Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Bit of Personal Whimsy: Why on Earth Do We Dream What We Do?

       Last night I had a really goofy dream -- goofy enough for me to want to share it and possibly make you chuckle.

       It seemed there was a new TV station starting up and they were building a news team.  (I presume this is from my having watched so much wildfire coverage lately.)  I had been hired as a news anchor.  Unfortunately, they signed me to do sports (a subject I know nothing about; the only sport I follow is ice hockey).  But I must have needed a job because I took the assignment. 
       But the other strange thing was that all the anchors had to top off their reports by singing a song. (?)  When my turn came, I sang "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts."  Is anybody here old enough to remember that song?  Here is what the Wikipedia article says about it:

" '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, an English songwriter and published by Box & Cox Publications (ASCAP). In 1949, it was a top-ten hit in the U.S. for Freddy Martin And His Orchestra with vocalist Merv Griffin and sold over three million copies.  The following year, it was a number-25 hit for Danny Kaye. It celebrates the coconut shy (coconut toss) at funfairs."

       When I was in the 4th or 5th grade (about 1950), I learned to play a little on the ukelele and I just loved that song and learned to sing it and accompany myself on the ukelele.  I would mimic Merv Griffin's rather phony British accent fairly well, I do think.  I did it once at school for show-and-tell.  Obviously I was a lot less inhibited as a child than I became later! 
       As a child, I didn't really understand what was going on in the song, although I got the sense that it was some kind of game at a fair.  In fact, I only just now learned from Wikipedia that the coconuts were not the thing that was being thrown, but the prize you were throwing balls at (see the article Coconut Shy in Wikipedia.) You're never too old to learn something new!
       I'm sure that ancient memory of singing that song as a child was why I picked it to sing in my goofy dream!

      Here is a link to the Merv Griffin version.  Enjoy!


  1. We came back from my son's school summer fair last weekend with a couple of coconuts he won on the coconut shy! I do know that bunch of coconuts song too, but I can never think of that song without remembering some comedy show I saw as a child when there was some rather buxom young lady singing it with everyone sniggering at the smuttiness.

    That's a very funny dream, (particularly in view of what I associate that song with!). It's so strange how our dreams piece together these seemingly random things into some sort of story. Sometimes we can tell where one part came from, like the news coverage thing in yours, but other parts seem to come from nowhere.

    I had a dream last week that puzzled me - I dreamed that I had gone to a friend's house, she gave a me a drink, but I accidentally broke the glass. She then brought me another drink, and I broke that glass too. It happened about 5 or 6 times, but what was strange was that each glass she brought me was clearly more valuable and more elaborate than the previous one. The first was a very plain cheap glass, by the last one it was crystal, embedded with ornate coloured glass flowers, and sparkling like diamonds. Yep, I broke that one too.

    I'm known in my house for being a bit clumsy - we have a hard tiled kitchen floor and the smash of a breaking glass on there is not an uncommon sound! For that reason I only ever buy cheap glasses! So I can understand how glass breaking came into the dream, but I have no idea where the increasing elaborateness came from!

    By the way, I'm sorry it's taking me a long time to get to reading Termite Queen. I haven't done as much reading lately as I would like. I should be able to start it next week though - I'll definitely let you know how I get on with it.

  2. I was hoping you'd read this post, Vanessa, since it has a British connection! So coconuts are still the prizes - I'm a little surprised! And the word "shy" is interesting - that definitely a Briticism for "throw" or "toss" - I've never heard it used that way in the USA.
    I can imagine how that song could be made smutty, now that you mention it. If you watched the video, you can see that Merv Griffin's rendition is very innocent, and I imagine Danny Kaye's is rated G, also! Maybe it was Danny Kaye's version that I heard as a child - he was one of my favorite comedians and comic actors when I was growing up. Anyway, I loved the song because I loved imitating the British accent and it IS a bouncy tune and very singable!
    I'll be looking forward to your reading TQ. Vanessa, encourage Neil to read some of my books, will you? He is so crazy about The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars (very flattering, I find it!) that maybe he will like some of the published ones. Put him onto "Monster" for starters.

  3. I love thinking back to that era, Lorinda. And I appreciate learning what "shy" meant. Keep posting.
    Carole Mertz

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Carole! Yes, "shy" is definitely not American usage. And I do plan to keep posting, although not every day!

  4. Charming post, Lorinda. And funny ("I've got a lovely bunch of Coconuts"!). The YouTube video is a hoot! My dreams tend toward bicycles, tsunamis, and driving automobiles in reverse at high speed. Who knows where this stuff comes from. Enjoyed this piece very much.

    1. Well, I'm not sure I'd want to take on a psychoanalysis of YOUR dreams, Jack! LOL! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I don't see a "Like" icon I missing it? I enjoyed reading your blog alot! I will spare you the stories of my craziness at night when I'm asleep! I'm already looking forward to reading more of you! Take care and sweet dreams! xoJulia

    1. I've never been able to figure out how to get one of those "like" buttons on Blogger - it isn't in the Gadgets list. But you can go to the top of the blog and click on the Google+ like button. I'll check out your blog, too. Thanks for stopping by, Julia!