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...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
frenetic, love-laden song, "Walking On Thin Ice." ( play song )

Yes we have No

Yes we – foto of Smith’s t-shirt

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” – Groucho Marx

Waiting in line at the bank, Lady and I started singing Yes We Have No Bananas. The chorus is silly, absurd, slightly surreal, seriously shallow and mostly negative yet is sung with the brightest poppiest sense of absolutely positive upbeat joy:

YES! We have no bananas,
We have no bananas today.
We’ve string beans and HON-ions,
Cab-BAH-ges and scallions
And all kinds of fruit, and say
We have an old fashioned to-MAH-to,
Long Island po-TAH-to,
But YES! We have no bananas.
We have no bananas today.

“Yes! We Have No Bananas” was written by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn for the 1922 Broadway revue Make It Snappy. It was sung by Eddie Cantor in the revue, and the song became a major hit in 1923.

I love silly songs, like Surfin’ Bird  by The Trashmen from 1963:

“A-well-a, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word / A-well-a, bird / Surfin’ bird / Bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb, aaah / Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa / Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-ooma-mow-mow / Papa-ooma-mow-mow”

or Mairzy Doats, composed in 1943 by Milton Drake:

Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you?
If the words sound queer and funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey,
Sing “Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy.”

have no – foto of Smith’s t-shirt

I looked thru my 49 years of poems and found three bananas fragments.

~ ~ ~

Poke banana tree
with sharp stick until it bows.
Harvest the bounty.

~ ~ ~

Be one
Be nothing
Bananas brown Asian to African
Albinos weep white
dark, as Africa used to be

~ ~ ~

Coffee in morning
Hot lentil curry for lunch
Dinner banana

(stanzas from Cutting Coffee, 2008 – Lots Overlapping, 1995 – Mundania, 2010)

I also did a riff on Surfin’ Bird:

Chorus Line

Oopa wapa papa
Mau wow wow

Ohpa papa wapa
Wow mau mau

Oopa papa
Oopa mama
Oopa baby

— Smith, 2005

bananas – foto of Smith’s t-shirt

One Response to “Yes we have No”

  1. chris says:

    lol.. thank you for making me smile with this one.

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