Hey Mr. Tally Man, Tally Me Banana
April 29th, 2010 by Les

Groucho Marx said: “Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.” (American comedian, actor and…believe it or not…singer.)

Hey Mr. Tally man, tally me banana

Daylight come and I wanna go home

Daylight come and me wanna go home

Chop banana till morning come

Daylight come…..

Day-o, day-o

Daylight come and me wanna go home

Day-o, day-o

(Aw, come on, admit it, you were singing and your toe was tapping….just a little bit.  And, if you are like me, this song will pop into you head constantly over the next few days driving you absolutely crazy!  Or, maybe not, as my head isn’t filled with normal anyway!  This is exactly what I mean….The Tally Man song led me to the Carmen Miranda song…..

I’m Chiquita banana and I’m here to say

Bananas have to ripen in a certain way…..

and so on…see what I mean….no normal in my brain just pictures of a fruit basket on my head.  Boy, have I digressed this time!!)

Shades of Harry Belafonte singing the Banana Boat Jamaican calypso song.  My mind wanders toward the Beetlejuice version where the host and guests are seated at the dinner table, become possessed and begin to sing and dance to a rousing version of the Banana Boat song.

There are, in fact, many versions and David and I, singing the Banana Boat song, as he carried the harvest of bananas our gardener cut off of one of our banana trees for us a few evenings ago, could not compete with any of them.  My guess, our neighbors who seem to have grown accustomed to our somewhat bizarre behavior, thought it just another kooky day in Lawrence Land.  (Odd factoid.. Alan Arkin co-wrote the Banana Boat Song while part of a singing group called The Tarriers and working at The Second City in Chicago.)

This is a somewhat lush area.  Something is always growing. We are particularly happy with all of the limes we continue to harvest from the huge lime bush we have in our yard.  David has concocted a delicious fresh lime drink: 4 limes-squeezed, vodka, a splash of ice, several teaspoons of sugar and Sprite Zero.  It is quite a delicious warm weather drink and, after just two, you are EXTREMELY relaxed.

The photos below show David as he tallied the bananas from the front porch to the back cardboard box.  With jaunty step, voice raised … he tallied and I photographed.  I think I got the better end of the shtick.  This harvest is just a smidgen of what remains on the banana trees throughout our yard.  Banana bread, anyone?  Since I’m not close by you do not have to worry about finding banana bread on your doorstep when you wake up in the morning.

No pratt falls although you have to admit one of the great physical comedic actions is the banana peel – tush fall.   We maintained our upright posture and ported those banana’s to their destination in our backyard.  One day we are hobnobbing with a European artist and the next getting down and getting funky with our very own bananas!  You gotta love it.

If you intend to move to this area of Mexico, my suggestion, be open to all that it has to offer.  Keep a sense of humor and of the absurd.  Be alert….not just on the cobblestones.  Be willing to listen and most of all, keep your heart open for in will wander the sights and senses of this beautiful land called Mexico…..or a bug….but I digress YET AGAIN!!  Viva Mexico!



Tallying Onward

Tallying Onward

Still Tallying

Still Tallying

For this I went to Yale?!

For this I went to Yale?!

Tallied Out

Tallied Out

Doo Doo, Doo Doo (just picture the music in Jaws when the shark was about to attack...okay) more to come.

Doo Doo, Doo Doo (just picture the music in Jaws when the shark was about to attack...okay) more to come.

18 Responses  
  • Les writes:
    April 30th, 201012:08 pmat

    Hi Bill,

    I can remember when we were doing the same thing. It is amazing how fast time flies. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that you are here by the end of the year.


  • Les writes:
    April 30th, 20109:54 amat

    Great posts everyone! Wow!!

    Stephen, I researched the song and am happy you clarified it for us. Alan Arkin must have written a version of it. Interesting none-the-les. Thanks so much!

    Laurel, we’re happy you don’t have to have surgery and hope the pain management works quickly. Thanks for the info on the Jamacian banana work.

    Joe and Jan- as you’ve guessed I love words….long or short..and enjoy your sense of humor.

    Sid, thanks for mentioned the fact that what banana’s aren’t used by the owners find a way into someone else’s home…like the gardner or housekeeper, etc. That’s another great thing about living in the Lake Chapala area.

    Fred,thanks for getting this whole thing started!!


  • Bill Mitchell writes:
    April 30th, 20109:31 amat

    I am still green with envy with you two. We are getting a little closer to our move to lake Chapala(garage sale today)
    Hope to be their by year end.



  • David writes:
    April 30th, 20109:18 amat


    we’re going to have a couple thousand bananas around here soon, after giving sr. maguez, our gardener most of them. i am researching new banana drinks. maybe the banana colada. who knows what lies ahead??

  • Joe & Jan Ritchie writes:
    April 30th, 20109:09 amat

    WOW! You guys are having too much fun….It appears to me that on your last couple of blogs that David has become Manuel, manuel labor, that is. He has been laboring while you take the shots, photos, not vodka lime concoctions. Good job with the camera, Les. Not only are you improving on your sesquipedalianism, but you are fast becoming a professional photographer. We are looking forward to sharing some of Davids’ concoctions with with you soon. Maybe we can concoct something using fresh squeezed bananas!


  • Laurel Williams writes:
    April 30th, 20101:55 amat

    I can’t imagine harvesting your own bananas.What other miracles does the land of eternal spring have hidden in its backyards???

    I teach with a man from Jamiaca. He explained to me that the banana boat folk song is about the men who harvest bananas on the plantations. They are taking their crop to the docks where the bananas will be shipped to other countries. The “tally man is the person who weighs the friut and decides how much the bananas are worth. Therefore he is tallying or adding up the price of the bananas to pay to the workers who grew them.

    Viva bananas,Viva lime drinks with vodka, Viva Mexico.

    pS no back surgery needed for me, just physical therapy and pain management. Maybe I will get down there yet this summer. Hasta la vista!

  • Stephen Millner writes:
    April 29th, 201011:22 pmat

    Checking on the origins of the banana boat song. Lots of research has been done and is available online. Basically it is a traditional song. Several recording artists and writers contributed enhancements.

  • Stephen Millner writes:
    April 29th, 20109:04 pmat

    Hi Les
    Just yesterday I was thinking about … wishing for a crossword puzzle in which all of the the “theme” answers contained “banana.” Among the hypothetical answers in the hypothetical puzzle are: “Bananarama” “top banana” “banana republic” “banana split” “banana peel” and — or course “the banana boat song.” I think my first introduction to that song was the Kingston Trio around 1964. I would guess that that predates Alan Arkin.


  • writes:
    April 29th, 20109:00 pmat

    Hi All, Sid here in Chapala Haciendas. I have several bearing banana trees in my yard.

    I agree with the cut them when plum but still green.

    My gardener hacks the stalk at the correct time and I find the full stalk by my back door.

    I then hack what I think we can eat off this stalk and bring inside to ripen and leave the rest of the stalk for the gardener and his family.

    With just one lime tree located where I have to pass by it to get from car to house I dutifully pick what ever has fallen to the ground on the way to and from the car. So they ripen and fall.

    I may have to try David’s recipe for a tall adult beverage. Sounds good and good for you… in moderation of course.

    Les, Good advice for everyone on how to enjoy Mexico to it’s fullest. You guys are quick studies.

    Keep up the good work. Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • david writes:
    April 29th, 20108:25 pmat

    hi terry and lu-

    tilly, tally
    tilly, tally

    all i wanna do
    is dilly-dally.

    man, those bananas were heavy!

  • Les writes:
    April 29th, 20107:51 pmat

    Hi Terry,

    I love it, Tilly Tally hat. The whole hat thing is a funny story….it’s getting pretty hot here during the day and he became desperate….the hat in the picture didn’t fit him correcty so he cut the hat band off which stretched the hat and fit his head. He will be looking forward til the Tilly gets here. Oh, and you and Lu too!


  • Terry Oburn writes:
    April 29th, 20107:35 pmat

    Hey Les –

    I see David got a new hat. I thought he was going to wait until I brought him a Tilly hat on our next trip to Ajijic. Then he could Tilly Tally!!

  • Les writes:
    April 29th, 20106:46 pmat

    Lisa, you are the sweetest person around and I do love you. Thanks for the cute comment.


  • Favorite daughter in law writes:
    April 29th, 20106:01 pmat

    I wish I had that much time on my hands LOL!! And I would love to find banana bread at the door. 🙂

  • Les writes:
    April 29th, 20104:05 pmat

    Hi Fred and Karen,

    Fred, – our gardner tells us they must be cut from the tree to ripen and hung somewhere else….I’m not sure where or how. Consequently we have placed them on the box you see in the picture. We’ll see what happens.

    Karen, I’m told there are tarantulas here. I am extremely thankful I haven’t seen one as yet thought I’m also told it is ony a matter of time. A LONG time I hope!


  • Karen writes:
    April 29th, 20103:25 pmat

    Loved the pictures!! Every time I see banana’s I think of tarantula – like in spider. Do you have them there?

  • David writes:
    April 29th, 20103:13 pmat


    the word on the internet is that you cut them off the tree when they are plump, but still green, and let them ripen off the tree. ours are slowly beginning to turn yellow. but, as les will tell you, i’m the guy who grew 7 foot tall tomato plants in dallas last summer, which plants didnt have any tomatos, or even leaves. just 7 feet of stalk. i learned how to do that on the internet too.


  • Fred Schultz writes:
    April 29th, 20103:01 pmat

    Hey, Les, do your reckon that those will ripen nicely? I’ve got a large bunch like that on my tree here in San Juan Cosala, but I wasn’t sure if one lets them ripen on the tree, or after picking the bunch.

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