Arthur Askey – I Want A Banana

Arthur Askey – I Want A Banana (Chords)

Whether it was the wartime rationing, it’s phallic nature, or the fact that bananas have no bones; the banana was something of an obsession in wartime songs. If you hadn’t guessed by the title, the hat and the mid-YMCA pose, this is a novelty song. As with any good novelty song, this burrows into your head so deeply it would take a drill to get it out. And after having it rotate in my brain for an hour today, the drill option looked quite appealing.

In the verses, it’s worth emphasizing the melody notes of the chords (usually the note on the highest string) and you might need this little beauty:

I Want A Banana lick

Requested by Bromley Plonker

View Comments


  1. John Colter July 3rd, 2007 8:58 pm

    I can confirm the wartime preocupation with bananas. I was born in 1938, and can remember vividly the first time I ever saw one in the flesh. I must have been about eight years old. I’d seen many illustrations, and heard several comic songs. I must admit I was a bit disappointed. It seemed to be quite different from my expectations – whatever they were at the time.

    Good old Arthur!

  2. Woodshed July 3rd, 2007 10:23 pm

    I had a similar experience with passion fruit. From the name I’d imagined them to be exotic and enchantingly beautiful. Then I got my hands on one and it was a purple lump with goo inside. They are tasty, though.

  3. thomas norris April 12th, 2009 10:48 pm

    ii was born in london in 1929 and during the war i was a patient b n conaught hospital walthamstow now waltham foreat ,at that time arthur askey ran a club for the child patients,most of whome were war casualties like myself this club was called the cheery bug cluband he would entertain us even in the air raids there must be e mailers out there who remember those times or have they all gone on before me tom norris

  4. Bob Englefield July 13th, 2009 9:46 pm

    I’m a Londoner, born 1930 in Battersea. I well remember Arthur Askey, used to listen to him on the wireless, a show called “Monday Night at Seven” his catch phrase was “I Thank Yeow” in a cockney accent. As far as bananas go, I never saw one until after the war, the Yanks sent over a gross thing that when put in water it swelled up, it looked like an over ripe banana and smelled like one, but that was as close as I got to the real thing. The Yanks also sent us another concoction called Dried Egg, we couldn’t get real eggs. Although we were ‘bombed out’, my Mum, myself and 4 siblings managed to stay alive. Bob Englefield

  5. Woodshed July 17th, 2009 3:53 pm

    Bob and Thomas: Thanks for your recollections. That’s really interesting to hear.

  6. Joeyjoejoseph February 7th, 2011 6:58 pm

    I found a video on youtube if anyone’s interested.

  7. Woodshed February 7th, 2011 10:25 pm

    Joeyjoejoseph: Thanks very much for the link.

  8. redpaul101 June 1st, 2011 11:19 am

    That youtube link is now dead, unfortunately. Try this one instead:

  9. Woodshed June 2nd, 2011 10:06 am

    redpaul101: Thanks very much. Added it to the post.

  10. hazel field ferrin August 12th, 2011 10:26 am

    I was born Feb 1939 in London and also did not see a banana until I was 6.At family gatherings I was
    always requested to sing the song-which became very tiresome! I also did not have an orange til
    after the war and I remember my mother went to
    Chatsworth st market to line up for them. She stood queing for 2 hours only to have them run out when they reached her. She came home crying!
    Memories-but I did not like Arthur Askey1

  11. Woodshed August 13th, 2011 8:57 am

    hazel: Thanks very much for sharing your memories.

  12. Roger Hindle September 3rd, 2011 10:25 am

    Born 1934 – I remember the Cheery Bug Club – do I remember correctly that the “bugs” were yellow with dots? Who publicised it? The “Children’s Newspaper”, perhaps? I wasn’t a patient anywhere – just a schoolboy living at home in Yorkshire. I also was not keen on Arthur Askey.
    Thomas Norris (above 2009) makes the first mention I’ve seen of the club – I was beginning to think I had imagined it!

  13. Woodshed September 4th, 2011 11:43 am

    Roger: Thanks for the reminiscences!

  14. Edel November 23rd, 2012 4:52 pm

    Was really nice to hear your stories!! I’ll never take bananas for granted again!!

Sorry, Comments Are Broken Right Now