Harry Chapin (1942-1981) was a folk rock artist and philanthropist in the 1970s and early '80s, and creator of such famous songs as "Cat's in the Cradle" and "Taxi." He was killed in 1981 in a traffic accident while on his way to a free concert he was giving, although he may have already been dead; the autopsy and his driving patterns, which caused the accident, are consistent with him having suffered a heart attack behind the wheel.
Assimilation Academy: "Flowers Are Red" is about a young child being punished for making his flowers all red and the effect this has on him. In it, the kid is forced to sit in a corner until he believes that "Flowers are red, and green leaves are green. There's no need to see flowers any other way than the way they always have been seen."
Audience Participation Song: Live performances of "30,000 Pounds of Bananas" had the audience joining along in the choruses of the song.
Lyrical Dissonance: "30,000 Pounds of Bananas" is a cheerful, up-tempo song and a crowd-pleasing favorite... about a real life fatal truck accident. Originally intended to be serious, until Chapin realized how hard it was to keep a straight face while singing about a man being killed by bananas.
Nonetheless, Chapin always refused to perform the song when playing concerts in Pennsylvania (where the actual accident took place) out of respect for the victim's memory.
Reality Subtext: Harry admitted that he wrote "Cat's in the Cradle", which was based on a poem by his wife, after his son was born while he was out on the road.
Revised Ending: The Greatest Stories Live version of "30,000 Pounds of Bananas" has two:
Yes, we have no bananas We have no bananas today Yes, We have no bananas Bananas in Scranton, P A
A woman walks into her room Where her child lies sleeping And when she sees his eyes are closed, She sits there silently weeping And though she lives in Scranton, Pennsylvania She never, ever eats bananas Not one of thirty thousand pounds of bananas
"Salt and Pepper" averts its namesake trope, although the title is accurate - just differently interpreted. The "Salt" is a retired sailor (i.e. an "old salt") and his wife, "Pepper", is infamous for her hot temper.
Step Up to the Microphone: John Wallace, the bassist in Chapin's backing band, performs the second part of the "Taxi" bridge ("Baby's so high that she's skying...") in a falsetto voice.
Take That: in Harry's introduction of the second ending of "30,000 Pounds of Bananas" above:
Since it was a country song, maybe I could write a country ending - something about motherhood, since the song already had a truck in it...