Q: How do you think your present image as world traveller, bawdy singer, etc. combine with your image as a writer of children’s books?
Shel: I don’t think about my image.
Q: But if you are a spokesman and leader of your generation with millions of followers, don’t you care what they think?
Shel: I don’t speak for anybody but me; I am not a leader. I just want them to let me alone so I can do my thing.
Q: What is your thing?
Shel: I don’t know. That depends on the day, the time of day, and what I did yesterday.
Shel Silverstein is cherished as a writer of children’s books, most notably The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and The Missing Piece. Unfortunately, there’s a lot about Silverstein that flies under the radar. For instance, he’s actually a very accomplished singer and songwriter. His style is mercurial. His musical influences seem to be based firmly in folk and country traditions, but often meander into the realm of big band jazz. At his core, though, Silverstein is a sardonically biting satirist who, at the end of the day, uses the power of music as a springboard for comedic personal and social commentary. That’s not to say that his songs are not well crafted; quite the contrary, actually. While some tunes are novelty ballads, others are serious and contemplative. In short, Silverstein is a free spirit who does what he wants to when he wants to, with diverse – albeit challenging – results.
[download] I Can’t Touch The Sun, from the album I’m So Good I Don’t Have to Brag!