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Yes! We Have No Bananas

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Frank Silver

Frank Silver (arr. Eric Osterling)

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General Info

Year: 1922
Difficulty: II (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $35.00


Full Score
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F
Percussion I-II

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Yes! We Have No Bananas is a novelty song by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn from the 1922 Broadway revue Make It Snappy. Sung by Eddie Cantor in the revue, the song became a major hit in 1923.

The song is usually attributed to a banana shortage caused by blight in Brazil. But the town of Lynbrook on Long Island, New York, claims the songwriters composed it there and that the catchphrase, "Yes! We have no bananas", was coined by Jimmy Costas, a local Greek American greengrocer. However, a 1923 article in the Chicago Tribune states that the phrase originated in Chicago in 1920. Cartoonist Thomas A. Dorgan (1877–1929) is also credited with inventing and/or popularizing the phrase.

The song was the theme of the outdoor relief protests in Belfast in 1932. These were a unique example of Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland protesting together, and the song was used because it was one of the few non-sectarian songs that both communities knew. The song lent its title to a book about the depression in Belfast.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

Musicologist Sigmund Spaeth has pointed out that its melody is a combination of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean, I Dreamed I had Dwelt in Marble Halls and An Old-Fashioned Garden.

- Program Note from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Kearsage Community Band (New London, N.H.) (Aarne Vesilind, conductor) – 1 May 2016

Works for Winds by This Composer