Shel Silverstein is best known for his poetry and children’s books including The Giving Tree and Where The Sidewalk Ends. However, the American writer penned more than 800 songs and released 9 original albums. Though Silverstein never had commercial success as a musician, his songs went on to be made famous by many music legends.
Country music seemed to have benefited the most from Silverstein’s songwriting and below we have listed the Top 5 country songs which were written by Shel Silverstein, and some of them may surprise you!
1. “A Boy Named Sue”, covered by Johnny Cash
Well my daddy left home when I was three
And he didn’t leave much to Ma and me
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze
Now, I don’t blame him ’cause he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me “Sue”
2. “Hey Loretta”, covered by Loretta Lynn
Well goodbye tubs and clothes lines goodbye pots and pans
I’m a gonna take a greyhound bus as further as I can
I ain’t a gonna wash no windows and I ain’t a gonna scrub no floors
And when you realize I’m gone I’m a gonna hear you roar
And you’ll say hey Loretta I love you more than my Irish Setter
Hey Loretta don’t leave me alone
Hey Loretta I swear I’m a gonna treat you better
Buy you brand new overalls if you’ll only come back home
3. “Queen of the Silver Dollar”, covered by Emmylou Harris
She’s the Queen of the Silver Dollar
And she rules this smokey kingdom
And her scepter is a wine glass
And a bar stool is her throne.
And the jesters flock around her
And fight to win her favor
And see which one will take the Queen of the Silver Dollar home.
4. “25 Minutes to Go”, covered by Johnny Cash
Well they’re building a gallows outside my cell I’ve got 25 minutes to go
And the whole town’s waitin’ just to hear me yell I’ve got 24 minutes to go
Well they gave me some beans for my last meal I’ve got 23 minutes to go
But nobody asked me how I feel I’ve got 22 minutes to go
Well I sent for the governor and the whole dern bunch with 21 minutes to go
And I sent for the mayor but he’s out to lunch I’ve got 20 more minutes to go
5. “The Taker”, covered by Waylon Jennings
He’s a giver, he’ll give her the kind
Of attention that she’s never known
He’s a helper, he’ll help her to open
The doors that she can’t on her own.
He’s a lover and he’ll love her in ways
That she’s never been loved before
He’s a getter, he’ll get her by gettin’ her
Into the world she’s been hungerin’ for.