The Unicorn Song


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Image result for Where the Sidewalk ends This song by accomplished author Shel Silverstein was made very popular by The Irish Rovers in 1968. Silverstein was fascinated by folklore, myths, fables and legends. The lyrics to the song were printed as a poem in Silverstein’s book Where the Sidewalk Ends. What seems to be a timeless Irish folk song was written by a Jewish children’s book author from Chicago.

When the Irish Rover’s picked it up for recording, their – – “very, very authentic Irish sound and ethnic background” complemented the subject of the piece. It remains one of the best-known songs of the Irish Rovers’ long career, who were named Band of the Year at the JUNO Awards in 1968. It was a #2 hit for them in North America and #5 in Ireland.

It can still be heard regularly in Irish Pubs. Image result for The Irish Rovers

In the original version of the song, The Irish Rovers speak half of the lyrics, as well as 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”. Many people today also claim there are gestures that accompany the song. 


The Unicorn Song

The Unicorn Song, by Shel Silverstein, 1960. This was the very first hit for The Irish Rovers on their very first record in 1966.

The Irish Rovers are a Canadian Irish Folk group created in 1963; best known for their international TV series and popularizing Irish music in North America. In 1963 George Millar and Jim Ferguson, both young Irish immigrants, entered an amateur show in Toronto and won. They soon relocated to Calgary with additional family members in the group and struck out for California in 1965. They became so popular on the performance circuit in that state that by 1966 they were offered a record deal and their rendition of The Unicorn Song became #11 within the first 2 months of its’ release, remaining in the Top 20 for 2 years. In 1968 they received the JUNO Award for Folk Group of the Year. They were regulars on TV shows such as the Smothers Brothers, and went on to host their own show, The Irish Rovers Show, in the 70’s.

The Unicorn Song