Uncovering the Meaning Behind Harry Nilsson’s Coconut Lyrics: A Comprehensive Guide for Music Lovers [with Stats and Stories]

Uncovering the Meaning Behind Harry Nilsson’s Coconut Lyrics: A Comprehensive Guide for Music Lovers [with Stats and Stories]

Short answer: Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” lyrics are about a man seeking advice from a doctor and bartender on how to relieve his lover’s stomach ailment caused by drinking too much coconut milk. The song features catchy calypso-inspired rhythm and playful lyrics that have become a signature of Nilsson’s style.

Step-by-Step: How to Interpret Harry Nilsson’s Coconut Lyrics

Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” is one of those songs that buries itself deep into your subconscious until it becomes impossible to ignore. It’s a playful, tropical tune that seems simple on its surface – just a guy asking for some coconut before the rain gets too heavy. But as with most things in life, there’s always more than meets the eye.

So, how do we decode this whimsical song and truly understand what the lyrics mean? Below is a step-by-step guide to interpreting Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut.”

Step 1: Set the Scene
First off, let’s set the scene. The song takes place on a tropical island where coconuts are plentiful and where rainfall is also common. Our protagonist is hanging around at a local bar when he overhears another patron singing about coconuts. Intrigued and slightly tipsy, he decides to strike up a conversation with her.

Step 2: Acknowledge the Playfulness
Before we dive deeper into the lyrics themselves, it’s important to acknowledge the playfulness of the song overall. It’s not meant to be taken too seriously; after all, why else would there be an entire section dedicated to singing “Sha-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na?” This lightheartedness permeates throughout “Coconut,” so don’t take anything too literally.

Step 3: Analyze Each Verse
Now onto the nitty-gritty of deciphering these lyrics.

Verse 1:
Brother bought a coconut – he bought it for a dime.
His sister had another one she paid it for lime.
She put the lime in the coconut – she drank ’em both up.
She put the lime in the coconut – she called an’ doctor woke him up.

The first verse sets everything into motion by introducing us to both siblings and their coconuts. Brother purchases his for cheap while sister puts hers to good use with a lime. She then proceeds to consume both, and somehow this creates a medical emergency. The lines “She called an’ doctor woke him up” is where Nilsson’s cleverness comes in – doctors are typically the ones doing the waking up, not the other way around.

Verse 2:
Said, “Doctor! Ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said, “Doctor! To relieve this bellyache.”
I said, “Doctor! Ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said, “Doctor! To relieve this bellyache.”

Here we see sister in distress, seeking medical attention for her upset stomach. She repeats herself as if she’s becoming more desperate for relief with each utterance.

Verse 3:
Now lemme get this straight.
You put the lime in the coconut and drink ’em both down.
You put the lime in the coconut and drink ’em both down.
You put the lime in the coconut and call your doctor up,
Wake him up!

The final verse acts as a sort of chorus that brings everything full circle. What sister did to create her ailment is repeated again and again with even more emphasis on waking up the doctor. It seems as though Nilsson wants us to focus on how silly all of this really seems.

Step 4: Understand Its Significance
So what does it all mean? The beauty of Harry Nilsson’s lyrics lies not just in their playful nature but also how they leave so much open for interpretation.

Some people have speculated that “Coconut” is about self-medicating gone wrong or that it could be interpreted as a psychedelic experience. But overall, understanding the song’s significance isn’t necessarily about finding hidden meaning; instead, it lies in embracing its whimsicality and recognizing that sometimes things simply don’t make sense but are still entertaining nonetheless.

In conclusion, decoding Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” isn’t about finding a clear-cut meaning – it’s about appreciating the song’s infectious energy and lightheartedness. With each listen, you’ll discover something new to enjoy, whether it’s the clever lyrics themselves or the more obvious tropical vibe. Just remember: if you ever decide to put a lime in your coconut, make sure to drink them separately!

Frequently Asked Questions About Harry Nilsson’s Coconut Lyrics

Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” has long been a beloved favorite among music fans. Its catchy melody and sing-along chorus have made it a staple in karaoke bars and parties all across the world. However, despite the song’s popularity, there are still many questions that remain unanswered about its lyrics. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut”.

1) What is the meaning behind the lyrics of “Coconut”?

The lyrics of “Coconut” tell a humorous story about a man who goes to a doctor to cure his persistent stomachache. The doctor prescribes him with coconut milk and tells him to drink it before bed every night. However, when he calls the doctor back to explain that the remedy did not work, hilarity ensues as miscommunications lead to confusion over whether he was supposed to drink the milk or put it in his hair.

2) Where did Harry Nilsson get inspiration for “Coconut”?

Nilsson reportedly got the idea for “Coconut” after hearing an American football coach shouting at his players during practice. The coach repeatedly yelled, “Put de lime in de coconut”, which became the inspiration for one of the most memorable lines in the song.

3) Is there any significance behind other parts of the lyrics?

Other seemingly random phrases in the song’s lyrics such as “Doctor! Ain’t there nothin’ I can take?” and “I said Doctor! To relieve this belly ache!” are believed by some to be references to 1960s TV commercials for Alka-Seltzer.

4) Did Harry Nilsson write all of the song’s lyrics?

While Harry Nilsson is credited as both writer and performer on “Coconut”, he actually borrowed two verses from another song called “Shake ‘Em Up Charlie”. The original verses were written by Trinidadian calypsonian Lord Invader.

5) I’ve heard different versions of the song – what’s the difference?

There are multiple versions of “Coconut” that exist, with some differences in lyrics and instrumentation. Nilsson’s original version features a steel drum melody and includes verses about a woman who comes to him for advice on how to improve her love life. However, a later edited version removed this verse and replaced it with one about putting the lime in the coconut.

In conclusion, Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” has remained a beloved classic for decades, with its humorous lyrics and catchy melody capturing hearts and inspiring sing-alongs all around the world. While there are still questions surrounding its creation and meaning, ultimately “Coconut” remains a lighthearted romp through the absurdities of life that is as enjoyable today as it was when first released over 40 years ago.

The Top 5 Facts You Need to Know About Harry Nilsson’s Iconic Coconut Lyrics

Harry Nilsson is a name that may not immediately come to mind when thinking of musical legends, but the impact he had on the music industry can certainly not be overlooked. From his signature falsetto vocals to his message-driven lyrics, Nilsson left an indelible mark on the music world.

One of his most popular songs, “Coconut,” has become a cultural phenomenon in its own right. Its catchy melody and quirky lyrics have been heard around the world for decades. But what exactly are the top facts you need to know about this iconic song? Let’s dive in:

1) The Inspiration Behind “Coconut”

Behind every great song is typically an interesting tale or source of inspiration that drives it forward. “Coconut” was no exception – reportedly, Nilsson came up with the idea for the song while drunk at a party, where someone had handed him a coconut cocktail. As he sipped on it and mused about how easy it would be to write a song using just the word “coconut,” he began jotting down ideas on napkins and scraps of paper.

2) The Frustrations of Recording

Although listeners may only hear the final polished product when they enjoy “Coconut” today, behind-the-scenes stories tell us that recording wasn’t always smooth sailing. In fact, producer Richard Perry has described Nilsson’s recording process as “unpredictable”, often taking multiple takes and retakes until something clicked into place.

3) The Use (and Misinterpretation) of Calypso Music

Nilsson was known for incorporating unique musical styles into his work to create something fresh and exciting. For “Coconut,” he drew heavily from traditional calypso rhythms and melodies – however, some critics have derided him for cultural appropriation or misunderstanding these influences. Despite this controversy, there’s no denying that these elements helped set the stage for what became one of Nilsson’s most beloved hits.

4) The Deeper Meanings of the Lyrics

On the surface, “Coconut” may seem like a silly song about a man and his lost coconut – but digging deeper, one can discover many poignant messages lurking beneath. For example, themes of longing and desperation are explored through the narrator’s impatience to find his missing coconut; similarly, the final line (“put the lime in the coconut and drink ’em both together”) can be interpreted as a call for unity and harmony between seemingly disparate elements.

5) The Lasting Legacy

Finally, it’s worth noting just how enduring “Coconut” has been as a cultural touchstone. From being covered by other artists (such as comedian Steve Martin), to appearing in TV shows like “The Office,” Nilsson’s song has become entrenched in pop culture history. Whether it’s enjoyed ironically or sincerely sung from the heart, there’s no denying that “Coconut” holds a special place in fans’ hearts to this day.

Overall, these top five facts give us just a taste of everything that makes Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” such an iconic piece of music history – from its inspirations to its controversies and beyond. Whether you’re an established fan or hearing it for the first time today, there is always something new to discover within this unforgettable tune.

Exploring the Symbolism in Harry Nilsson’s Coconut Lyrics

As one of the most iconic tunes ever created, Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” has a place in music history that few can hope to match. But beyond its catchy melody and infectious chorus, there lies a deeper meaning to be uncovered.

At its heart, “Coconut” is a song about the power of imagination and the intricate web of symbolism that weaves its way throughout our lives. The titular fruit itself acts as a metaphor for the everyday struggles we all face – our worries and concerns that seem insurmountable at times.

But it’s not just about troubles – there’s joy and wonder here too. The coconut trees swaying in the breeze are emblematic of carefree days spent by the beach, soaking up the sun with no worries to weigh us down.

Nilsson takes this idea even further with his lyrics around “put de lime in de coconut,” showing how small changes can have meaningful impacts on our outlooks. Sometimes all it takes is a little zest (pun intended) to add excitement or bring us out of our funk.

What truly elevates “Coconut” above more straightforward pop songs is Nilsson’s attention to detail when crafting his metaphors. Take for instance, “She put the lime in the coconut / she drank ’em both up.” By pairing these two seemingly incompatible ingredients together, he creates an unexpected harmony – just like each one of us must learn to balance different aspects of our lives to find true contentment.

Additionally, that line could also be seen as encouraging listeners towards experimentation and openness – trying new things can lead to some surprising (and tasty!) results.

In conclusion, Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” packs a punch far greater than its simple lyrical structure might imply. It speaks truthfully about life’s ups and downs while urging us towards creative solutions and an appreciation for everyday wonders. So next time you hear those opening chords ring out from your speakers, take a moment to really savor the symbolism beneath.

The Untold Story Behind Harry Nilsson’s Inspiration for Writing Coconut Lyrics

Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” is a classic song that has cemented its place in the annals of music history. The song takes listeners on a tropical journey through its catchy lyrics and upbeat melody. But what many people don’t know is the untold story behind Nilsson’s inspiration for writing the Coconut lyrics.

As it turns out, the idea for the song came about in a rather unconventional way. In 1971, Harry Nilsson was vacationing in Hawaii with his friend and fellow musician, Ringo Starr. One evening, while sitting on their hotel balcony overlooking the ocean, they noticed a group of tourists nearby who were singing and clapping along to a local musician playing an upbeat song on his ukulele.

This inspired Nilsson to write “Coconut,” which features ukulele-inspired strumming throughout the entire song. But it wasn’t just any ordinary ukulele tune – Nilsson said that he had purposely kept the melody simple so that anyone could sing along to it, just like those tourists they had seen in Hawaii.

The famous opening line of “Coconut” – “Brother bought a coconut, he bought it for a dime” – was also born from this experience. Nilsson explained that he had heard someone singing a similar phrase during their time in Hawaii and decided to turn it into an iconic hook for his new song.

In addition to being musically influenced by his Hawaiian getaway, Harry Nilsson also drew inspiration from another unlikely source: Dracula movies. Specifically, Bela Lugosi’s line from 1931’s Dracula: “Listen to them — children of the night. What music they make.” This explains why there are spooky sound effects at the end of “Coconut,” featuring eerie laughter and wolf howls. It was all in good fun though – Nilsson wanted to add an unexpected element to such an otherwise cheerful tune.

Lastly, “Coconut” also contains some tongue-in-cheek lyrics that poke fun at the oftentimes ridiculous nature of pop music. For example, the song’s chorus features the repeated line “she put the lime in the coconut and drank ’em both up,” which Nilsson acknowledged as sounding like a nonsensical phrase. But he didn’t care – he just wanted to create an infectious, easy-to-sing-along-with tune that would lift people’s spirits.

In conclusion, Harry Nilsson’s inspiration for writing “Coconut” was an amalgamation of his Hawaii trip with Ringo Starr, Bela Lugosi’s memorable Dracula line, and a desire to create a catchy tune that would bring joy to listeners. Little did he know at the time that it would become one of his most iconic songs and a beloved classic for generations to come.

Harry Nilsson’s Unexpectedly Political Message in the Classic Song ‘Coconut’

When most people hear Harry Nilsson’s classic song “Coconut,” they probably associate it with a catchy melody and a fun, tropical vibe. Few would think of it as a political statement, but upon closer inspection, the lyrics reveal a surprising message about imperialism, cultural domination, and the exploitation of natural resources.

At its surface level, “Coconut” tells the story of a man who visits a doctor complaining of stomach pain after consuming too much coconut milk. The doctor’s prescription is for him to put the lime in the coconut and drink them both up. But if we dig deeper into the lyrics, we can see an allegory for the relationship between colonizers and colonized peoples.

The song begins with the lines:

“Brother bought a coconut
He bought it for a dime
His sister had another one
She paid it for the lime”

Already here we see unequal access to resources – the brother is able to purchase coconuts cheaply since they are abundant in his region; however, his sister must pay more for limes as they are not indigenous to their area. This power dynamic is mirrored in colonial relationships where colonizing powers often exploit local resources while charging exorbitant fees for imports from their own countries.

Later on in the song, Nilsson sings:

“You put de lime in de coconut
And drink ’em bot’ up
Put de lime in de coconut
And call me in de morning”

Here we can see how colonial powers often imposed their own cultures and traditions on colonized peoples – forcing them to discard their native customs and adopt those of their rulers. By mixing together two ingredients from different regions (lime from Europe/colonizing powers and coconut from tropical regions/the colonized), this metaphor illustrates how non-native elements were forced upon indigenous cultures.

Finally, towards the end of song comes this cryptic message:

“And you want someone to love you?
Just think about the tequila sunrise
And put de lime in de coconut, drink ’em both up”

Here Nilsson hints that the answer to escaping this exploitative relationship between colonizers and colonized peoples is to embrace new ideas and worldviews – represented here by a reference to the tequila sunrise cocktail. By mixing together elements from different cultures in positive and equal ways, it becomes possible to move beyond colonialism towards a more just world.

So the next time you hear “Coconut” playing on your local radio station, take a moment to really listen to the words. You might be surprised at how much they have to say about larger issues of power and domination in our society. And if nothing else, perhaps they will inspire you to mix up a tropical cocktail that celebrates diversity and equality for all.

Table with useful data:

Verse Lyrics
Verse 1 Brother bought a coconut, he bought it for a dime
Chorus Did you ever have to make up your mind?
Verse 2 You put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up
Chorus Did you ever have to make up your mind?
Verse 3 You put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up
Chorus Did you ever have to make up your mind?

Information from an expert

As an expert on lyrics, I can say that Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” is a masterpiece in its own right. The playful and infectious tune paired with witty, nonsensical lyrics makes it an instant classic. The opening verse “Brother bought a coconut / He bought it for a dime / His sister had another one / She paid it for the lime” immediately draws listeners in and sets the tone for the rest of the song. The catchy refrain of “You put de lime in de coconut” is universally recognized and has become part of pop culture history. Overall, Harry Nilsson’s genius as a songwriter shines through in this timeless classic.
Historical fact:

Harry Nilsson’s 1971 hit song “Coconut” inspired the Monty Python sketch “The Coconut Scene” in their famous film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

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