World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

The Unicorn (song)


The Unicorn (song)

"The Unicorn"
The Unicorn
Released 1968
Genre Folk
Label Decca Records
Writer(s) Shel Silverstein
Producer Charles Bud Dant
"The Unicorn"
Song by Shel Silverstein from the album Inside Folk Songs
Released 1962
Genre Folk
Label Atlantic Records
Writer Shel Silverstein
Producer Jerry Wexler, Al Brackman

The Unicorn is a song by Shel Silverstein that has been made very popular by Canadian band The Irish Rovers in 1968. It remains one of the best-known songs of the The Irish Rovers' long career. It sold 8 million copies worldwide and reached reached #2 in the US Adult Contemporary Charts, #7 in the U.S. Hot 100,[1] and #5 in Ireland.[2][3] It can still be heard regularly in Irish Pubs. The lyrics to the song are also printed as a poem in Silverstein's book Where the Sidewalk Ends. In the original version of the song, The Irish Rovers speak half of the lyrics, as well as the part of the 4th Chorus. The final line of the 5th verse is spoken freely without the music: "And that's why you'll never see a Unicorn to this very day". On the remakes. the majority of the song is sung, again except for the final line, which is also spoken freely, without the music.

Shel Silverstein's own version was released in 1962 on his album Inside Folk Songs (Atlantic 8072).[4] His songbook, "Dirty Feet" (TRO/Hollis Music, 1969), includes a discography saying that, along with The Irish Rovers and Silverstein's versions, "The Unicorn" had been recorded by W.C. Fields)

Will Millar of The Irish Rovers recorded another, earlier version of the song with the St. Michaels Kids.[5] In 1981 Millar opened an Irish pub in Toronto under the name The Unicorn. [6] Sister pubs were also opened, including one at the site of Expo 86 where the Irish Rovers recorded a live version of the song.

In 1968 the song was covered by Irish trio The Bachelors.[7]


The song tells that unicorns were not a myth, but a creature that literally missed the boat, not boarding the Ark in time to be saved from the Great Flood described in the Bible.


Andrew McKee later wrote new lyrics explaining that unicorns were magical creatures, and as the Great Flood was in progress, they grew wings and acquired the power to fly above the waters. He concluded the rewritten refrain by writing that to find them, one should seek out, in James M. Barrie's words from Peter Pan that explained how to reach Never-Never Land, "the second star to the right and straight on until morning."


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.