Tuesday Tunes 141: Fruit

While I was choosing the songs for last week’s episode in this series, about food, it struck me that there were many songs which had the names of varieties of fruit in their title. Most of them are absolutely nothing to do with the fruits themselves and I didn’t play any of them, but I put on my thinking cap and so far have a list of 25 possibles for this, so it seemed worth a go. So, for what may be the first of more than one post, I give you songs with fruit in their title.

I’m nothing if not predictable, so I’m starting with the blindingly obvious:

In case you are unaware of the song or the band, that was The Beatles with a little number called Strawberry Fields Forever. It was released in February 1967 as part of a double A-sided single with Penny Lane, and to the general shock of the UK population it was their first single apart from their first – Love Me Do – to miss the #1 spot here, after a run of twelve successive chart toppers. It failed miserably, only getting to #2. In the US back in those days both sides were given their separate chart placing: Penny Lane got to #1 there, while Strawberry Fields trailed along at #8. For the most part, The Beatles kept their single and album releases separate and this was, to an extent, true of this one. It was, however, included in the American release of Magical Mystery Tour in November 1967, as one of the singles from that year that made up side two of the album. it wasn’t released in that format in the UK until November 1976, by which time the tracks had appeared on the 1967-1970 compilation (the Blue Album, as it was known). I’ve never understood why it didn’t do as well as their other singles: for me, it is probably their best.

No doubt you will spot the obvious connection with today’s second tune. It was an album track, so it is an audio-only clip, but I still love it nonetheless:

Apple Scruffs was released in November 1970 as side 3, track 2, of George Harrison’s wonderful triple album, All Things Must Pass. This was priced at roughly the rate of two albums, which made it a big purchase for us. Did that stop it becoming successful? Not a bit! It spent multiple weeks at the top of the albums charts in many countries, including both the US and the UK, and has sold upwards of 9m copies around the world, including subsequent re-releases: the fiftieth anniversary release in 2020 made #6 in the UK and #7 in the US, proving its staying power. This will probably be controversial for some, but I think it is the best album made by any of the former Beatles in their solo careers, bar none.

A complete change of approach now. This is one of many versions of this song, which is probably best known as being a hit for Harry Belafonte, but this one was shown a fair bit on British tv back in the day. It always made me laugh, and I’m pleased to say that it still does:

The Banana Boat Song (Day-O) is actually a Jamaican folk song. Harry Belafonte released his version in 1956, and took it to #2 in the UK and #5 in the US. Stan Freberg released his parody version the following year, and got to #25 in the US. Though it didn’t make the UK charts it was played a lot on radio and tv when I was a kid, and I absolutely loved it: the rabbit is brilliant, and the ending is fabulous. Harry Belafonte reportedly hated this version – some people have no sense of humour!

Let’s get back to something more serious now:

Orange Crush was a track on R.E.M’s sixth album, Green, which was released in November 1988, peaking at #12 in the US and #27 in the UK. It sold more than 2m copies in the US, 300k in the UK and 200k in Canada – not bad for a band who had yet to reach their peak success. I’ve always liked the album – I bought everything they released – and apart from the music I’ve always been amused by the album sleeve. For an album called Green there was only one thing they could do – use just one colour for the sleeve. So they did: orange.

I’m going right back to the rock and roll days of the Fifties for this next one:

Fats Domino released Blueberry Hill as a single in September 1956, and it got to #2 in the US and #6 in the UK. I was just 3 when it came out so probably wouldn’t have known it then, but it was often played on the radio and my Mum loved it, so I got to know the song well. Mum was a good pianist, but tended to go more for the light classical stuff. I can remember asking her once why she didn’t play this one and she replied that she just couldn’t do it in that style! This was written in 1940 by Vincent Rose, a violinist, pianist, composer and bandleader, and had been recorded numerous times before Fats Domino produced what has become the definitive version. It brings back happy childhood memories for me.

Another complete change of style for you now. I don’t often play punk records, but when I do they are good ones, like this:

I couldn’t find an official video for that one, apart from the usual audio-only jobs, so I went with this to give you some eye candy while you listened. Some classic cars on show there, from the 1974 movie Gone In 60 Seconds, if you didn’t know. Peaches was a track on The Stranglers’ debut album, Rattus Norvegicus, released in April 1977 and peaking at #4 here in the UK. Its only other chart appearance was in Australia, where it got to #82. They are one of those bands who have never meant anything in the States: just one of their later albums has ever made their charts, a long way down, and Wikipedia doesn’t even bother including the US in its table of their singles! This track became a single the following month and gave the band their breakthrough UK hit, reaching #8. They had a long string of hit singles here but I’m guessing most American readers will never have heard of them.

I’m going back across the pond for today’s penultimate tune. Much though I’m a fan of Warren Zevon and enjoy his cover of this one, I just don’t think the original can be beaten:

Raspberry Beret was a track on Prince’s album Around The World In A Day, which was released in April 1985 and got to #1 in the US and #5 in the UK. I couldn’t claim to be a huge fan of his, but I always enjoyed his singles, and anyone who has left the amazing Purple Rain as part of his legacy had to have been doing something right! This was the first single taken from the album, in May 1985, reaching #2 in the US but only getting to #25 here. I always felt it deserved better, as it is a great song and the video is fun too.

As Monty Python used to say: “and now for something completely different.” I’m closing today with a band I’ve played a few times before and in keeping with the rather eclectic feel of this selection it seems only right to go out with a folk band from Russia. It’s never dull, is it! I haven’t played this one before but, like everything they do, it is hugely enjoyable:

I hope the subtitles are visible for you, but if not just click the ‘CC’ button. Then again, I have no idea how accurate the translation is, and frankly it seems a bit weird in places. But just enjoy the music and the St Petersburg ambience, like everyone else around them. I’ve said before that I have become a big fan of Otava Yo since I first found them via a YouTube recommendation five or six years ago, and they have a large number of videos available if you liked this one. They are popular in many places around the world, and have played concerts in more than thirty countries, including the UK and the US – probably not right now, though, which is a pity. They have over 400k YouTube subscribers and this video has been viewed more than 11m times. I absolutely love them and if you seek out more you’ll find a mixture of live shows and some superb videos: I recommend Street Cleaner as a good starting point – it’s a hoot! No subtitles on that one but it tells its story anyway.

So, that was my first selection of songs with a fruit in their title. As I said at the beginning I have a good many more of these and will probably do another post of them. Maybe next week, maybe not. Who knows? I sure as hell don’t! My list includes six types of fruit that didn’t get a look in this week, so perhaps I’ll try going for those to ring some changes? Watch this space!

Have a good week. I’ll definitely be back for Song Lyric Sunday and may grace your presence again before then: as I just said, who knows! Take care 😊


50 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes 141: Fruit

  1. Pingback: March March | Take It Easy

    • Thank you. It was a fun set to do, and I have more! Check the lyrics if you’re thinking of writing raspberry beret into a story – you might be able t9 make use of the second hand store part.

      I’ve played Otava Yo several times and, like this one, people always enjoy them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the theme, Clive I thought of Strawberry fields straight away and although I knew a couple of the others I hadn’t guessed although Blueberry Hill is an all-time favourite it was a song that a dear friend loved and was played at her funeral she loved that song it was nice to reminisce and remember dearJosy…Thank you, Clive xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great theme, Clive! It’s always fun to see if I can guess any of your picks before I take a look at what you chose. This week, I did worse than usual. The only one that made your picks was Strawberry Fields. I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one. I prefer many other Beatles tunes over this one. I was amused by the Banana Boat video, but it’s hard to categorize it with the others since it’s a gag song. My top two this week: 1. Orange Crush 2. Raspberry Beret.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As usual, Pete, I’m glad you had fun guessing what might appear. As I’ll be doing at least one more of these maybe your guesses might still prove right?

      Each to their own on the Beatles choice: healthy disagreement is always good. I did say ‘best single’ rather than ‘best tune,’ though, so that narrows the field. What’s your favourite?

      I slipped the Banana Boat Song in as a childhood memory for me, alongside Blueberry Hill. It’s fun but not exactly great art! Glad you found some in there to enjoy 😊


      • I’d have difficulty picking a favorite, but two to come to mind are Yesterday and While My Guitar Gently Weeps. You know a band must be unique when there is an enormous variety to choose from, and the opinions are varied. Music is like food—something for everyone.

        Liked by 1 person

      • A good analogy! And your answers show how difficult the question was, depending on where you’re from. I wouldn’t even have considered Yesterday as it wasn’t a single here, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps was a B-side in many countries but not in either the UK or the US. Not an easy choice to make, is it!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Di. I’ve always loved that version ever since I was a little kid. It was on the radio with Uncle Mac and Children’s Favourites, and the Beeb used it as filler between programmes, so I saw and heard it a lot.

      Are you trying to read my mind for episode two? If so, you’ve made a good start. Just the other seven to work out now 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hahaha, I love that meme 😂
    So many great songs. I too think the Banana Boat video is so funny. I love Harry Belafonte’s version, sad that he takes this much too serious. It was so good to hear Blueberry Hill again. Thanks for the music joy, Clive!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved “Strawberry Fields” and that version of the “Banana Boat Song” made me laugh! I grew up with Fats Domino’s music and loved this one! Of the others, I think the Russian folk band is my favourite, but I enjoyed hearing some I had never heard before, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I said in the post I think Strawberry Fields is the best Beatles single . The Banana Boat Song version isn’t for the purists but it has made me laugh since I was little. Fats Domino took me back to my childhood too – singing round the piano while Mum played.

      I’m pleased you liked Otava Yo. I’ve played them five or six times before and they are always well received.

      And I don’t doubt that some of the others were new to you!

      Liked by 1 person

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