I have very fond memories of Shel Silverstein in my early years. I remember my parents reading me poems from Where The Sidewalk Ends and A Light In The Attic before I could read and I recall pouring over these pages as I learned to read. Some of my earliest memories.
What many don’t know is that, in addition to a poet and children’s book author, this Renaissance Man named Shel Silverstein was a composer, illustrator, and singer-songwriter. It’s been awhile since we’ve done an “Under the Covers” on HearYa, but Silverstein has been in my mind for weeks as I read bedtime stories to my three year old.
You may not know that Shel is the songwriter behind the Grammy winning “A Boy Named Sue” or another of Cash’s well known songs, “25 Minutes To Go.” He also wrote “The Cover Of The Rolling Stone” and other songs made famous by Dr. Hook. Bobby Bare performed several of Shel’s songs including “Daddy What If,” performed as a touching duo with his son, Bobby Bare Jr (seen below).
Where the Sidewalk Ends
from the book “Where the Sidewalk Ends” (1974)
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
and before the street begins,
and there the grass grows soft and white,
and there the sun burns crimson bright,
and there the moon-bird rests from his flight
to cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
and the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
we shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow
and watch where the chalk-white arrows go
to the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
and we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
for the children, they mark, and the children, they know,
the place where the sidewalk ends.
Shel Silverstein (September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999)
Johnny Cash – A Boy Named Sue w/ Shel Silverstein
Bobby Bare & Bobby Bare Jr. – Daddy What If