Welcome to another edition of Rich Karski’s A SONG I HEARD TODAY: the only online music review column that endorsed Ted Cruz for President because I thought he was the same person as Terry Crewes.
I spent a lot of hours working late this week because it’s a very busy time for us and I had to put in overtime so people didn’t think I was completely useless (I am.) While I was working like a goddamned fucking dog. (Dogs don’t really work. That’s a bad simile unless you’re talking about sled dogs or seeing eye dogs but that’s like .5% of dogs at most.) I kept trying to think of a genre I could pick for this week. I was considering rap but that idea was nixed when I realized I didn’t want to type the n-word a lot of times and I didn’t want to do an Eminem song because it would take me days to go over all the stupid awful shit he says in like 25% of one damn song.
I had quite the conundrum on my hands. Here I am, working my dang ass off like an assless chump with no ass to speak of, and I can’t even think of a genre that would be appropriate for this weeks column. That’s when I realized my idea was staring me right in the face. How many songs are there about working for the man, and being sick of working for the man, and wishing that instead of working for the man you were off doing something probably rock and roll related like riding a motorcycle or banging on a motherfucking drum all day? The “fuck work this shit is garbage” genre (copyright Rich Karski Industries™) was it.
Okay, so I picked a genre that has probably a million songs in it because musicians hate working even though they probably never had real jobs. They just know that the suckers that listen to them have real jobs and can fucking RELATE MAAAAAN. That’s why Bruce Springsteen sings about coal mines and dirty buildings even though he had a record contract at 17 years old and has been a millionaire since not long after that.
I decided to go with my favorite “I hate this fucking idiot job” song of all-time. That song is Harry Belafonte- “Banana Boat Song (Day-O)” so let’s jump into this like a banana would jump into a boat if they had legs capable of getting them in there (note: do not talk about bananas with legs because then you’ll start having those nightmares again.)
First, as usual, we will talk about the artist. Harry Belafonte is a mad genius who turned Calypso music into a thing that Alec Baldwin liked a lot in the movie Beetlejuice which made a lot of people like it as well because scary ghosts have very good taste. On top of being a musical genius Harry Belafonte is also a very well-respected political activist who can be seen on many high profile talk shows and giving speeches for Presidents and foreign diplomats. Let’s listen to him sing a song about bananas!
Upon first listen it’s pretty much a song about having to pick bananas all night and hating it which I can relate to because even the smell of bananas makes me sick. People who eat bananas are basically people who think garbage is an acceptable thing to eat because they like the taste of garbage. If you’re a banana eater and you’re offended I don’t care because it’s a trash fruit and your taste is bad and you shouldn’t raise children because bananas are probably what causes autism. I never ate bananas and I’m not autistic so there you go.
The song starts out with him saying “day-o” a bunch of times in a very sad way that makes you concerned for his well-being since having the banana job and waiting for the daylight to come seems like a very sad existence. He just wants to go home, man. Once the bananas are picked he just wants to go home to his island wife and have some dirty island sex. We’ve all been there. How much worse can it get for this poor guy?
Work all night and I drink a-rum
Whoa. Hold on a second. You get to drink rum all night? This is immediately better than my job. If I could sit in the office all day getting shitfaced then maybe I wouldn’t be such a lousy employee (I would be a much lousier employee.) You’re not doing a good job of generating sympathy anymore Hank. This job better get a lot worse real quick.
Stack banana till the morning come
Okay so you have to put bananas in a big pile. But you’re still drunk, right? Like maybe bananas are heavy, but when I’m drunk I feel like I could lift a car off of a child or maybe lift a car and put it on top of a child if the child is shitty or loud. Just drink some more rum and you’ll start telling every motherfucker in shouting distance that you’ll stack bananas higher than any other banana stacker and you will fight anybody who tells you otherwise. Then you throw up, stack some more frigging bananas, and get back to drinking on the job. Do I have to draw you some kind of drunk banana map? Jesus. The only hard part is going to be counting all of those bananas after you’ve been tying one on all night…
Come mister tally man, tally me banana
Wait, you don’t even have to count your own fucking bananas? Are you kidding me? And you don’t have to wait for that asshole to get around to you? You just call him over and say “hey shithead, count my fucking bananas, I’m gonna arm-wrestle this guy in the puddle who looks like me.” I bet he stands there and yells out random numbers while the tally man tries to count and the tally man keeps losing count and can’t do shit about it. Why didn’t the tally man write this song? “All fucking night I need to count bananas for drunk idiots who throw shit at me and call me ‘maricon’ and I have to sit there and take it because my degree in 17th Century European Literature from Vassar is fucking useless.”
Lift six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch
Oh sure, the banana stacks get very tall. That must be a nightmare for you, having to throw bananas on top of a stack that keeps getting higher and higher like you don’t understand how stacks work. Here’s a stack lesson for you: when you throw bananas on top of more bananas, that shit gets higher. I know physics is hard but this would probably take one night to learn if you weren’t housed on Bacardi.
A beautiful bunch, of ripe banana
Bananas aren’t beautiful you monster.
Hide the deadly, black tarantula
Oh okay. This is the point that Harry realizes that what he’s describing doesn’t sound like such a shitty gig after all. “Okay, sure, I get to drink rum and my only responsibility is to throw bananas on top of other bananas, but listen guys… sometimes there are spiders!” Know where else there are spiders? Every fucking where. We eat eight of those motherfuckers in our sleep every year, and I’m supposed to be scared for you because one might be hiding in your damn bananas?
Also, I Googled that shit and tarantulas aren’t even deadly. They’re mildly irritating, like your attitude towards what seems like a dream job. Nut up and throw the tarantula on the ground. According to some website that I’m not going to credit, “even a fall from a short height could cause a deadly rupture in the tarantula’s abdomen.” Stacking the fucking spider on top of all of those bananas is infinitely more likely to kill the spider than it would be fatal to you if you ate the fucking thing and it bit you all the way through your digestive tract. So shut your mouth and eat the fucking spider.
Day-O, me say Day-O…
OKAY! We get it. You want to go home. You’re drunk. Eat some bananas or spiders and sober up for Chrissakes. You want to be able to perform for your sex-crazed island wife.