THE 1000 BEST SONGS IN THE WORLD EVER.
242-Shel Silverstein-25 Minutes to Go.
1962-Has never been released as a single in the UK.
Best Bit-At 0.20. If your looking for a happy ending I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong song.
Sheldon Allan Silverstein was born on September 25th, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois, United States, he died on May 10th, 1999, of a heart attack at the age of 68. Silverstein had many strings to his bow, including being a celebrated songwriter, author, cartoonist, poet, and playwright. Possibly because of his success in other fields, his songwriting talent may have gone under the radar. He has had 18 official Albums released between 1959-2010, and many of his songs have appeared in films and television programmes. He also wrote all of the songs for the first two studio Albums recorded by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show in 1971 and 1972, which include the major hits ‘Sylvia’s Mother’ (UK Number 2) and ‘The Cover of the Rolling Stone,’ (Billboard Number 6) he also wrote many more songs for that band through the course of their career. Silverstein though will always (musically) be best remembered for writing ‘A Boy Named Sue,’ which would become a major hit for Johnny Cash (see also best songs 857-428 and 199) when reaching Number 4 in the UK, and Number 2 on Billboard in America in 1969.
’25 Minutes to Go’ should be filed under the genre of Country Music, it was written by Shel Silverstein for his second studio Album ‘Inside Folk Songs’ released in 1962. The song is about a prisoner awaiting execution by hanging. Each verse consists of two lines of which the first is humorous or poignant, and the second line is a minute by minute countdown to his death, you could say it is ‘Gallows Humour’ in it’s purest form. ’25 Minutes to Go’ was notably covered by Johnny Cash (1932-2003) on his 1965 Album ‘Sings the Ballads of the True West,’ and also on his 1968 live Album,’At Folsom Prison,’ which I would imagine sent a shiver up and down the spine of one or two of the inmates. Other notable artists to record the song include a 2011 live version by Lou Reed (1942-2013) (see also best songs 401-165-131 and 58) with the Canadian singer Emily Haines, for a concert to celebrate the life and music of Shel Silverstein called ‘Shelebration!’ The American Grunge/Rock band Pearl Jam (see also best songs 458) also recorded a live version in 2004 which appears on their Album ‘Live at Benaroya Hall.’
‘With my feet on the trap, and my head on the noose, 5 more minutes to go. Won’t somebody come and cut me loose, 7 more minutes to go. I can see the mountains, I can see the skies,with 3 more minutes to go, and it’s too dern pretty for a man that don’t want to die, with 2 more minutes to go. I can see the buzzards, I can hear the crows, 1 more minute to go, and now I’m swinging, and here I go-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!’