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Lime in the Coconut

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‘Coconut’ came out on the 1972 Nilsson Schmilsson album and the song charted #8 in the US, but it only reached #42 in the UK.  Harry Nilsson had the Hookfoot musicians Caleb Quaye and Ian Duck play electric and acoustic guitar on the track, respectively.  Herbie Flowers was on bass guitar, while Jim Gordon contributed with percussion.  Nilsson sang with contrasting voices for the characters of the narrator, the girl, and for the doctor he used a Jamaican accent.  Harry had the ability to take a simple song that is about nothing of any consequence and make it fun for his listeners.  Utilizing an ordinary, simple premise this song became very popular.

A guy buys a coconut for a dime, then his sister uses her coconut to buy a lime.  She mixes the two together, drinks it and gets nauseous.  Experiencing tummy trouble after drinking a concoction of lime and coconut, she calls her doctor in the middle of the night and wakes him up wanting to know what she can take for her bellyache.  He seems to be exasperated and he suggests that she take a little of the hair of the dog that bit her.  He tells her to mix the same two items together again and drink.  She whines & complains so much that he finally tells her to call him back in the morning and then he will let her know what she can do.  This woman who is suffering in pain, gets no real help from the doctor as he prescribes the exact same treatment that made her sick in the first place, putting a lime in a coconut and drinking it.

Lime in a coconut

Harry Nilsson wrote the word “coconut” on a matchbook, while he was on a vacation in Hawaii, figuring the word might be made into a song.  When he returned home to Los Angeles, he found the matchbook and while he was driving down the freeway and wrote this song in his car.  To his surprise, this became a hit single.  According to the FedEx executive Chuck Noland, the Tom Hank’s character on Castaway, coconut milk causes diarrhea, something that I never learned from watching Gilligan’s Island, so maybe the doctor was being vindictive, because she woke him up.  Lime is acidic and if it is mixed with coconut milk, it will curdle and sour in your stomach.  Nilsson was close with John Lennon, Ringo Starr, The Monkees, and various other mainstream musicians of the ‘60s and ‘70s, but he never became the household name like his contemporaries did.

Brother bought a coconut, he bought it for a dime
His sister had another one she paid it for the lime
She put the lime in the coconut, she drank ‘em bot’ up
She put the lime in the coconut, she drank ‘em bot’ up
She put the lime in the coconut, she drank ‘em bot’ up
She put the lime in the coconut, she call the doctor, woke ‘I’m up
And said “doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said “doctor, to relieve this belly ache”
I said “doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said “doctor, to relieve this belly ache”
Now lemme get this straight
You put the lime in the coconut, you drank ‘em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut, you drank ‘em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut, you drank ‘em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut, you call your doctor, woke em up
Said “doctor, ain’t there nothing’ I can take?”
I said, “doctor, to relieve this belly ache”
I said “doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said, “doctor, to relieve this belly ache”
You put the lime in the coconut, you drink ‘em bot’ together
Put the lime in the coconut and you’ll feel better
Put the lime in the coconut, drink ‘em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut and call me in the morning”
Woo-oo-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh
Woo-oo-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh
Woo-oo-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh
Brother bought a coconut, he bought it for a dime
His sister had another one she paid it for a lime
She put the lime in the coconut, she drank ‘em bot’ up
She put the lime in the coconut, she called the doctor, woke em up
And said, “doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said, “doctor, to relieve this belly ache”
I said “doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said, “doctor, now lemme get this straight
You put the lime in the coconut, you drink ‘em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut, you drink ‘em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut, you drink ‘em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut, you’re such a silly woman
Put a lime in the coconut and drink ‘em bot’ together
Put the lime in the coconut, then you’ll feel better
Put the lime in the coconut, drink ‘em both down
Put the lime in your coconut, and call me in the morning
Woo, ain’t there nothin’ you can take?
I say, woo, to relieve your belly ache”
You say, well woo, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?
I say woo, woo, to relieve your belly ache
You say ya, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?
I say wow, to relieve this belly ache
I said “doctor, ain’t there nothing I can take?”
I said, “doctor, ain’t there nothing I can take?”
I said, “doctor, ain’t there nothing I can take?”
I said, “doctor you’re such a silly woman”
Put the lime in the coconut and drink ‘em both together
Put the lime in the coconut, and you’ll feel better
Put the lime in the coconut, drink ‘em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut and call me in the morning
Yes, you call me in the morning, you call me in the morning
I’ll tell you what to do if you call me in the morning
I’ll tell you what to do if you call me in the morning
I’ll tell you what to do if you call me in the morning
I’ll tell you what to do and if you call me in the morning
I’ll tell you what to do

The challenge today is to focus on this song and use it for inspiration in any form of creative expression (including but not limited to short stories, a piece of flash fiction, poems, lyrics, artwork, photography, (etc.) that you can share with the writing community.  Alternatively, if you are a musician, and you have played this song solo or in a group, it would be awesome if you could post a video to showcase your own work.  You could write about how you learned to play the chords or how you learned the lyrics. There is no need to stick with this song, as if you like to write about another Harry Nilsson, or a Hookfoot song, or a song that Caleb Quaye, Ian Duck, Herbie Flowers or Jim Gordon plays on, that would work.  You might also go with a song that is about a doctor or about being in a tropical paradise and sipping cool drinks.

The whole point of this MM Music challenge is to get you to think, to trigger something so that you can show how creative you are and everyone is welcome to participate.  This challenge is very loose, so pretty much whatever you come up with will be acceptable.  I try to throw some ideas out there for you and if they seem right, then go with it.  Last time when I wrote about an Allman Brothers song from the Eat A Peach album, I said that you could write about your favorite fruit and that would also work for today.  If you were ever feeling really bad from something that you ate, I am sure that would make an interesting story for you to write about.

Dylan Hughes has next Friday, December 6 with her First Line Friday and then I will be back on Friday, December 13 with another MM Music Challenge where we will discuss the song ‘New York Minute’.  When you are finished writing your post, create a ping back to this post, but you can also place your link in the comments section below if you desire. This Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge has a special feature called Mr. Linky, which will allow you to instantly link your post after you click the Mr. Linky Button, and then follow the directions that are given.

About newepicauthor

My About Me section is meant to provide my readers with an honest picture of myself that gives a little bit of background information on who I am and I will wrap this up with a catchy image. I am a story teller and I like to use my imagination. I am interested in many things, but a few of my favorites are watching the NFL and playing golf. I do not like onions and I always make sure that my food does not contain any. I had two wonderful parents, my dad Herb Adams was a television repairman and my mother Mary Adams was mostly a stay at home mom. They are both deceased now and I miss them. I am a retired Electrical Engineer specialized in control systems. I held many different positions because I worked mostly as a consultant. I did work as a Substitute Teacher, for a while, but the kids were awful. I am happiest when I am writing, as this gives my life has a purpose. Forming a sentence with meaningful words that articulate my inner feelings is an everyday quest for me. Every writer needs to tell their story, and all writers have their own style. All stories starts off with characters, who are able to entertain the reader. Creating realistic lovable characters is the best way to tell a story. If you are able to develop characters that become real to you, then you will know exactly what they will do say and do next and this lets your story progress to the completion. Writing changes everything and having the calling to create something new through the power of words is much more than just making marks on a page. Once written, a book can be used by many people to learn and be entertained. The act of writing can be compared to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as it contains an inherent fuzziness, because various people may derive different meanings from reading the same words. You can never know the true nature of written words and the best I can do is hope is that people will understand the meanings that I am trying to convey. There are no clear-cut laws on how to write and it is impossible for me to determine how my readers react to my books.

7 comments on “Lime in the Coconut

  1. Pingback: If You Have Half A Brain – A Unique Title For Me

  2. pensitivity101
    November 29, 2019

    I believe they used this in Practical Magic as they danced round the table drinking margaritas.

  3. Pingback: MLMM Music Challenge – The Bag Lady

  4. eschudel
    November 29, 2019

    I have no idea why I love this song, but I do!

  5. Pingback: #MM Music Challenge — Climbed a Tower, Lost a Shoe – Tao Talk

    • newepicauthor
      November 29, 2019

      That was a wonderful analogy. Thanks for joining in again Li.

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This entry was posted on November 29, 2019 by in Uncategorized.
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