Book: Shel Silverstein «Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook»

Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook

Runny Babbit lent to wunch And heard the saitress way, "We have some lovely stabbit rew - Our Special for today" . Welcome to the world of Runny Babbit and his friends Toe Jurtle, Skertie Gunk, Rirty Dat, Dungry Hog, Snerry Jake, and many others who speak a topsy-turvy language all their own. It's filled with the most amazing adventures and tongue-twisting rhymes imaginable. And, what's more, Shel Silverstein wrote this yook especially for bou.

Издательство: "Particular Books" (2011)

Формат: 175x225, 90 стр.

ISBN: 978-1-846-14386-1

Купить за 1248 руб на Озоне

Shel Silverstein

Infobox Writer
name = Shel Silverstein

caption =
birthdate = birth date|1930|9|25|mf=y
birthplace = Chicago, Illinois
deathdate = death date and age|1999|5|10|1930|9|25
deathplace = Key West, Florida
occupation = Author
Short story writer
nationality = American
genre = Children's fiction
Black comedy
movement =
notableworks = "Where the Sidewalk Ends"

Sheldon Alan "Shel" Silverstein (September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999) was an American poet, songwriter, musician, composer, cartoonist, screenwriter and author of children's books. He sometimes styled himself as Uncle Shelby especially for his early children's books.

Silverstein confirmed he never studied the poetry of others, and therefore developed his own style: laid-back and conversational, occasionally employing profanity, and slang.


He is most commonly known for writing and illustrating his children's literature including "The Missing Piece", "A Light In The Attic", "(his first book)," "Where the Sidewalk Ends", "Falling Up", "The Giving Tree", "A Giraffe and a Half", and "The Missing Piece Meets the Big O". For adults he wrote "Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book", a satirical mock children's book, and created "Different Dances", a coffee table book of wordless, adult-themed cartoons. He continued to write colloquial poetry on occasion throughout his life, including a beatnik-hipster version of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" in Playboy magazine in 1998. He also co-wrote the screenplay "Things Change" with David Mamet.

In 2005, "", was published posthumously. As the title suggests, every poem and illustration in the book consists of spoonerisms. In an NPR interview, Mitch Myers, Shel Silverstein's nephew, who wrote the liner notes for a "Best of Shel Silverstein" CD and helped compile the new collection of poems, said, "I think he wasn't sure about how it would be received. It is and was very different. And it's not easy, even for adults to read. I think, actually, younger children have a better time at it because they're not so preconceived in their notions of how words work. And the playfulness of it really comes across." Silverstein said "I did not have any inspirations, my talent formed, because that was what I loved to do....(and forever will)", "Many kids should know their talents form in their heart and soul."


Silverstein's work did not include writing for children when he first began his career, but his editor Ursula Nordstrom encouraged Silverstein to write children's poetry. After having used his clever, silly ideas in his first book, Silverstein decided that he enjoyed the product and wanted to do it again.

A blurb by Otto Penzler from his crime anthology "Murder for Revenge" (1998) states:

"The phrase "Renaissance man" tends to get overused these days, but apply it to Shel Silverstein and it practically begins to seem inadequate. Not only has he produced with seeming ease country music hits and popular songs, but he's been equally successful at turning his hand to poetry, short stories, plays, and children's books. Moreover, his whimsically hip fables, beloved by readers of all ages, have made him a stalwart of bestseller lists. "A Light in the Attic," most remarkably, showed the kind of staying power on the "New York Times" chart—two years, to be precise—that most of the biggest names (John Grisham, Stephen King, and Michael Crichton) have never equaled for their own blockbusters.

And there's still more: his unmistakable illustrative style is another crucial element to his appeal. Just as no writer sounds like Shel, no other artist's vision is as delightfully, sophisticatingly cockeyed.

One can only marvel that he makes the time to respond so kindly to his friends' requests. In the following work, let's be glad he did. Drawing on his characteristic passion for list making, he shows how the deed is not just in the wish but in the sublimation."

This anthology was the second in a series, which also included "Murder for Love" (1996) and "Murder and Obsession" (1999). All three anthologies included contributions by Shel Silverstein.

As a songwriter

Silverstein's passion for music was clear early on as he studied briefly at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. As a songwriter, Silverstein tended to shun publicity and even photographers. Nonetheless, his musical output included many songs which were hits for other artists.

Most notably, he wrote the music and lyrics for "A Boy Named Sue" that was performed by Johnny Cash (for which Silverstein won a Grammy in 1970), "One's on the Way" (which was a hit for Loretta Lynn), and "The Unicorn", which, despite having nothing to do with Ireland nor Irish culture, became the signature piece for The Irish Rovers in 1968 and is popular in Irish pubs all over the world to this day. Another Silverstein song recorded by Cash is "25 Minutes to Go", sung from the point of view of a man facing his last 25 minutes on Death Row, with each line of the song counting down one minute closer. He wrote the lyrics and music for most of the Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show songs, including "The Cover of the Rolling Stone", "Freakin' at the Freakers' Ball", "Sylvia's Mother", and the cautionary song about venereal disease, "Don't Give a Dose To the One You Love Most". He also wrote many of the songs performed by Bobby Bare, including "Rosalie's Good Eats Cafe", "The Mermaid", "The Winner", "Tequila Sheila," and a co-write with Baxter Taylor for the song "Marie Laveau" for which the songwriters received a BMI Award in 1975. "The Mermaid" was also covered in 2005 by Great Big Sea, who released their version on their CD "The Hard and the Easy". The song "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan", recorded in 1979 by Marianne Faithfull and later featured in the films "Montenegro" and "Thelma & Louise", was also by Silverstein, as was "Queen of the Silver Dollar", which appeared on Emmylou Harris' 1975 album "Pieces of the Sky" and was also covered by "Dave & Sugar". He was nominated for an Oscar for his music for the film "Postcards from the Edge". He also composed original music for several other films, and displayed a musical versatility in these projects, playing guitar, piano, saxophone, and trombone.

Silverstein's songs, performed by Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson among others, comprise the soundtrack to the 1970 film "Ned Kelly".

Silverstein also had a popular following on Dr. Demento's radio show. Among his best-known comedy songs were "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout (Would Not Take The Garbage Out)", "The Smoke Off" (a tale of a contest to determine who could roll—or smoke—marijuana joints faster), and "I Got Stoned and I Missed It". He also wrote "The Father of a Boy Named Sue", in which he tells the story from the original song from the father's point of view, and the 1962 song "Boa Constrictor" that is sung by a man who is being progressively swallowed whole by a snake (recorded by the folk group The Brothers Four)Fact|date=August 2008, although it is now better known as a children's playground chant.

A longtime friend of American singer and songwriter Pat Dailey, Silverstein collaborated with Dailey on the (posthumously released) 2002 "Underwater Land" album. It contains 17 children's songs written and produced by Silverstein and sung by Dailey. Silverstein also appears along with Dailey on a few tracks. The album also contains artwork by Silverstein.

Silverstein was posthumously inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.

As a playwright

"An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein" was produced by the Atlantic Theater Company in New York City in September 2001. The collection of short sketches, directed by Karen Kohlhaas, comprised the following:
*"One Tennis Shoe" - Harvey claims that his wife, Sylvia, is becoming a bag lady, but his wife claims that he is just overreacting.
*"Bus Stop" - Irwin stands on a street corner with a sign reading "bust stop" and uses the opportunity to soliloquize on the subject.
*"Going Once" - A monologue in which an auctioneer shows off a woman, who is putting herself up for auction to the highest bidder.
*"The Best Daddy" - Lisa's got the best daddy in the world. After all he bought her a pony for her birthday. Too bad he shot it dead.
*"The Lifeboat is Sinking" - Jen and Sherwin sit safely on their bed playing a game of Who-Would-You-Save-If... the family was drowning.
*"Smile" - Bender and his henchmen have found the man responsible for the phrase "Have a nice day." And they're going to make him pay.
*"Wash and Dry" - Marianne stops by the laundromat, but she's horrified to discover that her laundry hasn't been cleaned.
*"Thinking Up a New Name for the Act" - Pete hits on the phrase "Meat and Potatoes" as the perfect name for their vaudeville act.
*"Buy One, Get One Free" - Two hookers are offering the deal of the century, offering a golden opportunity to passersby in rhyme.
*"Blind Willie and the Talking Dog" - Blind Willie panhandles as his dog argues that they could use his talent to make some real money.

"Shel's Shorts" was produced in repertory as two separate evenings under the titles "Signs of Trouble" and "Shel Shocked" by the Market Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts in December 2001. "Signs of Trouble" was directed by Wesley Savick, and "Shel Shocked" was directed by Larry Coen.

The Mind of Shel Silverstein was a collection of Shel Silverstein poems from "Where the Sidewalk Ends," "A Light in the Attic," and "Falling Up," that was directed for the stage in 2007 by Jesse S. Martinez for Marana Middle School's Off Freeway Performers in Marana, Arizona.

Personal life

Silverstein had two children. His first child was daughter Shoshanna (Shanna), born June 30, 1970, with Susan Hastings. Susan Hastings died 5 years later, on June 29, 1975, in Baltimore, Maryland. Shoshanna's aunt and uncle, Meg and Curtis Marshall, raised Shanna from the age of 5 until her death of a cerebral aneurysm in Baltimore on April 24, 1982 at the age of 11. Shanna was attending the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore at the time of her death. Silverstein dedicated his 1983 reprint of "Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros" to the Marshalls. "A Light in the Attic" was dedicated to Shanna, and Silverstein drew the sign with a flower attached. Shoshanna means "lily" or "rose" in Hebrew.

Silverstein's other child was his son Matthew, born on November 10, 1983. Silverstein's 1996 "Falling Up" was dedicated to Matt. Matthew's mother is alleged to be the "Sarah" mentioned in the other thanks for "Falling Up".

Shel Silverstein died sometime during the weekend of May 8, 1999, in Key West, Florida, of a heart attack. His body was found by two housekeepers the following Monday, May 10. It was reported that he could have died on either day that weekend (Saturday or Sunday).


Silverstein had his own view of how his life started out:

"When I was a kid—12, 14, around there—I would much rather have been a good baseball player or a hit with the girls. But I couldn't play ball, I couldn't dance. Luckily, the girls didn't want me; not much I could do about that. So, I started to draw and to write. I was also lucky that I didn't have anybody to copy, be impressed by. I had developed my own style, I was creating before I knew there was a Thurber, a Benchley, a Price and a Steinberg. I never saw their work till I was around 30. By the time I got to where I was attracting girls, I was already into work, and it was more important to me. Not that I wouldn't rather make love, but the work has become a habit."

--(Jean F. Mercier. "Shel Silverstein", "Publishers Weekly", February 24, 1975).

Silverstein did not really care to conform to any sort of norm, but he did want to leave his mark for others to be inspired by:

"I would hope that people, no matter what age, would find something to identify with in my books, pick up one and experience a personal sense of discovery. That's great. But for them, not for me. I think that if you're creative person, you should just go about your business, do your work and not care about how it's received. I never read reviews because if you believe the good ones you have to believe the bad ones too. Not that I don't care about success. I do, but only because it lets me do what I want. I was always prepared for success but that means that I have to be prepared for failure too.

I have an ego, I have ideas, I want to be articulate, to communicate but in my own way. People who say they create only for themselves and don't care if they are published...I hate to hear talk like that. If it's good, it's too good not to share. That's the way I feel about my work.So I'll keep on communicating, but only my way. Lots of things I won't do. I won't go on television because who am I talking to? Johnny Carson? The camera? Twenty million people I can't see? Uh-uh. And I won't give any more interviews."

--Shel Silverstein, from "Publishers Weekly", February 24, 1975

The few interviews he did give throughout his life gave insight to his thinking patterns. One example of these interviews:

Question: "Why do you have a beard?" Shel: "I don't have a beard. It's just the light; it plays funny tricks." Question: "How do you think your present image as world traveler, bawdy singer, etc. combines with your image as a writer of children's books?" Shel: "I don't think about my image." Question: "Do you admit that your songs and drawings have a certain amount of vulgarity in them?" Shel: "No, but I hope they have a certain amount of realism in them." Question: "Do you shave your head for effect or to be different, or to strike back at the long-haired styles of today? Shel: "I don't explain my head."
--(1965) from the album "I'm So Good That I Don't Have to Brag".


* "Grab Your Socks!" (1956)
* "Now Here's My Plan" (1960)
* "Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book" (1961)
* "A Playboy's Teevee Jeebies oh la la" (1961)
* "" (1963)
* "A Giraffe and a Half" (1964)
* "The Giving Tree" (1964)
* "Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?" (1964)
* "Uncle Shelby's Zoo" (1964)
* "More Playboy's Teevee Jeebies" (1965)
* "Where the Sidewalk Ends" (1974)
* "The Missing Piece" (1976)
* "Different Dances" (1979)
* "A Light in the Attic" (1981)
* "The Missing Piece Meets the Big O" (1984)
* "Falling Up" (1996)
* "Draw a Skinny Elephant" (1998)
* "Runny Babbit" (2005) (published posthumously)
* "Don't Bump the Glump! and Other Fantasies" (2008, originally published in 1964)

Silverstein believed that written works needed to be read on paper – the correct paper for the particular work. He usually would not allow his poems or stories to be published unless he could choose the type, size, shape, color, and quality of the paper himself. Being a book collector, he took seriously the feel of the paper, the look of the book from the inside and out, the typeface for each poem, and the binding of his books. He did not allow his books to be published in paperback as he did not want his work to diminish in any way.


* "Hairy Jazz" (Elektra Records) (1959)
* "Inside Folk Songs" (Atlantic Records) (1962)
* "I'm So Good That I Don't Have To Brag" (Cadet Records) (1965)
* "Drain My Brain" (Cadet Records) (1967)
* "A Boy Named Sue And Other Country Songs" (RCA Records) (1969)
* " Freakin' At The Freakers Ball" (Columbia Records) (1972)
* "Crouchin' On The Outside" (Janus Records), collection of "I'm So Good..." and "Drain My Brain" (1973)
* "Songs & Stories" (Parachute Records) (1978)
* "The Great Conch Train Robbery" (Flying Fish Records) (1980)
* "Where the Sidewalk Ends (book)" (Columbia Records) (1984)
* "A Light In The Attic" (Columbia Records) (1985)
* "Underwater Land" (with Pat Dailey) (Olympia Records) (2002) (released posthumously)
* "The Best of Shel Silverstein: His Words His Songs His Friends" (Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings) (2005) (released posthumously)

Shel Silverstein also recorded numerous unreleased songs. Some were found at A&R Recording Studio in New York, but never officially released—though bootleg albums of these exist. These songs are generally more vulgar than his other material. Most are thought to have been recorded around 1969-1970, although they resemble the "Songs & Stories" musical and lyrical style of 1978.Shel also sang poems.

Popular culture references

*Canadian post-hardcore band Silverstein takes their name from Shel Silverstein, and also recites "Where the Sidewalk Ends" in its entirety at the end of their song "Forever and a Day". The band's bassist, Billy Hamilton, has a tattoo with a picture from Silverstein's poem "Hug O' War".

*In Fox's "Family Guy" episode "Barely Legal", Quagmire helps Meg overcome her obsession with Brian by giving her a copy of Silverstein's "The Missing Piece".

*In Fox's "American Dad!" episode "When a Stan Loves a Woman", Cap'n Monty states that the fondue he was serving was "Hotter than the burning flesh of Shel Silverstein in hell."

*In the book, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid", it is said that Shel Silverstein "looks more like a criminal or pirate than a guy who writes poems for kids."

*A drawing from Shel Silverstein's poem "Hug O' War" can be found in the liner notes of Background by New Jersey hardcore punk band Lifetime.

*In an episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000 {814 - Agent for H.A.R.M}", there was a fight scene involving a bald, bearded man -- and one of the Bots quipped "Damn you, Shel Silverstein!" when the bald man got punched out.

*Shel Silverstein's book "The Giving Tree", was parodied as a 4-panel comic by "The Perry Bible Fellowship", entitled "The Unforgiving Tree"

*Lost Reflections, a song by Progressive metal band "Crimson Glory", starts with the lines "Locked in this attic, Been here so many years, Shanna won't set me free"



* Lisa Rogak: A Boy Named Shel. The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein (2007). ISBN 0312353596
* Flippo, Chet. (1998). "Shel Silverstein". In "The Encyclopedia of Country Music". Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 484.
* Steve Pond: The Magical World of Shel Silverstein. PLAYBOY (US Edition) 1/2006. pp74-78 & pp 151-153.


* [ WFMU: Unreleased demo: Shel Silverstein: "Terrible Thing"]

German-language sites

* Andreas Weigel: [ Die überdrehte Welt des Shel Silverstein] . Leben, Lieder und Texte. ORF, "Spielräume spezial" (2006).
* Pop-Alphabet: [ Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show & Shel Silverstein] .
* Bernd Glodek: [ Shel Silverstein] . Was macht dieser Mann eigentlich nicht? (1977).
* [ Zum 75. Geburtstag des Kinderbuchautors und Songwriters Shel Silverstein] . "Wiener Zeitung, Extra" (2005).

External links

* [ Shel Silverstein's site]
*imdb name|id=0799060|name=Shel Silverstein
* [ Shel Silverstein and other famous poets, their poems, photos, biography.]
* [ Shel Silverstein's Music (Legacy Recordings)]
* [ Signature of Shel Silverstein]

Источник: Shel Silverstein

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  • Runny Babbit — Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook is the title of the last children s book by Shel Silverstein. A work in progress for the better part of 20 years, the book was published posthumously in 2005. The book is largely composed of spoonerisms in rhyming… …   Wikipedia

  • Spoonerism — A spoonerism is an error in speech or deliberate play on words in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched (see metathesis). It is named after the Reverend William Archibald Spooner (1844–1930), Warden of New College,… …   Wikipedia