Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts To Thread - Forum Home

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49 messages

Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

13 Apr 99 - 03:02 AM (#70485)
Subject: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: BKenn156@aol.com

Does anyone have the words to "I've Got a Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts"? And if anyone has them, could you please send to me at BKenn156@aol.com? I know about half of it, and it's driving me nutso trying to remember it!

Thanks! Helen


13 Apr 99 - 03:33 AM (#70490)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Joe Offer

How's this (click here), Helen?
Lyrics sent by e-mail.
-Joe Offer-

Roll or bowl a ball a penny a pitch.

This must have been Merv Griffin's only hit record, right?


13 Apr 99 - 03:40 AM (#70492)
Subject: Lyr Add: I'VE GOT A LOVELY BUNCH OF COCONUTS^^
From: Joe Offer

I'VE GOT A LOVELY BUNCH OF COCONUTS
songwriter: Fred Heatherton, 1949 (1944?)
publisher: Box & Cox Publications (ASCAP)
recorded by Danny Kaye & Merv Griffin, among others

Down at Barnum's fair
One evening I was there
When I heard a showman
Shouting underneath the flare...

Oh, I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts,
There they are all standing in a row.

Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head
Give 'em a twist, a flick of the wrist,
That's what the showman said.

Oh! I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts
Every ball you throw will make me rich.

And there stands me wife, the idol of me life, singing
Roll or bowl a ball a penny a pitch.

Singing, roll or bowl a ball a penny a pitch,
Roll or bowl a ball a penny a pitch,
Roll or bowl a ball
Roll or bowl a ball
Roll or bowl a ball a penny a pitch.^^
Lyrics corrected May 14, 2001


13 Apr 99 - 05:51 AM (#70514)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: AlistairUK

Thank you Joe I have been after those lyrics for ages, and catspaw promised he was gonna post em...you're a peach.


13 Apr 99 - 07:26 AM (#70530)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Ferrara

You know, there are so many times that someone asks for a song and when the lyrics are posted I think, "Oh, Yes, I'd like to have that too!" and grab a copy, print and save it. I wonder sometimes, whenever someone asks for a song, how many other people benefit from their request. Thanks, Joe, and thanks, Helen. My dad sang the chorus of this, and it frustrated him so much that he couldn't remember the whole song. (My dad kept song notebooks, too.) I'm happy to have it. - Rita


13 Apr 99 - 12:07 PM (#70579)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Steve Parkes

"Picky time" again! I've always taken the line in the chorus to be "Roll or bowl a ball ...". Any more verses?

Steve


13 Apr 99 - 01:03 PM (#70591)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: catspaw49

Sorry, I am a slackard.....but I do remember that my old Man sang another verse, but I couldn't remember what. I glad somebody else thinks there's more...Then againit coulda' been something he made up.

catspaw


13 Apr 99 - 01:45 PM (#70599)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Joe Offer

ASCAP lists the songwriter as Fred Heatherton and says it was recorded by Danny Kaye and Merv Griffin and others, but doesn't give a copyright date and lists no other songs written by Heatherton. Other sources say the song was written in 1949, or 1944. In the second message, I linked to a he-she arrangement of the song that's just a bit different (click here). The lyrics I posted above are the same as what I remember from the infamous Merv Griffin recording.
-Joe Offer-


13 Apr 99 - 02:51 PM (#70617)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: AlistairUK

I don't know why but i always thought htis song was an english one...funny that...sing it with a cod cockney accent and it sounds much better.


13 Apr 99 - 03:20 PM (#70624)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Joe Offer

Yeah, Alistair, it sounds like an English music hall song from the turn of the century. If I recall correctly, Merv Griffin sang it with a cockney accent, or at least an accent that sounded pretty good to me. You wouldn't think of Merv as a singer, but I thought he did a pretty good job of the song. I'd like to know more about the song - my guess is that it was written for a movie, but that's just a guess. Well, it WAS used in the Disney movie "Lion King," but it wasn't written for it. I understand you can find the song in Hal Leonard's New Novelty Songbook.
One source does say the lyric is "roll or bowl a ball."
-Joe Offer-


13 Apr 99 - 06:11 PM (#70657)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: rich r

Ah I remember playing this as a child. It was a novel diversion from Bambi , Little Toot, and Bozo And The Birds. Just checked and I still have the 45 (RCA Victor 47-3047-B) recording by Freddy Martin and his Orchestra, vocal refrain by Merv Griffin and The Ensemble. In case any one is wondering the "A" side of that record has the same participants doing (There's a) Bluebird On Your Windowsill by Elizabeth Clarke.

rich r


14 Apr 99 - 02:34 AM (#70794)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Musicman

Do y'all realize the song comes from a game that used to be played in the English fairgrounds? The game was called "Coconut Shy" and involved throwing balls at coconuts poised on sticks and trying to knock them off and win prizes!

Just a bit of trivia for you.


14 Apr 99 - 03:43 AM (#70810)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Steve Parkes

Actually, I always thought the song was English. Barnum came to Britain, so that doesn't make it American by itself. We still have coconut shies, Musicman, as well as Aunt Sally, which is a wooden life-size doll - or just the head - which you have to hit with the balls. My favorite is one you don't see much except at vilage and scool fetes: row on row of plates and dishes which you just smash up with the balls! I don't think you normally win anything; it's just very satisfying. Of course, it's for the kids. Honest!

Steve


14 May 01 - 08:39 PM (#462437)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Joe Offer

I got a copy of the New Novelty Songbook, which says it's "Roll or bowl a ball" - I corrected the lyrics above.
-Joe Offer-


15 May 01 - 09:04 AM (#462676)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: kendall

I first heard this song being sung by, non other than Lenny Breau, the world famous jazz guitarist. He used to perform with his father and mother back in the early 50's. Also, his version went..down at an ENGLISH fair...


15 May 01 - 08:28 PM (#463236)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Peter K (Fionn)

It definitely goes back to 1944 Joe. Irwin Dash Music Company got copyright for an arrangement of it that year. But that's about as far back as it seems to go. I guess you could catch a lot of people out with that in a pub quiz.

I've never heard the original recording, or the Danny Kaye version, but I assume it is put across in the grand old tradition of the Edwardian music hall knees-up (a la Any Old Iron, Knees up Mother Brown, Don't Dilly Dally, etc which proliferated around 1908-12. Or maybe it's done as a parody, in Dick van Dyke-type Cockney?

Charles Keeping included it (erroneously?) in a collection published as "Cockney Ding Dong" (1975), where it was correctly credited it to Fred Heatherton.


15 May 01 - 09:12 PM (#463271)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: CRANKY YANKEE

Does anyone know a second verse to his song?

I was gainfully employed as a folk singer at "Milt's Lounge" in Galilee, Rhode Island, many summers ago. The place was a commercial fisherman hangout. One night, after I'd sung, "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts", a Woman who looked a lot like Hermione Badderly charged onto the stage, sang a SECOND verse involving , "Going to see the Queen" and disappeared, I couldn't find her afterwards to thank her or to get the lyrics.l She was never seen again, that I know of. She did a bang-up job, incidentally.


07 Sep 01 - 01:49 AM (#544183)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST,DLAND1920@AOL.COM

I'M LOOKING FOR THE MUSIC TO "I'VE GOT A LOVELY BUNCH OF COCONUTS"


07 Sep 01 - 02:10 AM (#544195)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Joe Offer

Hi - there's a MIDI of the song here: http://www.geocities.com/doug_dusty/Midi.htm

-Joe Offer- (e-mail sent)


27 Apr 04 - 09:28 AM (#1172214)
Subject: RE: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST,Jim Ward

Peter K - Why do you think that Charles Keeping included it erroneously in his book 'Cockney Ding-Dong'. These Saturday night get togethers went on into the early 1950's in London and this is a song that would certainly have been sung at all of them. The version I remember in Britain in was by Billy Cotton and I can still picture him performing it on Black & White TV (9 inch screen) where he and the band threw balls (made of cloth I expect) at each other.

I also thought the song was British but then Danny Kaye was very popular in Britain and like Guy Mitchell after him recorded songs aimed at a British audience.


20 Feb 05 - 06:04 PM (#1415869)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST,D'Arque

Well, not to restate the obvious, but the best known version is the Monty Python one, which got some degree of infamy due to the piling on of innuendo related to teh "coconuts", so far as including other randy references like "have a banana, dear"


29 Jul 05 - 12:11 AM (#1530909)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST

damn it python never sang this song! I'm sick of it being misattributed! I have the version you're thinking of but it is NOT by python, some idiot didn't have an artist tag when he downloaded it and took a wild guess that, although plausible, was not correct! ARGH!


29 Jul 05 - 09:14 AM (#1531117)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: bill kennedy

I've been trying to find a recording of the Swedish version of the song, played on the wind-up victrola throughout the Lasse Halstrom film "My Life as a Dog". Anybody know anything? who the artist(s) were? when recorded? available on a cd release somewhere? I don't believe there was a soundtrack released with the film.


29 Jul 05 - 01:35 PM (#1531330)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST,Lee Hartsfeld

Merv had a number of hits, actually. With Freddy Martin, he made the Top 20 with "Coconuts," "My Truly, Truly Fair" (same time as Guy Mitchell's record, of course), "Music, Music, Music," "Third Man Theme," and "Never Been Kissed." As a solo singer on the same label (RCA), he hit the Top 40 with "Morningside of the Mountain" and "Twenty-three Starlets" in 1951. Much later, on the Carlton label, he hit the Top 100 with "The Charanga" and "Banned in Boston" (both 1961).

He rerecorded "Coconuts," for Carlton, as the flip side of "Screamin' Meemies from Planet X." He also sang it on "'Alf and 'Alf," a 1966 British music hall LP on MGM featuring Merv and Arthur Treacher.

Lee Hartsfeld


03 Sep 07 - 05:35 PM (#2139998)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Cluin

The MP3 circulating around the internet for the last few years that is attributed to Monty Python is actually the one by Merv Griffin, of course. An understandable lazy mistake, since Monty Python did do a skit with a parody of this old music hall-er and for one line the vocal sounds slightly like Eric Idle.

Youtube has a good "live" version of the song by Merv & orchestra from an old TV program. It's a pleasure to see a young Merv at his singing and entertaining peak.


10 Mar 08 - 04:23 AM (#2284139)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: rich-joy

I've always thought that Tessie O'Shea (1913-1995 and already dubbed "The Wonder of Wales" by the age of six!) performed the definitive version of this song!   I'm surprised though, that it only dates from 1944 ....


Cheers, R-J


11 Mar 08 - 12:17 AM (#2285038)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie

We're not done searching, because the one couplet I remember is not in the version above ....


There stands me wife, the idol of me life,
Singing "Roll o' bowl a ball a penny a pitch."

There has to be another version back in the 78 rpm era, which came right after the Cretaceous.

CC


11 Mar 08 - 01:30 AM (#2285064)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Charlie - the printed version I copied from had that as the last verse - you'll see it up there in the third post from the top. Use [CTRL-F] to have your browser search a thread for you, and search for a distinctive word or phrase. "Idol" would have found it for you in this case.
-Joe-


11 Mar 08 - 07:05 AM (#2285165)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GrannyInWales

If anyone would like the Billy Cotton version please PM me with your email address and I'll send it to you


11 Mar 08 - 08:37 AM (#2285230)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: clueless don

The version quoted above - roll or bowl a ball - seems to make sense. But in the Merv Griffin video linked above it certainly sounds like they are singing "rolla bowla ball".

Don


11 Mar 08 - 09:33 AM (#2285253)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GrannyInWales

Same with the Billy Cotton version...I love the little bit of dialogue in the middle of the song. I expect it's Alan Breeze.


11 Mar 08 - 11:40 AM (#2285343)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: IanC

Just a Southern English accent ... roll er bowl ...

:-)


11 Mar 08 - 12:51 PM (#2285419)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie

Ooops. Sorry, Joe. I blanked it. Attention deficit disorder? Naaah.

CC


19 Apr 08 - 08:05 AM (#2319947)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST

In answer to Bill Kennedy's question about the song in Swedish (29 July 2005), it was Far Jag Kan Inte Få Upp Min Kokosnöt (I´ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts) by Povel Ramel (1922-2007) - it's available on UK iTunes.

Povel Karl Henrik Ramel (Povel Ramel (help·info)) (June 1, 1922 – June 5, 2007) was a Swedish entertainer. Ramel was a singer, pianist, vaudeville artist, songwriter, author and the greatest Swedish novelty song composer of his age and any age. He wrote over 1,900 songs. His style was characterized by a most imaginative wit, both verbally and musically. He took inspiration from US and UK 'crazy' style humor and created his own personal Swedish version, based on his mentioned wit, unusual combinations of lyrics and music, word play, pastiche and generic unexpectedness. He was regarded as a legend and institution in Swedish entertainment.

LFF

PS There's also a version in Finnish by M A Numminen on iTunes. Numminen seems pretty cool, too!


21 Apr 08 - 07:42 PM (#2322083)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST,redbaron

I remember hearing the British troops singing this song often during WWII. The lyrics were a little bit different. It started, "Here stands a lovely row of coconuts. Here stands a lovely row of balls." It was very popular, and funny.


29 Jun 09 - 10:26 AM (#2667094)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST,Annie Mouse

It's by Danny Kaye


30 Jun 09 - 02:06 PM (#2668165)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Jim Dixon

One of these days I'd like to poll the general public and find out what they think the word "by" means, with reference to music.

According to the catalogs of several libraries that contain the sheet music, the title is:

I'VE GOT A LOVELY BUNCH OF COCOANUTS (Note that this is not the standard spelling of "coconuts")
Words and music, Fred Heatherton, arranged by Johnny Warrington.
New York, N.Y.: Campbell Music, ©1949.

However, it also appears in several songbooks and recordings with the standard spelling:
I'VE GOT A LOVELY BUNCH OF COCONUTS


30 Jun 09 - 05:40 PM (#2668365)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

If Stanley Holloway didn't do it, he should have. Perhaps he did.
If he had made a single of it, the flip side could well have been "With a Little Bit O' Luck."


30 Jun 09 - 06:30 PM (#2668413)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Rowan

From memories of my childhood I recall it being sung in Melbourne in the late '40s, ie before 1949, which is consistent with a 1944 origin; I can't vouch for it being sung (or not being sung) during WWII. I can only recall the words as posted and have no recollection of a second verse.

Cheers, Rowan


20 Aug 09 - 07:43 PM (#2705093)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST,Crowdercref

The British Library has the song attributed to Fred Heatherton in an edition of 1944.

Unsubstantiated rumours give it a slightly earlier genesis, but not before 1940.

Among others, Breeze/Cotton recorded it on Decca F 9149 in 1949


25 May 10 - 04:53 PM (#2914200)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST,wayne . australia

I remember going to old time ballroom dance's , late 70's early 80's they quite often played this song for the progressive barn dance every one would sing along and this song would make people get up of there seat to dance,it was realy wonderfull


25 Oct 11 - 06:40 AM (#3244413)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST,Rhiannon

thanks for making my homework easier :)


26 Oct 11 - 05:33 AM (#3244952)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST,Eliza

We still have 'coconut shies' here in Norfolk UK. I was at a village fete in Old Buckenham a couple of years ago, and they had one. They also have them in travelling fairs, but we all agree that the coconuts are nailed down in some way, you can NEVER knock them off no matter how hard you throw the ball! There are usually six stands painted blue or red, and the balls are small wooden ones, you get six for a pound, (or sometimes 50p in a village fete.) By the way, at Old Buckenham, they also had 'Bowling for a Pig", and if you won, a local farmer gave you a piglet, already cut into joints and frozen!


26 Oct 11 - 05:45 AM (#3244958)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST,Eliza

I've just listened to Danny Kaye's version on Youtube, and he sings another verse, "It's been twenty years since then, or maybe only ten, but there's the blokes still shouting out again and again and again.."


28 Oct 11 - 11:38 AM (#3246131)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Jim Dixon

Early recordings of I'VE GOT A LOVELY BUNCH OF COCONUTS/COCOANUTS:

"Skeets" Morris w/Jimmie Livingston and His Orch, Varsity 233.
Danny Kaye w/the Harmonaires & Vic Schoen Orch., Decca 24784.
Mel Blanc w/Billy May Orch., Capitol 780.
Merv Griffin w/Freddy Martin & His Orchestra, RCA Victor 20-3554B.
Tommy Tucker Ensemble, MGM 10553.
Tony Pastor & His Orch., Columbia 38609.


23 Feb 12 - 11:37 AM (#3312165)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST

The old folks love this one so much when I play it live. It was actually written in 1944 but not recorded until 1948 when many recordings entered the charts.


26 Jun 12 - 08:16 PM (#3368447)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST

I have the lyrics. I need it in CD form as I don't have an MP3 player or know how to use one. Any ideas?

I am a clown and want to use it in my act for children.


26 Jun 12 - 09:13 PM (#3368466)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: Leadfingers

Funny but I ONLY remember it on The Billy Cotton Band Show , Sunday lunchtime on Auntie Beeb when I was a sprog ! Thats around 1950 !


27 Jun 12 - 05:15 PM (#3368828)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
From: GUEST,leeneia

Guest (clown) why don't you go to YouTube and find the Merv Griffith recording. It's a short song, and you can learn the words and music from the video.