Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Bobby Bare: “Bobby Bare Sings Shel Silverstein Plus” (2020) Boxed Set Review

When I was growing up, I knew Shel Silverstein from his book The Giving Tree, and from two books of totally delightful, humorous poetry and illustrations, Where The Sidewalk Ends and A Light In The Attic. I didn’t know he was a songwriter too until my early teens when I was listening to the Dr. Demento radio show, and in fact, I think the first track I heard was him singing one of the poems from Where The Sidewalk Ends, “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out.” I know I had that track on a Dr. Demento compilation cassette. And “The Unicorn” was a song I had often heard performed by Irish bands in the area (and by my mom, when my brother and I couldn’t stop her). Of course, I soon learned about “A Boy Named Sue,” “25 Minutes To Go,” “The Cover Of ‘Rolling Stone’” and other great numbers he wrote. It was a while yet before I heard of Bobby Bare, a country music star who was known for songs like “Detroit City” and “500 Miles Away From Home.” Bobby Bare also recorded a lot of Shel Silverstein’s material. Several albums’ worth of material, in fact. And those tracks have been collected in a fantastic boxed set titled Bobby Bare Sings Shel Silverstein. This set includes eight discs, which feature quite a lot of previously unreleased bonus tracks in addition to several complete albums. There is also a hardcover book which contains an interview with Bobby Bare, a piece about Shel Silverstein, song lyrics and a lot of photos.

Disc 1: Lullabys, Legends And Lies

The first disc contains the complete double album Lullabys, Legends And Lies, which was released in 1973. Though it was recorded in the studio, it has the feel of a live album, in part because folks were invited in to laugh and applaud, in part because some crowd sounds were added in post-production, but also because of the way Bobby Bare delivers the lyrics, in a sort of relaxed, off-the-cuff manner, even including spoken introductions to some songs. This album opens with its title track, which was listed as “Lullabys, Legends And Lies” on its original release, but as “Lullabies, Legends And Lies” here. It’s a sweet-sounding country number with the wonderful opening lines, “Gather ‘round, fellows, I’ll tell you some tales/About murder and blueberry pies.” Yup, Shel Silverstein was a writer who knew the value of a strong opening line. And then toward the end, backing vocalists join in for the chorus. That’s followed by “Paul,” a song about Paul Bunyan that features some nice work on steel guitar, and then “Marie Laveau,” which was also released as a single and was a hit for Bobby Bare, going to number one on the country chart. If you haven’t heard it, you’re in for a treat; it’s a fun, playful tune, and apparently that’s Shel Silverstein doing the witch’s scream. It was co-written by Shel Silverstein and Baxter Taylor. That’s followed by “Daddy What If,” a touching number featuring his son Bobby Bare Jr. joining him on vocals. Though I mostly associate Shel Silverstein with humorous songs, he was adept at writing beautiful numbers too. Listen to “In The Hills Of Shiloh,” for another example. It’s a song about women during the Civil War. Here is a taste of the lyrics: “List’nin’ for the sound of guns/List’nin’ for the roll of drums/And a man who never comes/To the hills of Shiloh.” My favorite on this album, however, is one of the funnier tunes, “She’s My Ever Lovin’ Machine,” about a man who builds a mechanical woman. Check out these lines: “She never complains when I stay out all night/She never complains that I ain’t rich/And each time I want her just to cuddle me up tight/I just reach out and turn on her switch.” And of course these lines make me laugh: “She has no trouble making her mind up/‘Cause, friends, I did not give her a mind.” But, don’t you know it, she leaves him anyway. And of course “True Story” always tickles me, with its zombies, pirates, crocodiles and cannibals. That was included as a poem in Where The Sidewalk Ends. The album ends with another of its highlights, “Rosalie’s Good Eats Café,” a more serious tune (though still with some humor). Check out these lines: “There’s a tall skinny girl in the booth in the back/Wearing jeans and a second-hand fur/She’s been to the doctor, then called up a man/And now wonders just where she can turn.” And Bobby Bare’s delivery is honest, heartfelt and moving.

Disc 2: Hard Time Hungrys Plus

The second disc contains Bobby Bare’s complete 1975 LP Hard Time Hungrys, plus several previously unreleased bonus tracks. The concept for this album, as stated directly on the back of the original record jacket, was by Shel Silverstein, though he did not write all the material on it. The album was recorded during the recession, and Shel Silverstein had conducted a series of interviews with people on how the recession affected them. Bits of those interviews were included on the album, used as introductions or lead-ins to the songs. The album opens with its title track, which begins with an interview with an old man who recalls the Great Depression. The song then begins with the lines “There’s an old man sittin’ in a rented room/Sittin’ and watchin’ the wall/Tryin’ to remember the good old days.” This song will speak to folks strongly now, as food lines get longer during this pandemic. That’s followed by “(Taxes On) The Farmer Feeds Us All,” one of the songs not written by Shel Silverstein. It is a traditional song, arranged and recorded by Ry Cooder, and originally included on his 1972 LP Into The Purple Valley. More in the humorous vein is Shel Silverstein’s “Alimony,” with the lines “Alimony, alimony/Thought I bought steak and it was all baloney/Me oh my oh goodness sake/I’m paying for my mistake.” This song was also released as a single. The other song from this album that was released as a single is “Back Home In Huntsville Again,” also written by Shel Silverstein (though the single was titled “Back In Huntsville Again”). This is a song about a man returning to prison, and the person interviewed at the beginning of the track is none other than David Allan Coe. That’s followed by “Daddy’s Been Around The House Too Long,” a sweet song about an unemployed father, featuring the voices of Bobby Bare’s children, including Cari J. Bare, who died not long after this album’s release. One of my favorites is “Warm And Free,” these lines making me smile each time: “She ain’t Raquel, but what the hell/It’s warm and it’s free.” Hard Time Hungrys concludes with “The Unemployment Line,” a song in which we find just about everybody needing some help, folks of all sorts of vocations. Yup, it’s another that folks can relate to right now. “I raised my eyes and prayed to the lord/Please save this world of mine/Then I turned around and I saw God/Standin’ in the unemployment line.”

This disc includes six previously unreleased tracks, all written by Shel Silverstein and recorded for inclusion on the original album. They’ve all been newly mixed from the original session reels. None of them contain interviews at the beginning. The first is “Too Much Blues,” a delightful blues number in which Bobby Bare sings “Too much money and none of it mine/I’ve got the too much, not enough blues.” And I love this line: “Not enough shoes and too much feet.” That’s followed by “Things To Sell,” a rather moving song about selling one’s possessions in order to buy food, leading eventually to his sister selling herself. “You do a lot of thing when you’re hungry.” Then “Door To Door” is about a man who has hit hard times. That’s followed by “Poor Blues,” a short blues number with an opening line that people can certainly relate to: “I got the got me no job, the rent’s overdue.” “It’s Good To Know The Sun’s Still Shinin’ Somewhere” is one you could sing earnestly or sarcastically, for it is from the perspective of a man who is struggling to keep his family fed and clothed, addressing someone who has sent a postcard from Acapulco. Bobby Bare sings it earnestly, and it ends up being a pretty song. The disc then concludes with the beautiful “Lead Me Back Home,” a song about a man looking for help. “So Lord if you care and if you’re really there/Won’t you lead me back home.”

Disc 3: Singin’ In The Kitchen Plus

The third disc contains the complete 1974 album Singin’ In The Kitchen, as well as tracks from three other albums. Singin’ In The Kitchen, attributed to Bobby Bare And The Family, features material written or co-written by Shel Silverstein, though also includes two tracks written by other people. It is a children’s album, and features Bobby Bare’s wife and children, and has a loose vibe. It opens with its title track, “Singin’ In The Kitchen,” a sweet and silly song in which they sing “Bangin’ on the pots and pans,” something I did as a child (until my family finally bought me a small drum kit when I was thirteen). That’s followed by “The Monkey And The Elephant,” which was written by Shel Silverstein and Baxter Taylor III, and is a sing-along. Our part is easy: “a long time ago.” Then “Lovin’ You Anyway” is a love song. “I’ll be lovin’ you fat and sassy, long and lean, on your birthdays and in between/When your friends all up and gone I’m the one you can count on.” It ends with a little laughter. “Where’d I Come From” is one of the songs not composed by Shel Silverstein. It was written by Bill Rice and Jerry Foster, and features Bobby Bare Jr. on vocals. “Ricky Ticky Song” is a total delightful and silly song. “No, you can’t go wrong singin’ a ricky ticky song.” Words to live by.

As I mentioned, my introduction to Shel Silverstein was the children’s book The Giving Tree. We all read that book when we were kids. Though the story was sweet, I always found it kind of depressing. Well, the book became a song too, though shortened, and Bobby Bare delivers it here, and, yeah, it makes me sad in this form too, especially the way Bobby sings it. Bobby Bare also covers “The Unicorn” here. This was included as a poem in Where The Sidewalk Ends, and as a song it was covered by The Irish Rovers and a lot of other groups. I heard this one a lot while growing up, and I suspect I’m not alone in that. Bobby Bare gives us a good rendition, with his kids adding animal noises. As a side note, The Nields more recently covered this song, and the album it appears on is titled All Together Singing In The Kitchen. Not only is that a nod to this Bobby Bare album, but it contains a variation of Shel Silverstein’s “Singin’ In The Kitchen,” with lyrics about member of the Nields. My favorite song from Singin’ In The Kitchen is “She Thinks I Can,” which isn’t really a children’s song. It’s a pretty love song. “I may find a way to turn darkness to sunshine/I may find a rainbow behind the next hill/But with her beside me and heaven to guide me/Lord she thinks I can, so I will.” The album concludes with “See That Bluebird,” a sweet song in which his kids shout out “No, no , no,” and a reprise of “Singin’ In The Kitchen.”

This disc contains another dozen tracks, culled from a single and three other albums. The first is the single, “Sylvia’s Mother,” which was released in 1972, the same year that Dr. Hook And The Medicine Show released their version. Both versions became hits, Bobby Bare’s on the country chart. This was the first Shel Silverstein song that Bobby Bare recorded. That’s followed by “You Know Who,” a wonderfully sad song from Bobby Bare’s I Hate Goodbyes/Ride Me Down Easy album. That’s followed by a pretty duet, “Staying Here With Me,” and then “The Wheel,” an interesting song addressed to the person to whom his woman has gone, with lines like “I gave her love, I gave her everything I own/But not enough to keep her here at home/Then you came into our quiet world with all those magic things/Like pretty clothes and furs, and diamond rings, and money.” “Love And Flowers” has a bright sound, and is about how things don’t last. Those three tracks were previously unreleased. This disc contains two tracks from the 1975 LP Cowboys And Daddys, “The Stranger” and “Chester.” “The Stranger” is a totally delightful and unusual love song that plays on the meaning of stranger. It is certainly the most surprising track on this disc, and it makes me laugh out loud each time I listen to it. The last five tracks on this disc are from The Winner And Other Losers, released in 1976. Interestingly, there are actually seven songs on that album written or co-written by Shel Silverstein, but one of them – “The Winner” – was already included on an earlier album, and the other – “Vince” – is included on the fourth disc. “Bald-Headed Woman” is wonderful, though I imagine some of its lines will offend people today. Then the lines from “Baby Wants To Boogie” that make smile are “I’ve ruined my body and sold my soul/And baby’s yellin’ ‘Let the good times roll!’

Disc 4: Stray Bare Tracks

The fourth disc contains several tracks from Bobby Bare’s 1978 LP Bare, as well as one track from The Winner And Other Losers, one from a single, and a bunch of previously unreleased tracks. It opens with a couple of those previously unreleased tracks, “Sweet Larraine” and “Lemme Be Somethin’.” “Sweet Larraine” refers to the song “Sweet Lorraine” in its lyrics, and the boxed set’s book contains an explanatory note about the spelling. This track features some nice work by Tommy Williams on fiddle. “Lemme Be Somethin’” features playful lyrics, such as “If I can’t be your supermarket, let me be your five and tenner/If I can’t be your all-the-time, lemme be your now-and-thenner/And if I can’t be your now-and-thenner, lemme be you-tell-me-whenner” and “If I can’t be your Mr. Clean, lemme be your Mr. Dirty.” That is one of my personal favorites of this disc. It’s followed by “Vince,” a song from The Winner And Other Losers that was written by Larry D. Wilkerson and Shel Silverstein. “Make It Pretty For Me Baby” is another previously unreleased track, a gentle but honest number written by Shel Silverstein and Fred Koller. That’s followed by “Vegas,” a duet with Jeannie Bare that was released as a single in 1976, and then “It Ain’t Easy,” another previously unreleased track.

Then we get into the tracks from the Bare album, beginning with “February Snow,” a song that is actually on the second side of that record. I was wondering why the tracks from this album weren’t placed in order, and discovered that the order on this disc is, for the most part, the order in which the songs were recorded (that book contains a lot of interesting information). And so a few more previously unreleased tracks are positioned among the Bare tracks. “February Snow” is followed by “Sing For The Song,” a cool song about being a professional musician, and then “From The Jungle To The Zoo,” one of the previously unreleased numbers, a lively tune with some good lyrics. Check out these lines: “They’ll clip your claws, cut your hair/And make a pussy cat out of you/It’s one step from the jungle to the zoo.” “Greasy Grit Gravy” is a totally fun song, and it features Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Dennis Locorriere (of Dr. Hook And The Medicine Show), and Shel Silverstein joining Bobby Bare on vocals, and the presence of so many talented people helps give the song a party-like atmosphere. “They Held Me Down” is another of the previously unreleased tracks, and with that title and its opening line about being in jail, I expected its subject to be pretty serious and intense. But it’s actually about the police supposedly planting evidence on folks, forcing folks to drink and do drugs. Though the book contains a verse that Bobby didn’t include on the track, a verse that is slightly more in line with what I was expecting. The final previously unreleased track to be included on this disc is “There’s An 18-Wheeler In Front Of The Ritz Hotel,” a fun song with some silly and wonderful backing vocals, and lines like “They talk about marriage but he can’t stop truckin’ around.” This disc concludes with “Hattie Halle And Big Dupree,” a song that was listed as simply “Big Dupree” on Bare, where it was the lead track. Shel Silverstein provides some vocal work toward the end.

Disc 5: More Stray Bare Tracks

The fifth disc includes a couple more tunes from Bare, along with more previously unreleased tracks and songs from the 1982 album Ain’t Got Nothin’ To Lose and 1983’s Drinkin’ From The Bottle, Singin’ From The Heart. This disc opens with a previously unreleased track, “Nobody Wants To Go Home,” about a party that no one wishes to leave. It’s a fun number. Here is a taste of the lyrics: “Crawlin’ in the corners, sprawlin’ on the floor/You got my girl and I got yours/You’re half loaded and I’m half stoned/And nobody wants to go home.” That’s followed by “Childhood Hero,” a song from the second side of Bare, one told from the perspective of a famous musician who spends a night with a fan. The lines that stand out for me are “While my picture on the wall looked down/And winked at me as if the bastard knew/And he listened as she whispered.” The other song from Bare included on this disc is “Yard Full Of Rusty Cars.” “A Week On The Town (Gone As A Goose)” is another previously unreleased track, but interestingly was not written by Shel Silverstein. I’m not sure why it’s included, though a note in the book indicates that the song was originally without a writing credit and was thought to have been written by Shel Silverstein before later being discovered to have been written by Gary Sefton. At any rate, it’s a good song. Here is a taste of the lyrics: “Wild Bill says there’s no rest for the wicked/Make room for the wounded, let the others all go/We can’t take time out while you cuss our corrals/And there’s no backstage passes for this kind of show.” The next previously unreleased track was written by Shel Silverstein. Titled “When She Cries,” it is a beautiful, passionate song. Check out these line: “And when she cries it makes you wanna run/And chase the sun and bring it back/To brighten up a corner of her dark and dreary skies… when she cries.” We then get two tracks from Ain’t Got Nothin’ To Lose – “Cold Day In Hell” and “So Good To So Bad.” “Cold Day In Hell” is a totally fun song in which he promises himself to never fall again like he fell for this particular woman. My favorite lines are “She took me by the hand, led me through the darkness/And she left me there.” Then “So Good To So Bad” is a mellow and excellent song about how relationships go wrong. “It started with words like forever/Went from always to sometime to never/From give me some lovin’/To give me some room.”

The rest of this disc, for the most part, is from Drinkin’ From The Bottle, Singin’ From The Heart. It begins with one of two versions of “The Diet Song.” Hey, how is your diet faring during the pandemic? This song mentions Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons, and includes these lines: “And each night I’m dreamin’ of chocolate ice cream and/I’m starvin’ to death when I wake.” That’s followed by a track that is not from the album, “When Hippies Get Older,” which was released on a single in 1979. This one was written by Bobby Bare, Fred Koller and Shel Silverstein. Hey, do Bobby Bare’s vocals remind you a bit of Rob Waller at the beginning of this track? Another of the tracks not from the album is the delightful “You Jumped Off The Gravy Train,” which was released as the flip side to “The Jogger,” where it was titled “The Gravy Train.” That’s followed by “It’s Time,” a song about aging and times changing, one that I find myself relating to more and more. It’s a pretty and positive song. I also like “Drinkin’ From The Bottle,” the title track, which includes these lines: “And some fell in and some fell out and some just fell apart/Drinkin’ from the bottle and singin’ from the heart.” One’s changing views regarding the music career is a recurring theme in this boxed set. “Stacy Brown Got Two” is a totally silly, but catchy and enjoyable song. Even more enjoyable, of course, is Bobby Bare’s rendition of “Three-Legged Man,” a song that Steve Goodman also covered that same year, including it on Artistic Hair. This disc concludes with the second version of “The Diet Song,” which was previously unreleased.

Disc 6: The Complete Great American Saturday Night

The sixth disc contains the album Great American Saturday Night, along with three previously unreleased bonus tracks. This album was recorded in 1977, but not released until 2020 (Bobby Bare talks a bit about it in the interview contained in this set’s book). All of its tracks were written or co-written by Shel Silverstein. Different versions of a few of these songs ended up on 1983’s Drinkin’ From The Bottle, Singin’ From The Heart, and one of its tracks was released as a single. The album has the feel of a live recording, but that sound was accomplished in the studio in much the same way as Lullabys, Legends And Lies. It opens with its title track, which includes a spirited and somewhat goofy introduction, as well as the lines “Drink a little more ‘til the world looks better to ya/Anybody here wanna fuck or fight.” And the second time around, those in the studio sing those lines loudly. That’s followed by “Red-Neck Hippie Romance,” the track that was released as a single in 1977. “So go and roll yourself another reefer/And I’ll go pour myself another beer.” We then get two of the previously unreleased bonus tracks – “Kids Today” and “Dirty Ol’ Me.” Those are followed by “The Diet Song.” There are two versions of that song on the fifth disc, and this version is different from both of them, including as it does a verse that the others don’t, which has the lines “And keep that dog out of the house or I swear/I’ll bite off a piece of his leg.” The last of the three previously unreleased tracks is “I Can’t Sleep,” a song about a soldier with a troubled conscience.

“The Living Legend” is another song about an aging musician, and it includes a bit of “Michael Row The Boat Ashore” at the end, a song I heard a lot when I was a child. That’s followed by “They Won’t Let Us Show It At The Beach,” a fun song about nudity not being allowed on the beaches. “No, they won’t let you show it at the beach/They think that we might grab it/If it gets within our reach.” The crowd that they gathered for the live atmosphere sings along with this one. Then “The Day All The Yes Men Said No” follows. Oh, if only all those yes men and women in the Senate had found their souls at some point in the last four years, we might not be in the fucking mess we’re in now. The crowd sounds work well on songs like that or “Whiplash Will,” but less well on something like “Time.” It is interesting how some of the names are different in this version of “Me And Jimmie Rodgers.” Tony Zale in the other version becomes Sugar Ray here, and Judy Garland becomes Betty Grable. This disc concludes with a reprise of its title track.

Disc 7: Down & Dirty

The seventh disc contains the complete 1980 LP Down & Dirty. Unlike the other discs, this one is presented in the exact order of the original release, including the tracks not written by Shel Silverstein, and without any bonus material. As with Lullabys, Legends And Lies and Great American Saturday Night, Down & Dirty has the vibe of a live album, but was recorded in the studio. It opens with “Good For Nothing Blues (Funky Water),” which was written by Kris Kristofferson, and is a delicious country romp, the crowd singing along. “I wash my face in funky water, pick my teeth with a rusty spoke/Hide your dishes and your daughters, anything that might get broke.” That’s followed by “Numbers,” which was written by Shel Silverstein. It’s a goofy song about rating women, with Bobby Bare singing, “Now on my scale there ain’t no tens, y’know/Nine is ‘bout as far as any chick can go.” But hen the woman turns the tables on him. “Some Days Are Diamonds” is a pretty song written by Dick Feller and featuring some nice work on harmonica. Then “Tequila Sheila” is a fun song that Shel Silverstein wrote with Mac Davis, who died in September, on the same day that took Helen Reddy from us (yeah, 2020 sucked). That’s followed by “Rock Star’s Lament,” another song addressing the aging of a musician, this one written by Fred Kohler and Shel Silverstein. The first side of the album concludes with “Crazy Again,” a song written by Robert Lee McDill. This one has a good energy and a funny opening line, “I don’t wanna rock ‘n’ roll but I can’t help it.”

The second side opens with a good cover of Townes Van Zandt’s “Tecumseh Valley,” a song from his 1968 LP For The Sake Of The Song. That’s followed by “Blind Willie Harper,” an energetic number written by Shel Silverstein and Jim Casey, and then “Rough On The Living,” a wonderful song about how a musician who struggled during life is now praised after dying. “Nashville is rough on the livin’/But she really speaks well of the dead.” “Down To My Last Come And Get Me” is about a drunk man contemplating his situation, wondering if he is worth the trouble. But one of my favorites is “Quaaludes.” Check out these line: “She mumbles and stumbles/And falls down the stairs/Makes love to the leg of the dining room chair/She’s ready for animals, women or men/She’s doin’ Quaaludes again.” Ah, the days of Quaaludes. Heard so much about them, but by the time I was in my teens, they were gone. Probably just as well. That’s followed by “Goin’ Back To Texas,” its main line being “I’m goin’ back to Texas and be one more horse’s ass.” The album then concludes with “I Can’t Watch The Movie Anymore,” written by Jerry Foster and Bill Rice. “Everything in life is like a rerun/Who am I to orchestrate the score/I’ve seen enough and felt too much to see it all again/And I can’t watch the movie anymore.”

Disc 8: Drunk & Crazy

The eighth (and final) disc of this boxed set contains the complete album Drunk & Crazy, which, like Down & Dirty, was released in 1980 and contains some songs not written by Shel Silverstein. This one keeps the tracks in essentially the same order as on the original release, the only exception being the addition of a single bonus track, which is placed toward the end of the first side. The album opens with its title track, which has some delightfully silly lines such as “Way across the room I see a fancy fox/I got the key to open up her lock/I slide across the floor like a greasy eel/I say, ‘Hey, baby, tell me how do you feel?’” That’s followed by “Food Blues,” one that could go along with “The Diet Song.” In this one the waiter at a restaurant seems eager to keep him from ordering anything, which could be an effective diet as well. The waiter informs him, “Fish got mercury, red meat is poison/Salt’s gonna send your blood pressure risin’/Hot dogs and baloney got deadly red dyes/Vegetables and fruits are sprayed with pesticides.” “The World’s Last Truck Drivin’ Man” takes place far in the future, the year 2080, when trucks are nearly a thing of the past. The one bonus track on this disc is “This Much Rain,” a song written by Shel Silverstein and Dennis Morgan. It is about trouble in a relationship, and has a wonderfully sad vibe. “I know the sun can’t always shine and every love has cloudy times/But girl, I never dreamed of this much rain.” That’s followed by the last song of the first side of the album, “Song Of The South,” written by Robert Lee McDill.

The second side opens with another song not written by Shel Silverstein, “Appaloosa Rider,” which was written by George M. Jones. And it is followed by two other songs not written by Shel Silverstein – “Bathroom Tissue Paper Letter” and “Willie Jones,” the latter a Charlie Daniels Band song. Charlie Daniels joins Bobby Bare on vocals and guitar on this track. Charlie Daniels is another of the musicians we lost last year. Then we get back to the Shel Silverstein material, beginning with “Gotta Get Rid Of This Band,” a playful song that takes shots at each member of the band. After the verse about the piano player, we are treated to an excellent lead on piano. “We got a honey-talkin’ pretty boy there on that steel guitar/And the girls don’t realize that I’m the star/And when anybody interferes with my romantic plans/They’re gone! I gotta get rid of this band.” That’s followed by “Drinkin’ And Druggin’ And Watchin’ TV,” a fun sing-along. These are my favorite lines: “So you bring the chemicals, I bring the wine/I fiddle with yours and you diddle with mine/Then drunken and drugged we fall on our backs/Naturally performing unnatural acts.” This track is a lot of fun. “Your Credit Card Won’t Get You Into Heaven” is another one I appreciate, and is the final Shel Silverstein composition of the disc. The album concludes with “I’ve Never Gone To Bed With An Ugly Woman,” which was written by Royal C. Bannon, and Guy Clark’s “Desperados Waiting For A Train.”

Bobby Bare Sings Shel Silverstein Plus was released on October 2, 2020.

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