Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout

"Sing me a dirge, will ya?" asks Dave.
We're on the way home from Christmas shopping, driving in a snowstorm. The roads are solid ice and there are cars in the ditch up and down the highway.
I start singing the first thing that pops in my head:

"Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
Would not take the garbage out.
She'd wash the dishes and scrub the pans,
Cook the yams and spice the hams
And though her parents would scream and shout,
She simply would not take the garbage out."

Why this song by Shel Silverstein pops into my head at this moment is a mystery to me. 
Also to Dave. "What IS that?" 
Dave is younger than me. Also, not as weird. Sometimes he doesn't know stuff I do. Important stuff, like who Todd Rundgren is and what he (Dave, not Todd) was doing when John Lennon died (I think he was still in public school – I was in my first year of journalism school).

In the 1970s I was a teenager living on the outskirts of Toronto, where top 40 radio station CFTR was king. Every morning I would wake up to to the weird morning man who had a roster of equally weird songs, most of them stolen from the Dr. Demento radio show.
One of the shows he played regularly was Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout.
I have forgotten almost everything I learned in high school, except that silly song.
The man who wrote it, Shel Silverstein, was a real Renaissance man. A renowned illustrator, he drew children's books and cartoons for Playboy magazine. He wrote books, he wrote plays, he wrote songs. Did you know he wrote A Boy Named Sue for Johnny Cash? Or On The Cover of Rolling Stone for Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show? 
The man was amazing.
And here's the proof: I can still quote Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout but darn if I can remember when garbage day is.


  1. Shel Silverstein is one of my most favoritest writers ever!

  2. This makes me smile. Our whole class recited this poem, one student per line, when I was nine years old. What a memory!

  3. I love Shel Silverstein. His brilliant, silly poems are the best. It makes me smile to think of you singing this song out of the blue. :)

  4. "Also, not as weird."

    Good thing, that. It probably provides a certain balance to the universe. At our house it's my wife who is not as weird. But you probably knew that.

  5. Someοne nеcesѕarily assiѕt to make sеverely articlеs I woulԁ
    ѕtate. Thіs is the verу firѕt tіmе I frequеnted
    your webѕіtе ρage anԁ uр to now?

    Ӏ amazed ωith the reseаrch уоu made tо crеаtе thіѕ аctual submіt amаzing.
    Wonԁerful job!

    Heгe is my blog рost - SEOPressor
    my site: SEOPressor

  6. I love what you guys are usually up too. Such сlever work and covеrage!
    Keep up the fantastic ωorkѕ guys I've added you guys to blogroll.

    Look into my web page Best Wordpress Plugin

  7. HGH Supplements have been shown to help increase ones metabolism, therefore decreasing one.
    HGH spray is utilized by many athletes in order to increase muscle mass, and transform both their body and
    athletic performance. Any work out that is exhaustive acts as the
    best HGH releasers, as these need energy to support
    and this is attained by burning fatty tissues; this also increase protein synthesis
    to enable the body withstand severe demands of working
    out ; these are considered the ways to generate the most effective
    human growth hormone.

  8. When you're learning chords, you learn and study them for only One Key at a time. Www. offers free online piano lessons.

    Also visit my weblog ... piano chords amazing love

  9. Chords introduce harmony into music and it is the effects created by
    chords that produce the inspiration behind so
    much music and make it so satisfying both to listen to and to play.

    Do not overlook this part of your learning.
    Piano players that struggle are the ones that don't play with passion and feeling.

    Feel free to visit my web site: piano chords amaj7

  10. It seems the Gujarat investors are returning to real estate
    business after an interval. Just give them the price you want to
    pay for the house minus 6% - 7% and if they ask
    how high you are willing to go, tell them that's it. Nearly all homebuyers and home sellers usually hire a real estate professional to assist them listing their home for sale or to purchase a home.

    my webpage; vapaat vuokra-asunnot vantaa


How's it going, eh? It's SO good to hear from you. Tell me every darn thing...