Johnny Cash and Bobby Bare cover Shel Silverstein [Under the Covers]

by oz on June 14, 2011

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

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick Fryer June 14, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I’m partial to “Freakin’ At The freaker’s Ball” 🙂

Wendell June 15, 2011 at 10:13 am

This is a great compilation CD of Shel Covers.

1. Lullabys, Legends and Lies (My Morning Jacket)
2. The Twistable, Turnable Man Returns (Andrew Bird)
3. This Guitar Is For Sale (John Prine)
4. The Unicorn (Dr. Dog)
5. The Winner (Kris Kristofferson)
6. Queen of the Silver Dollar (Sarah Jarosz with Black Prairie)
7. Daddy What If (Bobby Bare, Jr. with Isabella Bare)
8. The Cover of the Rolling Stone (Black Francis with Joey Santiago)
9. Sylvia’s Mother (The Boxmasters)
10. Me and Jimmie Rodgers (Ray Price)
11. A Boy Named Sue (Todd Snider)
12. The Ballad of Lucy Jordan (Lucinda Williams)
13. The Living Legend (Bobby Bare)
14. The Giving Tree (Nanci Griffith)
15. 26 Second Song (My Morning Jacket)

Wendell June 15, 2011 at 10:14 am

and as a guy who is about to have his first daughter the version of Daddy What If with Bobby Jr and his daughter is like instant water fountain.

Dr. Lee July 7, 2011 at 12:38 am

One of the biggest hits Bobby Bare has, reaching No.1 in country chart, which Shel Silvestern wrote is “Maria Laveau” from his very popular album of songs all written by Shel Silvestein “Lallaby, Legends & Lies”..

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