Songs And Stories - Shel Silverstein

entered by Bryan D. Reynolds, except "The Smoke-Off" entered by Bilbo Baggins
published by Evil Eye Music, Inc.
©1978 Parachute Records


  1. The Father Of A Boy Named Sue
  2. Peanut Butter Sandwich
  3. The Cat And Rat
  4. Goodnight Little House Plant
  5. Show It At The Beach
  6. Diet Song
  7. Sure Hit Songwriter's Pen
  8. The Smoke-Off
  9. They Held Me Down
  10. Scum Of The Earth
  11. Never Bite A Married Woman On The Thigh
  12. Someone Ate The Baby
  13. Paranoid

The Father Of A Boy Named Sue

OK, now, years ago, I wrote a song called "A Boy Named Sue", And, that was OK and everything except, then I started to think about it, and I thought, It is unfair. I am, I am looking at the whole thing from the poor kid's point of view. And as I get more older and more fatherly, I begin to look at things from old men's point of view. So, I decided to give the old man equal time. OK, here we go...

Yeah, I left home when the kid was three
And it sure felt good to be fancy free
Though I knew it wasn't quite the the fatherly thing to do
But that kid kept screaming and throwing up
And pissing in his pants till I had enough
So just for revenge I went and named him Sue

It was Gatlinburg in mid July
I was gettin drunk but gettin by
Gettin old and going from bad to worse

When through the door with an awful scream
Comes the ugliest queen I've ever seen
He says, "My name is Sue, how do you do?"
Then he hits me with his purse

Now this ain't the way he tells the tell
But he scratched my face with his fingernails
And Then he bit my thumb
And kicked me with his high heel shoe

So I hit him in the nose and he started to cry
And he threw some perfume in my eye
And it sure ain't easy fightin an old boy named Sue

So I hit him in the head with a cane back chair
And he screamed, "Hey dad, you mussed my hair!"
And he hit me in the navel and knocked out a piece of my lint

He was spittin blood, I was spittin teeth
And we crashed through the wall and out into the street
Kickin and gouging in the mud and the blood and the creme de menthe

Then out of his garter he pulls a gun
I'm about to get shot by my very own son
He's screaming about Sigmund Freud and looking grim - woo
So I though fast and I told him some stuff
How I named him Sue just to make him tough
And I guess he bought it cause now I'm living with him

Yea he cooks and sews and cleans up the place
He cuts my hair and shaves my face
And irons my shirts better than a daughter could do
And on the nights that I can't score
Well, I can't tell you any more
But it sure is a joy to have a boy named Sue
Yeah a son is fun but it's a joy to have a boy named Sue!

Peanut Butter Sandwich

I'll tell you a story about a silly young king
Who played with the world like a toy on a string
But he only loved one single thing
And that thing was a peanut butter sandwich

Now, his, his scepter and his royal gowns
His regal throne and his golden crowns
Were, were brown and, and sticky from, from the mounds
Of drippings from each peanut butter sandwich

His subjects all were silly fools
'Cause, 'cause he had passed a royal rule
That all that they could learn in school
Was how to make a peanut butter sandwich

He would not eat his sovereign steak
He scorned his soup, and his kingly cake
And told his courtly cook to bake
Nothing nothing nothing but extra sticky peanut butter sandwich

And then one day he took a bite
And started chewing with delight
But found his mouth was stuck quite tight
From that last bite of peanut butter sandwich

His brother pulled, his sister pried
The wizard pushed, his, his mother cried,
"Ah, my boy's committed suicide
From eating that last peanut butter sandwich!"

The dentist came, and the royal doc
The royal plumber banged and knocked
But still those jaws stayed tightly locked
Oh darn that sticky peanut butter sandwich

The carpenter, he tried with pliers
Th-The telephone man tried with wires
The firemen, they tried with fire
But, but couldn't melt that peanut butter sandwich

With ropes and pulleys, drills and coil
With steam and lubricating oil
For twenty years of tears and toil
They fought that awful peanut butter sandwich

Then, all his royal subjects came
They hooked his jaws with grapplin' chains
And pulled both ways with might and main
Against, against that peanut butter sandwich

Each man and woman, girl and boy
Put down their plows and pots and toys
And pulled until...C R A C K...oh joy!
They broke right through the peanut butter sandwich

A puff of dust, a screech, a squeek
The king's jaws opened with a creak
And then, in voice so faint and weak
The first words that they heard him speak
Were, "How 'bout a peanut butter sandwich?"

The Cat And Rat

Well, there once was a cat who was in love with a rat
And the rat was in love with the cat
And the folk in town seen 'em truckin' 'round
They said, "Ooh...what do you make of that?"

'Cause everybody knows cats don't love rats
And rats don't lean towards cats
So there's something queer goin' on in here
Now what're we gonna do about that?

Well somebody said, "Well, we could set us a trap
And catch that presumptuous rat."
Somebody said "Hey, we could call up a vet
And come and gas that cat."

Sombody said, "Hey, there's a sweeter way
To end all the trouble than that.
We could dig up a cute little mouse for the rat
And some pretty little pussy for the cat."

Oh, so they argued and argued
They talked and disscussed
And they had many a chat and spat
But all they agreed was that it was wrong for a cat to love a rat

One day the rat was sittin' with the cat
When the cat says to the rat,
"Hey, everybody's mad that we're so glad,
And my friends all tell me, 'Scat!'

They got me crazy thinkin' it's wrong,
And I can't take much more of that.
I am a cat!" Screamed the cat.
And with that he gobbled up the rat.

And everybody says he yielded to pressure,
And that my friends is that.

Goodnight Little House Plant

Now you have got to talk to your plants. Now this is a lullaby for people who talk to their plants.

Good night little house plant asleep on the sill
I'll shut the shades so you don't catch a chill
And tomorrow in the mornin' there'll be breakfest for two
We'll have ham and eggs for me and nitrogen for you

Good night little house plant, tucked in your clay pot
Make sure you don't catch the Huntington's rot
Be careful, little house plant, stay away from them bees
You know they may carry a social disease

Good night little house plant, little house plant good night
Here's your glass of water; should I leave on a light?
Tommorrow we'll talk of the things that we did
I love you little house plant; who needs women and kids?

Show It At The Beach

Oh...they...won't let us show it at the beach
No they won't let us show it at the beach
They think we're gonna grab it if it gets within our reach
And they won't let us show it at the beach

Ah, but you can show it in your parlor to most anyone you choose
You can show it at a party with your second shot of booze
You can show it on the corner wearin' overcoat and shoes
But they won't let us show it at the beach

No they won't let us show it at the beach, friends
Ah they won't let us show it at the beach
Ah they're sure we're gonna grab it if it gets within our reach
So they won't let us show it at the beach

But you can show it in the movies on a cineramic screen
You can show it in the most sophisticated magazine
You can show it while you're bouncing on the high school trampoline - wooh!
But they won't let us show it at the beach

But if you've got a gun it's legal to display it on your hip
You can show your butcher knives to any interested kid
But if it's made for lovin', then you'd better keep it hid
And they won't let us show it at the beach

Diet Song

Well, breakfast, black coffee
One slice of dry toast
No butter no jelly no jam

Lunch, just some lettuce
Two celery stalks
No booze no potatoes no ham

Dinner, one chicken wing
Broiled not fried
No gravy no biscuits no pie

And this dietin' dietin' dietin'
Dietin' sure is a rough way to die

So, pass me a carrot stick
Peel me a prune
One glass of skim milk and that's all

Turn off the TV for the Big Mac commercial
It's drivin' me straight up the wall

I'm thinkin' of french fries
Sausage and waffles
Spaghetti and cookies and cake
And each night I'm dreamin'
Of chocolate ice cream and
I'm starvin' to death when I wake
All for your sake

Well, you're fixin' the kids
All those cream mashed potatoes
But it's bouillon and water for me
And you got a lock on the refrigerator
Lord knows where you're hidin' the key

And while I am starvin' for food late at night
I'm starvin' for lovin' from you
But you say that when I can see my own dick
You'll be glad to look at it too

So supper, two pieces of cauliflower raw
Some beef stick the size of a nail
One slice of tomato, a small dab of slaw
Lord, I swear I ate better in jail
Stop eatin' that pizza right under my nose
Girl that's the least you can do

And put down that candy bar
While I'm singin'
I'm starvin' my ass off for you...

And when I am dead with the insurance paid
You'll look down at me and you'll grin
You'll say, "Well, the boy tried,
And he starved, and he died,
But don't he look good when he's thin."

Sure Hit Songwriter's Pen

Now I was hangin' around Nashville
Writin' songs and playin' 'em for all the stars
Watchin' 'em laugh and hand them back
And livin' on hope and Hershey bars

So I pawned my guitar and bought a ticket home
And I was, I was headin' for the Trailways bus
When I, I seen this old fountain pen
Layin' there in the gutter, so I stop and pick it up

It was worn out and bent and cast aside
You know, kinda sorta like myself
So I sat down on the curb and wrote a little song
Just to tell the world how both of us felt

And then I said, "Hell with it!" and I run that song up to music row
And you know before I had time to spit
Why, it's pitched and sold and cut for a record
And movin' up the charts and damn it's a hit!

So, I wrote me another winner, and I wrote me a smash again
And I was flyin' off the ground
'Cause I knew, I knew I'd found,
I found a sure hit songwriter's pen

Yeah, and the songs, songs just kept pourin' out
And the money kept pourin' in
And, I couldn't miss, man, all it took was a little twist
Of that absolute sure hit songwriter's pen

Now, now, listen, I'm not, I'm not lyin' to ya!
Remember when I won the grammy? You do.
And then I won it again and again and again
Well, well, none of you knew that it was all due
To that sure hit songwriter's pen
Did ya? No you didn't, did ya?

Yeah, I-I was the darlin' of all the ladies - oooh!
I was a hero among the men
You know, makin' big dough, workin' rodeos and TV shows
Me and my sure hit songwriter's pen

And then, and then one night in Wichita
You know, I was just boppin' off the stage
Folks all lined up beggin', crawlin' for my autograph
Lord, I was a national rage, I mean, you know.

And then one little freckle-faced girl was there
And she said, she said, "I got no pencil, sir."
So, I signed her an autograph
With my songwriter's pen
And then handed the pen to her

Four o'clock that mornin', I-I wake up with the shakes
And the bends and terror in my eyes
'Cause, Good God!, I realized
I lost my sure hit songwriter pen!

I offered rewards in the papers, you know,
And I pleaded on a sympathy line
And, and a lot of good folks sent, sent a whole lotta pens
But none of them pens was mine

So, naturally, my songs got worse
And my money run out
And so did all my so-called friends
And there was no doubt I just wasn't nothin'
Without that magical sure hit songwriter's pen

Yeah, and so I roll like a stone down old skid row
Where I feed my blues on wine
And I rest my chops in some two bit flop
And I tell my story for a drink or a dime

And I sleep with my shoes underneath my head
And I dream, I-I dream about the days back then
When I, when I blazed my name 'cross the music world skies
With my, with my sure hit songwriter's pen

A-a-and somewhere in Wichita, some little girl
Who's a, who's a freckle-face nine or ten
Is, is doin' her 'rithmetic homework tonight
With a sure hit songwriter's pen

God bless ya honey
Ya got my sure hit songwriter's pen

The Smoke-Off

Now in the laid-back California town of sunny San Rafael
Lived a girl named Pearly Sweetcake - you probably knew her well
She was stoned 15 of her 18 years, and her story was widely told
That she could smoke 'em faster than anyone could roll

Well, her legend finally reached New York, that Grove Street walk-up flat
Where dwelt the Calistoga Kid, a beatnik from the past
He'd been rollin' dope since time began, now he took a cultured toke
And said "Jim, I can roll 'em faster than any CHICK can smoke"

So a note gets sent to San Rafael for the championship of the world
The Kid demands a smoke-off; "Well bring him on!" says Pearl
"I'll grind his fingers off his hands! He'll roll until he drops!"
Says Calistog, "I'll smoke that chick till she blows up and pops".

So they rent out Yankee Stadium, and the word is quickly spread
Come one, come all, who walk or crawl, tickets just two lids a head
And from every town and hamlet, over land and sea they speed
The world's greatest dopers, with the world's greatest weed.

Hashishers from Morocco, hemp smokers from Peru
And the Shashniks from Bagun (who smoke the deadly Pu-ga-ru)
And those who call it "light of life"
And those that call it "boo".

See the dealers and their ladies, wearing turquoise lace and leather
See the narcos and the closet smokers, puffing all together
From the teenies who smoke legal, to the ones who've done some time
To the old man who smoked "reefer", back before it was a crime.

And the grand old House That Ruth Built is filled with the smokes and cries
Of fifty thousand screaming heads, all stoned out of their minds
And they play the national anthem, and the crowd lets out a roar
As the spotlight hits the Kid and Pearl, ready for their smoking war.

At a table piled up high with grass, as high as a mountain peak
Just tops and buds of the rarest flowers, not one stem branch or seed
I mean, Maui Wowie, Panama Red, Acapulco Gold
Kif from East Afghanistan, and that rare Alaska Cold

And there's sticks from Thailand, ganj from the island,
And Bangkok's blooming best
(and some of that wet imported shit
That capsized off Key West).

There's Oaxacan tops and Kenya bhang, and Riviera fleurs
And that rare Manhattan Silver, that grows down in the New York sewers.
And there's bubblin' ice cold lemonade, and sweet grapes by the bunches
And there's Hershey bars and Oreos (in case anybody gets the munches)

And the Calistoga Kid he smiles, And Pearly she just grins :-)
And the drums roll low, and the crowd yells "GO GO GO!!"
And the world's first smoke-off begins.

Well, the Kid he flicks his fingers once, and ZAP that first joint's rolled
Pearl takes one toke with her famous lungs, and WHOOSH that roach is cold
Then the Kid he rolls his super-bomb, that would paralyze a moose
And Pearl takes one mighty hit, and ...... that bomb's defused

And then he rolls three in just ten seconds, and she smokes them up in nine
And everybody sits back and says "Hey.... this just might take some time"

See the blur of flying fingers, see the red coal burning bright
As the night turns into mornin', and the mornin' fades to night
And the autumn turns to summer, and a whole damn YEAR is gone
And the two still sit, on that roach-filled stage, smokin', and rollin' on

With tremblin' hands he rolls his jays, with fingers blue and stiff
She coughs and stares with bloodshot gaze, and puffs through blistered lips
And as she reaches out her hand for another stick of gold
The Kid, he gasps, "Damn it, bitch! There's nothin' left to roll!"


And she reaches 'cross the table and grabs his bony sleeves
And crumbles his body between her hands, like dried and brittle leaves
Flicking out his teeth and bones like useless stems and seeds
And then she rolls him in a Zig-zag, and lights him like a roach
And the fastest man, with the fastest hands, goes up in a puff of smoke.

In the laid-back California town of sunny San Rafael
Lives a girl named Pearly Sweetcake - you probably know her well
She been stoned 21 of her 24 years, and her story is still widely told
How she still can smoke 'em faster than any dude can roll

While, off in New York City, on a street that has no name
There's the hands of the Calistoga Kid, in the Viper Hall of Fame
And underneath his fingers, there's a little golden scroll
That says

             "Beware of bein' the roller
              When there's nothin' left to roll".

They Held Me Down

This next song is dedicated to all the cop outs in the world - my friends, mostly, including me, and...

It was Saturday night at the slammer,
The gavel was fallin' like a hammer
As they dragged in every freak from off of the road
One by one they entered the cell
And the stories that they had to tell
Were all different, but all seemed to end on the very same note

They held me down and put it in my nose
They even sprinkled a little bit on my clothes
Yeah, I know what you're thinkin', but I ain't one of those
No, they held me down and put it in my nose

And this wino in the corner, he got up and shook himself out, and he said,
"Baby...ha ha ha." He said, "Well,
They held me down and poured it down my throat.
That's what they did!
They even planted the bottle here in my coat.
Anybody want some?
Yeah, and the reason why my pants are wet is they pushed me off the boat
After they held me down and poured it down my throat."

Then this chick in the next cell, she said, "I heard you guys talkin', and
I'll tell you somethin'!
He held me down and put it you know where
Oh, I told him I was a virgin, but he didn't care
No, the pig
Ah, you say his wallet's in my purse, well, what it's doin' there?
Aah, he held me down and put it you know where."

And then this other cat got up, er half got up. He lifted his
head, I mean, you know. Well, he said, uh,
"Hey man, they held me down and they shot it in my vein
Oh the pain.
Aah they even held a pistol to my brain
Aah, I wouldn'ta done it.
And these scars on my arms are where I crashed through the window pane
tryin' to get away
When they held me down and put it in my vein."

And then this cat with, uh, rolly-eyed cat with, you know, uh, uh, um, you know,
rain coat and shoes and the bottom of his
pants cut off at the knees, tie-dyed
He said, "She held me down and put it in my face
Oh, the disgrace
And that's the fact on which I'm gonna base my case
She was overweight and underaged and we was at my place
But she held me down and put it in my face."

Oh, they held me down and made me write this song.

Scum Of The Earth

OK, in every town, there is a rock and roll group, of, uh, questionable, questionable habits and dubious ability, or questionable ability, well anyway they got questionable tendencies, I don't know. I'll tell you about one.

There was a group called The Scum Of The Earth
And they say they got their birth
In an L.A. joint that once was called The Daisy
You know, the bass man, he smoked grass
And the drummer, he kicked ass
And the lead guitar ate speed
While the people went crazy

And The Scum Of The Earth, they just kept boogyin' on
Higher and higher till all of the fire was-a burned out and gone

You know that drummer's name was Mavis
He was a twice convicted rapist
They say he learned to play in the prison band in Pelham
Yeah, he'd cut out your heart for a dime
And he kept lousy time
But the rest of the band was too damn scared to tell 'em

Yeah, and the steel man's name was Spiker
He dressed like a black jacket biker
But under his leathers he wore black lace silken panties
Ooh, they say he sung his sweet love numbers
Directly to the eyes of the drummer
While he kept his eyes on the bass and guitar man's fannies

Ooh and the rhythm man, they called Static
He was a health food fanatic
Oh, he lived on berries and nuts
And had scurvy and rickets
He did yoga exercisin' and kept on tryin' and tryin'
Until finally he could bend all the way over and lick it

And the road man's name was Lester
He was a well-known child molester
His minister told him he'd never go to heaven
He wore a bright red toupée
And had lots of groupées
But they ranged in age from fourteen to eleven

And the manager was Scuzzy Sleazle
He had the ethics of a weasel
He screwed the record labels and laughed at the masses
He hired out the group to play at a dollar and a half a day
And if he couldn't peddle their music, he'd sell you their asses

Ooh and the light man was Nasty Norman
He was a CIA informant
Every group he ever worked for, they got busted
He got the drummer deported
Before the album was recorded
And he spit on the bass man's spike until it rusted

And one day The Scum Of The Earth
They was playin' for all they was worth (not much)
Guitars screamin' and the wails and the cymbals crashes
Faster and higher and higher
Oh, till the 'lectric cords caught fire
And the whole damn band caught fire
Burnin' in the 'lectric wire
Till The Scum Of The Earth was burned to a pile of ashes

And The Scum Of The Earth they just kept boogyin' on

Never Bite A Married Woman On The Thigh

OK, a song of warning, for those who play the game...

Oh...never bite a married woman on the thigh
Oh my, not on the thigh
Of course she just can't wash it off no matter how she tries
Oh my, she'll try
And when she gets home at night her husband's gonna ask her, "Why
Is there a tooth mark on your thigh?"
And she'll say it's just a birth mark or some other silly lie
Oh my, she'll try
But he'll get suspicious and then he will start to pry
Oh my, isn't he sly
And then, then, then she'll admit to everything and he will say, "Bye bye,
Bye bye!"
He's gonna fly
And then he'll say, "I don't blame you, but tell me who's the guy?"
That guy was I
And then he'll come and find you and he'll punch you right in the eye
Oh my, right in the eye
And and then he...
And then he'll rent a cheap hotel room and he'll hang himself with his tie
Oh my, his brand, his brand new tie
And then she'll take a overdose of sleeping tablets and she's gonna lie
On the couch and die
So never never never never never never never
Bite a married woman on the thigh

Someone Ate The Baby

Someone ate the baby
It's rather sad to say
Someone ate the baby
So she won't be out to play

We'll never hear her whiny cry
Or have to feel if she is dry
We'll never hear her asking, "Why, why, why?"
Someone ate the baby

Someone ate the baby
It is absolutely clear
Someone ate the baby
'Cause the baby isn't here

We'll give away her toys and clothes
And we'll never have to wipe her nose
Dad says, "Aah, that's the way it goes,
Someone ate the baby."

Someone ate the baby
What a frightful thing to eat
Someone ate the baby
Though, though she wasn't very sweet

It was a heartless thing to do
The policemen haven't got a clue
I simply can't imagine who would go and
*burp* eat the baby


Everybody says I'm paranoid
They all think I'm crazy
They all smile to my face
But they'd like to see me die

They put poison in my coffee
They put ground glass in my oatmeal
They put spiders in my tennis shoes
And shit in my pecan pie

It's hard to stop and figure out
Where did it all begin
You see, my father wanted a little girl
And my mother wanted twins

And my grandpa admired Hitler
So everything I did was wrong
And I'm gonna stop now
'Cause even though you're smilin'
I know ya hate this song

Yeah, and I know you're only listenin'
'Cause you don't wanna hurt my feelins
And you're just waitin' for me to leave
So you can laugh about my open fly

You put the poison in my coffee
You put the groung glass in my oatmeal
You put the spiders in my tennis shoes
And you shit in my pecan pie...

I know! Don't deny it, I know! I know...I know...

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