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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Today is a perfect storm of celebrations

Not only is today the 11th day of National Poetry Month, I just found out it's also National 8-Track Day! How do these two celebrations perfectly intertwine with one another? In the memory of my favorite 8-track as a child, combined with the swath of stormy weather plaguing the Midwest over the last day or two.

When I was a kid, I absolutely loved the Irish Rovers' album The Unicorn. I still do, actually... Not the 8-track so much, but I do have it stashed in a box somewhere still because of its sentimental value; never mind that I have copies on vinyl and CD as well. It endures to this day as one of my all-time favorite feel-good albums.

The title track from that album was the only chart hit for the group here in the U.S. (possibly abroad too, though I can't corroborate that). It was penned by the famous comedic poet, Mr. Shel Silverstein. Bear with me, I'm going to tie the perfect storm up in a nice little bow now.

If you are unfamiliar with the lyrics, they happen to be the story of the unicorn's extinction. See, they missed out on Noah's ark ride because they were too busy playing in the rain. Aaaand there's our tie in. It's been raining quite a lot lately, and we have flood warnings and all out here by the Illinois River. Bam!

Anyway, to honor both National Poetry Month and National 8-Track Day, I present to you the lyrics of that classic Irish Rovers tune, "The Unicorn."

THE UNICORN
by Shel Silverstein

A long time ago, when the earth was green
There was more kinds of animals than you've ever seen,

They'd run around free while the earth was bein' born,
And the loveliest of all was the unicorn.

 
There were green alligators and long-neck geese.
Some humpty-back camels and some chimpanzees.
Some catsandratsandelephants, but sure as you're born
The loveliest of all was the unicorn.


Now God seen some sinnin', and it gave him pain.
He said, "Stand back, I'm goin' to make it rain."
He said, "Hey Brother Noah, I'll tell ya what ta do.
Build me a floatin' zoo."


"And take some of them green alligators and long-neck geese,
Some humpty-back camels and some chimpanzees.
Some catsandratsandelephants, but sure as you're born
Don't you forget my unicorn."


Now Noah was there, he answered the call
And finished up making the ark just as the rain started to fall.

He marched in the animals two by two,
And he called out as they went through,


"Hey Lord, I got your green alligators and long-neck geese,
Some humpty-back camels and some chimpanzees.
Some catsandratsandelephants -- but Lord, I'm so forlorn
I just don't see no unicorn."


Ol' Noah looked out through the drivin' rain
Them unicorns were hidin', playin' silly games.
They were kickin' and splashin' as the rain was pourin'.
Oh them silly unicorns.


There were green alligators and long-neck geese,
Some humpty-back camels and some chimpanzees.
Noah cried, "Close the door 'cause the rain is pourin'--
And we just can't wait for no unicorns."


The ark started movin', and it drifted with the tide,
And the unicorns looked up from the rock and they cried.
And the water come up and sort of floated them away--
That's why you've never seen a unicorn to this very day.


You'll see green alligators and long-neck geese.
Some humpty-back camels and some chimpanzees.
Some catsandratsandelephants, but sure as you're born

You're never gonna see no unicorn