As St. Patrick’s Day is drawing near, I thought this week I would choose a song that was and still is an classic to this day.
The Unicorn was was written and originally recorded by the brilliant poet Shel Silverstein in 1962; it was taken from his best selling book called “Where the Sidewalk Ends”. It’s the amusing story of how unicorns no longer exist because they missed the boat so to speak - Noah’s ark! 1968, Irish folk group The Irish Rovers recorded their version of the song. It was a big hit worldwide reaching #7 on the U.S. Hot 100 chart and the #5 position in Ireland. The song has sold over 8 million copies.
I have an amusing story about this song. About eight or nine years ago my husband and I were giving a St. Patrick’s Day performance in London, Ontario at an independent living seniors residence; we have a musical duo called Fit as a Fiddle. A professor of mine from college where I studied music production, came by to hear the show and brought one of the residents, his friend, world renowned record producer Jack Richardson. I had met Jack on a number of occasions so it was a treat to have him in attendance. Before the show began, I was handing out some lyrics in case anyone wished to sing along with The Unicorn. I handed Jack the lyric sheet and he had a good laugh as he said “I produced that recording”. No pressure now I thought. I’ll never forget that moment in time.
The Irish Rovers greatly popularized Irish music in Canada. Their music works well with the older adult fitness crowd particularly around this time of year!
The Irish Rovers had a very successful CBC-TV series for seven years in the seventies that put them into our living rooms so much of their musical repertoire is familiar to many.