” I’d be real good at taking tips, but probably not so good driving stoned. E.

    Like

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