Scotlands Culture\|Scotlands Songs

Bananas are the Best

This song is a big favourite with young people, who like to shout now and then.

The words of the song happened in a very surprising way.

In about 1964 Ewan McVicar was working in Nairobi, Kenya, and he heard a Swahili pop song that had this tune. Some of the words were:

 

Si ni lala, ne wapi banana? (When I am sleeping, where are bananas?)

Ata tembaya, ni wapi babana (And when I'm walking, where are bananas?)

Ata chakula, si wezi kula (And eating, when you are eating)

Kula na banana. (Eat bananas)

 

Then 20 years later, Ewan was working back in Scotland. One day he got a phone call from Artie Trezise of The Singing Kettle. They were working on a new album of songs and needed more material. Did Ewan have any new songs?

Ewan answered, 'No. I could write one, but what about?'

'Well, bananas are always funny,' said Artie.

Ewan remembered the Swahili pop song. And turned it into a Glesga (Glasgow) song.

'Manãna' is a Spanish word that means 'tomorrow'.

Many school classes have made new verses for this song with Ewan and other singers. In this recording of Ewan and children from Errol Primary School, near Perth, the first verse was made by the children.

 

Chorus

Banana, banana, bananas are the best

A nice squishy middle in a big yella vest

Today or manyana, ah'll be sayin ‘Can ah,

Can ah have a ba-na-na?’

 

You can use it for a fearsome gun - banana!

Slice it up and put it in a bun - banana!

It's a lot of healthy fun - banana!

Can ah have a ba-na-na?

 

What am ah goin to have for ma tea? Banana!

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday? Banana!

What's ma Sunday dinner goin to be? Banana!

Can ah have a ba-na-na?

 

You can slide down a tree on the skin - banana!

Wear it on your head for a hat - banana!

Try and use a cokey-nut for that - banana!

Can ah have a ba-na-na?

 

Fifty million monkeys can't be wrong - banana!

From totie wans tae Old King Kong - banana!

They all love to sing this song - banana!

'Can ah have a ba-na-na?'

 

It's perfect with ice cream - banana!

It's a banana dream - banana!

We're all going to SCREAM - banana!

Can ah have a ba-na-na?

 

Additional verses you can sing if you want to

You can stick it in your ear for a phone

Throw it tae yer dog for a bone

Give me a jungle of ma own

Can ah have a banana?

 

It's long and it's yella and it's bent

The taste is heaven sent

Don't waste your money on yer rent

Can ah have a banana?

 

'Bananas are the Best', performed by Ewan McVicar with classes from Errol Primary School, near Perth. The first verse was made up by the children.


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Bananas Are The Best (Ewan McVicar and Errol Primary)

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Bananas Are The Best (Ewan McVicar and Errol Primary)

Lyrics

Notation

  • Notation - Bananas are the Best (600)