Monday, August 01, 2005

Harry Chapin's Song "30,000 Pounds of Bananas" (1974)

On March 18, 1965, on Moosic Street in Scranton, a tractor-trailer carrying 15 tons of bananas bound for the A&P lost control in rush hour traffic, hitting cars, houses, and wire poles before crashing into a home. The driver, Eugene P. Sesky (35), was killed and over 15 people were injured.

In 1974, singer/songwriter Harry Chapin (also famous for his classic song Cat's in the Cradle, who would himself die in a crash in 1981) immortalized both the tragic events of 1965 and the city of Scranton in his song 30,000 Pound of Bananas.

The lyrics to the song are on Harry Chapin's website. The song was originally released on Chapin's 1974 album Verities & Balderdash and was subsequently released on most of his live CDs thereafter (it appears to have been a favorite of Chapin's to perform in concert).

Our Local History collection in the Reference Department includes a newspaper clippings file on 30,000 Pounds of Bananas, including photocopies of the original Scranton newspaper articles from the crash in 1965. These articles can also be reproduced from the microfilm of the Scranton newspapers.

30,000 Pounds of Bananas is available on two CD titles from the Lackawanna County Library System--Essentials by Harry Chapin and a 4-disc box set by Chapin. Click on either link to place a hold.

Thank you, Judi K., the keeper of the LHVFs.


Andrew said...

Scranton has been mentioned in several episodes of the Sopranos.

Kayne said...

that would be bc many gangsters used the scranton area to hide out... it was close to new york... and in the woods... lulz