Coconuts Lying in the Road

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“I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts” is a novelty song composed in 1944 (as “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Cocoanuts”) by Fred Heatherton, a songwriting pseudonym for a collaboration of English songwriters Harold Elton Box, Desmond Cox and Lewis Ilda.[1] The song was published by Box and Cox Publications (ASCAP).

The song celebrates the coconut shy (coconut toss) at funfairs, and the catchy chorus is the call of the showman “standing underneath the flare” (of gaslight), inviting the public to “Roll up, bowl a ball, a penny a pitch.” (In American editions, the line is rendered instead as, “Roll or bowl a ball, a penny a pitch.”[2]) The ball is tossed or bowled (as in cricket) or pitched at the coconuts, with the object of knocking one off its stand.