presents...

We're The Banana Splits

Your childhood TV rock-n-roll idols, on vinyl!

One of the greatest things about the music of the 60's is how it accessible it was to just about anyone. The cool kids had the Beatles and the Stones; middle America watched the Monkees; the hippies had the Dead and Jefferson Airplane; even Mom and Dad could swing to a homogenized version of Lennon & McCartney done up by Enoch Light or Tony Bennett. And for the toddlers, there were these weirdos, the Banana Splits.

I was suprised at how good some of the songs on this hard to find LP are (thanks to my friend Gary who let me borrow his copy). I'm not saying the Banana Splits were the next Beatles, but compared to the kind of music they make for kids today (the Barney theme comes to mind) this stuff kicks ass. Let's hear it for Fleagle, Bingo, Drooper and Snork!

We're The Banana Splits
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Songs:

We're The Banana Splits (MP3) ...yeah!
The Tra La La Song (MP3) The tune you can never get out of your head... just try.
Soul (MP3) Can four guys in crazy animal costumes have... soul?

See Also: Fonzie, Fonzie, He's Our Man, Themes From Hit TV Shows, The Kids from the Brady Bunch

Your Comments:

Purusha says:
The melody is traditional, and both artists used the same traditional melody. There is no evidence that Bob Marley copied the Banana Splits, or that he ever even heard their song.

A lot of Bob Marley's rhythms are traditional Jamaican rhythms, from Nyabhingi music. Some of it is taken from traditional sea shanties, some of it is African, some of it is native Jamaican, and some of it is from India.

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Two very similar traditional Caribbean melodies are found in Bob Marley's song "Jump Nyabinghi," which clearly comes from traditional "Nyabinghi" roots (Marley definitely participated in many Nyabinghi sessions in his native Jamaica -- please listen to the song), and "Fifteen men on a dead man's chest, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum," a melody sung since way before the 1960's by scores of Caribbean sailors and pirates.
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NOTE – Although the lyrics of "Fifteen men" are fictional, the melody in which it is sung is definitely taken from a traditional West Indian sea shanty (Blow the Man Down). I used these lyrics in my post, however, because they are the most familiar lyrics to most people, and are only used to bring the melody to mind. The lyrics are not in dispute anyway.
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Listen to "Blow the Man Down" to hear an authentic traditional sea shanty melody with traditional lyrics. Please note the striking similarity between this melody and Marley's Buffalo Soldier, and please note that "Blow the Man Down" is traced to a time period far prior to both Banana Splits and Buffalo Soldier.
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Although there is no evidence that Marley copied Banana Splits, or that he ever even heard it, there is ample evidence of similar melodies that precede both songs: Clearly, both Banana Splits and Buffalo Soldier melodies come from traditional West Indian sea shanty melodies and/or from traditional West Indian Nyabinghi melodies.

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Traditional Nyabinghi rhythms have been traced back as far in history as the 1700's, and traditional West Indian sea shanties have been traced back as far as the 1840's, both of which obviously precede the 1960's.

Just because Banana Splits precedes Buffalo soldier in history and has a similar rhythm does not prove, by any means, that Bob copied Banana Splits -- to say so is a logical fallacy (Google “post hoc ergo propter hoc”), especially given the evidence of prior melodies that are similar to both songs.
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Specific references:
"Sea Shanties: Haul Away For Rosie"
"George London - Blow the man down - sea shanty!"
"Phil Beer: "Blow, Boys, Blow!" - A Sea Shanty"
Please listen to the above three songs on Youtube. All of them precede Banana Splits in history by a wide margin, and all three are very similar to Buffalo Soldier.
Obviously, Bob copied these traditional melodies (or similar melodies, such as those in Nyabinghi sessions), and Banana Splits also copied these traditional melodies.

_________________

Yet another similar melody is heard in the traditional "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," from 1908, also borrowed from traditional sea shanties.

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Perhaps the most damning evidence is found in Marley's "One Love" melody, specifically heard in the lyrics "One love, one heart, let's get together and feel alright," which is very similar to the Buffalo Soldier melody heard in the lyrics "wi yo yo, wi yo yo yo, wi yo yo, yo yo yo yo yo."

Note that Marley first recorded "One Love" in 1965, which predates the recording of the Banana Splits song by three years.

This means that it’s more likely that the Banana Splits copied Marley.

(02-22-2012)

Frank Ligi says:
Does anyone know where the real banana buggies are? I worked at United Airlines in 1968 and 69 and we shipped them from Detroit to the west coast after a show. I signed my name under the seats. Just wondered if they were still around. (06-30-2011)

bernie carville (b_carville@yahoo.com) says:
I think(I could be wrong)Doin' the Bananna Split is on this.If I recall correctly this was credited to a B.White.It sure sounded like the late Barry White's magic voice on it> (06-07-2011)

pottergreen (dpi3@hotmail.com) says:
Uh-oh, Chongo! Its Danger Island next! (03-26-2011)

ron (rhonnight@comcast.net) says:
Did the Banana Splits have a song- Two Ton Tessie? Had their LP at one time but afraid its long gone. Thanks for having the songs on this site, instantly transported me back many years. (02-19-2010)

Bob says:
This is way late, but the song with the "one banana two banana" lyrics is the "The Tra La La Song"; it was the closing theme for the show. (01-30-2010)

Ron Fowler (lonelysummer@webtv.net) says:
In my book, the Banana Splits are right up there with other 60's tv favs like the Chipmunks (the Alvin Show), the Beatles (remember those cartoons), Paul Revere & the Raiders featuring Mark Lindsay (Happening '68), and of course the Monkees. Found an album of theirs - new - at a store in Portland a few years back, great listening! I used to have the two extended play 45's but lost them in a flood. Played them all the time, really liked "Very First Kid on My Block", "Beautiful Caliopa" and "I Enjoy Being a Boy". I was real surprised last year when I saw a music video by the reunited Splits, it was called "My Friend Sammy", but haven't heard anything further about what they're doing. We need a Banana Splits reunion tour! The guys have aged incredibly well, and it would be an honor to shake their hands...uh, er, ...paws! (01-01-2010)

Joe (joecharles2708@yahoo.com) says:
I loved the music they had. "Wait 'Til Tomorrow" was cool. I'll never forget that one. The shows had class, plots and good acting unlike today. (12-24-2009)

Donna (shovel3d@hotmail.com) says:
i love the splits,i watched them when i was a little girl, bingo was my favorite. i have 2-45 records by them, 8 songs total. i was wondering if there worth anything. (08-19-2009)

Ben D. Banana says:
The Banana Splits should sue Bob Marley for plagerisim. That stoner stole the Tra La La chorus for one of his songs, melody and all on "Buffalo Soldier". His version goes Oi Yoi Yoi, Oi y' Yoi Yoi. May the fleas on Fleagle, Bingo, Drooper and Snork infest his pubes. (07-14-2009)

Mort Saul says:
La,la,laa...lalalalah...la,la,lala,lalalah (07-13-2009)

alisha (i_love_my_suzuki_dr-z110@hotmail.com) says:
Hey! I love the banana splits! i watch it on austar all the time haha. the song is stuck in my head lol bye xx (03-23-2009)

Robert Presto (presto_robert@hotmail.com) says:
If anyone has info as to when The Banana Splits shows will come out on DVD(???)
I'd be the first to buy it! (11-19-2008)

Fred (fwmtrek@hotmail.com) says:
Fleagle's music machine was called The Calliopasaxaviatrumparimbaclaribasotrombaphone. Sometime they would simply refer to it as The Calliopa.
There was a song on their album called... "My Beautiful Calliopasaxaviatrumparimbaclaribasotrombaphone"

Hope this helps. (09-05-2008)

mick (electo.tec@o2.co.uk) says:
hi
does anyone know what Fleegle music machine was called and what episode it was in

thanks
mick (07-14-2008)

Jim says:
Used to watch the show when it was still new. Danger Island was weird, sort of a bondage fantasy serial; not sure what sort of fetishes were behind that part of the show, or why it was on the Banana Splits. The music was cool. "I Enjoy Being A Boy In Love With You" is supercool pop psychedelia. (07-02-2008)

Marg says:
I remember watching the Banana Splits every Saturday morning when I was 10 and 11 years old! I even got the Banana Splits plushies. I use to enjoy that show:) (05-06-2008)

Btamamura (yamitammy@hotmail.com) says:
I still remember watching the Banana Splits when I was three years old and often find myself humming all of the songs I can recall, including the Tralala song. I thank you for putting up this page, it's good to find great websites dedicated to this fun group! (03-15-2008)

debbie (kepinkupapalani@aol.com) says:
Im not sure if anyone knew this but the Splits were filmed in Texas at Six Flags over Texas ..i grew up here and have seen the park all my life ..oh yea, plus it says its filmed there on the credits lol (03-13-2008)

gerald blaskovich (gblaskovich@yahoo.com) says:
i can't believe there is so many of banana splits nuts out there. i'v been singing one banana, two banana more. anybody emember that one? so, my question is when can we see them again??? (02-05-2008)






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