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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

'Sick' by Shel Silverstein


Shel Siverstein was famous for writing songs which tend to have unusual and humourous lyrics. He is best known for the songs he wrote for Dr Hook and The Medicine Show, such as Sylvia's Mother and The Cover of Rolling Stone. He also wrote The Ballad of Lucy Jordan. However it is less well known that he wrote children's poetry and this is a lovely example.
All the song titles link to You Tube for your listening pleasure!

'Sick' by Shel Silverstein (1930-1999)

"I cannot go to school today,"

Said little Peggy Ann McKay,

"I have the measles and the mumps,

A gash, a rash, and purple bumps.

My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,

I'm going blind in my right eye.

My tonsils are as big as rocks,

I've counted sixteen chicken pox

And there's one more--that's seventeen,

And don't you think my face looks green?

My leg is cut, my eyes are blue--

It might be instamatic flu.

I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,

I'm sure that my left leg is broke--

My hip hurts when I move my chin,

My belly button's caving in,

My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,

My 'pendix pains each time it rains.

My nose is cold, my toes are numb,

I have a sliver in my thumb.

My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,

I hardly whisper when I speak.

My tongue is filling up my mouth,

I think my hair is falling out.

My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,

My temperature is one-o-eight.

My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,

There is a hole inside my ear.

I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?

What's that? What's that you say?

You say today is---Saturday?

G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

16 comments:

David said...

Dear bazza,
Proud to be the first to comment for a change.
I like this poem very much, given that it is, perhaps, a reflection of all our experiences of feigning illness when young. I happen to remember doing that quite a lot when I was in my early years!
Also, I did not know that this guy wrote "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan". There was me thinking it was all Marianne Faithful's own work.
Thanks for the enlightenment, bazza.
Keep on keepin' on,
David.

bazza said...

David: The poem reminds me of 'Hello Mudda, Hello Fudda' where a kid is writing a letter home complaining about summer camp and changes his mind at the end when the sun comes out.
Shel Silverstein also wrote plays and sketches.

joanne said...

funny... it's the other way around for me... i'm familiar with his children's poetry and for some reason i didn't know he was a songwriter too. Clicking through to listen!

(Always learning something new here :)

bazza said...

joanne: I am pleased to be able to shine a light on his wider talents. Happy listening!

dcrelief said...

Wow, a walk down memory lane. Oh and I remember, "Hello Mudda, Hello Fudda" very well. Thank you for the laughs and the links!!

bazza said...

dcrelief: Yes, the years have flown by a bit since then but talent is talent and I think his work is uniformly original and amusing.

THE SNEE said...

Like Joanne, I only really know Shel Silverstein as a children's poet. I read his poetry books to my children when they were little. I never knew he was a song lyricist too! I always learn something new when I discover ice. Thanks Bazza!

bazza said...

Snee: Keep taking the (ice) cubes! Pity Shel isn't around to be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Sir Tom Eagerly, says:
As you may have guessed Bazza, most of the poetry Sir Tom knows is not fit for polite society.
For example:
I like this saying
I think it’s clever
It’s better to copulate
Than never.

Polite society doesn't have much time for me these days I'm afraid. Their loss, what!

bazza said...

Sir Tom: That little poem is actually quite clever. Therefore I presume it's not by your fair hand? In case it went over anyone's head "copulate than never" is a play on "...too late than never".

Sunny said...

Hiya!! Thanks for the comment on my blog, "SUNNY SEZ"....The Blog font is called Cherry Creme Soda. My hubby did the graphics in the title and Header for me. He's awesome like that........
Have a Great Weekend!!!

bazza said...

Hi Sunny: Sorry for the belated reply (problems logging in!).
Thanks for the info. I am going to try finding a new typeface but I might have to refer to Mr Sunny!
Thanks for looking in.

klahanie said...

Hello bazza,
Ah yes, I've been informed that he was a cartoonist for that intellectual and thought provoking magazine, 'Playboy'. Is that true, old chap?

bazza said...

Hi Gary: I didn't know about that but I just checked and, yes you're correct. In fact he contributed articles, poems and drawings to Playboy over a 40 year period!

Kelly said...

That was a crazy, funny poem.

bazza said...

Hi Kezza. It sure is but so are a lot of his song lyrics!