Music Lesson By Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein and A Boy Named Sue

The Johnny Cash Song quot;A Boy Named Suequot; — TodayIFoundOut The Johnny Cash song “A Boy Named Sue�was written by Shel Silverstein. The song was originally inspired by a friendof Silverstein's, Jean Shepherd (noted writer, actor, radio personality, and humorist, who,among other things, cowrote and narrated the holiday classic The Christmas Story film,partially based on his childhood). Jean had often been teased and picked on as a childfor his somewhat effeminate name and was quoted as saying because of it, “I fistfoughtmy way through every grade in school.� As to why Silverstein picked “Sue�, itis thought that it was after famed attorney

Sue Hicks who was named after his mother whodied from complications due to child birth a few days after giving birth to Hicks.Hicks is most famous for his part in the 1925 Scopes Trial. For those unfamiliar, John T.Scopes was a teacher in Tennessee who broke Tennessee State law by teaching evolutionin his classroom. In any event, at a party in 1969 held at JohnnyCash's home, some of the guests decided to have an impromptu “guitar pull�, whichwas where a group of people pass a guitar around with each person playing and singinga song. Among those in attendance at Johnny Cash'party were Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and,

of course, Shel Silverstein. Mitchell sang“Both Sides Now� and Dylan sang “Lay Lady Lay�. When it was Silverstein's turn,he sang “A Boy Named Sue�. Cash was enamored with the song and so Silversteinwrote the lyrics down for him. Cash' wife, June, told him he should record the song inthe upcoming show he was doing at the San Quentin prison on February 24, 1969.Cash was at first resistant to recording it at the show, as he didn't think he'd havetime to learn it… and, indeed, he didn't, but recorded it anyway. As Cash later said,“I'd only sung it the first time the night before and I read it off as I sang it. I stilldidn't know the words. As a last resort,

I pulled those lyrics out and laid them onthe music stand, and when it came time that I thought I was brave enough, I did the song.�In fact, if you watch the filmed recording of him performing “A Boy Named Sue� duringthat concert, you can see Cash is reading the lyrics as he sings, almost for the entiresong. As he really liked “A Boy Named Sue� andthe inmates had responded well to it, Cash convinced Columbia Records, after cleaningup the lyrics a bit to be more radio friendly, to release the song as a single.Up to this point, Cash had previously seen quite a bit of success, but had never hada record crack the top 10 in the Billboard's

Hot 100 (in fact, Cash still holds the recordfor most consecutive songs that charted on the Top 100 without cracking the top 10 at36 songs). “A Boy Named Sue� changed all that, rocketingto 2 on the Hot 100 list and staying there for 3 weeks. It also hit 1 on the U.S. Billboard'sHot Country Singles. Bonus Facts:• While Shel Silverstein is today best known for his children's poem books such as “Wherethe Sidewalk Ends�, before that he was a noted song writer and longtime writercartoonistfor Playboy magazine (from 1957 through much of the 1970s.) Silverstein got his start asa professional cartoonist when he was drafted

into the army in 1953 and was published inthe Pacific Stars and Stripes. After the war, he got a job as a hot dog seller, primarilyworking Cubs and White Sox games. During this time, he also continued to submit his cartoonsto various magazines and his career blossomed from there.• There is a sequel of sorts to “A Boy Named Sue�, written by Shel Silversteinfrom the perspective of the father of Sue, called “The Father of a Boy Named Sue�.Not to completely spoil the ending, but let's just say the last few verses more reflectSilverstein's adult themed work, rather than his children's poems.

The Giving Tree Bedtime Story BedtimeStoryTV

The Giving Tree A tall, leafy tree stood on a hill, warmed by the sunshine. This tree loved a little boy, and its heart would pound when it heard the patter of his footsteps approaching. Hello Tree! How have you beené Ha ha The boy would always run to the tree right after school and tell it everything that had happened to him that day. Someone hid a frog in the teacher's desk today. It hoped out during our dictation quiz and said “wrebbit!â€� haha and I wrote “wrebbitâ€� in my notebook! Hahaha! Oh, that's very funny. Your teacher must have been very shocked!

The boy liked to hang upside down among the branches and watch the sunset. You know Tree, the sun is so sad when it sets, but it always comes back full of energy every morning. That's beautiful. I never saw it like that you should become a poet. Oh, I don't know that's just what I see. You are always sad too when your leaves fall every winter, but you greet them happily every spring. That's true. I like waiting. However cold and lonely I am in the winter, I always know that the new sprouts will come in the spring. The boy and the tree understood each other's hearts and became best friends

The boy made crowns from the Tree's leaves and napped among its roots. The tree loved him with all its heart. It was happy because it knew it was loved in return. Time drifted by, and soon the boy became a young man. He grew more and more busy and could not come to visit the tree as often as before. Then one day. Oh where have you been all this timeé I've been waiting for you to come. Come and sit among my branches, we will watch the sunset together. I can't, I'm too big now

Your branches would break if I tried. Oh I see. I need some money, but I don't know where to get it. I can't be happy without money, righté I've heard people say that but I don't know if it's true. You know nothing about life Oh, you can pick my fruit and sell it. That would make some money. Oh can Ié

Would that make you happyé Oh It would! Thank you, Tree! The boy gathered the Tree's ripe, delicious fruit and loaded it onto his bicycle. Goodbye Tree! Thank you. I'll see you soon! Bye! But he didn't come again for a long, long time and the tree began to grow lonely. Then one day, he was back. He was all grown up now. The tree rustled its leaves happily to greet him.

I've waited so long for you, and you're back at last! Come swing on my branches. But the boy only shook his head. No, I'm too busy for games now. I have to take care of my wife. We're expecting a baby soon. Wow, you really are all grown up. I am, but I don't even have a house, and I don't know how to raise a family. The tree laid a branch gently on the boy's shoulder and gave him a pat. Here you can have my branches. Build your house with them and be happy.

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