Bill Anderson

About Unicorn

"The Unicorn" is a song by Shel Silverstein that was made very popular by The Irish Rovers in 1968. It remains one of the best-known songs in the Irish Rovers' long career. It sold 8 million copies worldwide and reached #2 in the US Adult Contemporary Chart, #7 in the U. S. Hot 100, #4 in Canada, and #5 in Ireland. It can still be heard regularly in Irish Pubs. The lyrics to the song also appear, printed as a poem, in Shel 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 most of the song is sung, again except for the final line, which is spoken freely without the music. Shel Silverstein's own version was released in 1962 on his album Inside Folk Songs (Atlantic 8072). 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 Bill Anderson (Decca), Shay Duffin (RCA), Robert Goulet (Columbia), Bob Turner (ABC), and "Uncle Bill" (Dot). (The record "Uncle Bill Socks It To Ya" was by Burt Wilson, imitating W. C. Fields) 


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A long time ago when the earth was green
Why there was more kinda animals than you've ever seen
And they just run around free while the earth was bein' born
And loveliest of them all was the unicorn
There was green alligators and long neck geese
Some humpty back camels and some chimpanzees
Some cats and rats and elephants but sure as you're born
The loveliest of all was the unicorn
[ ac.guitar ]
Now God seen some sinnin' and it gave him a pain
And he said stand back cause I'm gonna make it rain
He said hey brother Noah I'll tell you what to do you build me a floating Zoo
And take some green alligators and long neck geese
Some humpty back camels and some chimpanzees
Some cats and rats and elephants but sure as you're born don't you forget my unicorn
[ ac.guitar ]
Well ol' Noah was there to answer the call
And he finished up makin' the ark just as the rain started to fall
He marched in the animals two by two and he called out as they went through
Hey Lord I got your green alligators and long neck geese
Some humpty back camels and some chimpanzees
Some cats and rats and elephants but Lord I'm so forlorn I just can't see no unicorn
[ ac.guitar ]
And then Noah looked out through the driving rain
And them unicorns were hidin' playin' silly little games
Kickin' and a splashin' while the rain was pourin' oh them silly unicorns
Green alligators and long neck geese some humpty back camels and some chimpanzees
Noah cried close the door cause the rain's a pourin'
And we just don't wait on an ol' unicorn
[ ac.guitar ]
Well the ark started moving and it drifted with the tide
The unicorns looked up from the rocks and they cried
And the waters came down and just sorta floated 'em away
And that's why you've never seen a unicorn to this very day
You'll see green alligators and long neck geese
Some humpty back camels and some chimpanzees
Some cats and rats and elephants but sure as you're born
You're never gonna see no unicorn

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Bill Anderson

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Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

20 facts about this song

Release Information
"Unicorn" by Bill Anderson was released in 2019 as part of his album "The Hits Re-Imagined."
Original Creator
The song, "Unicorn," was actually composed by Shel Silverstein and popularized by The Irish Rovers before Anderson covered it.
Album Success
Anderson's album, where "Unicorn" was part of, "The Hits Re-Imagined," garnished wide reception and made it to various charts.
Musical Career
Before his 2019 release, Bill Anderson had an already successful country music career and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Artistic Style
Bill Anderson's rendition of "Unicorn" stays true to the country music style he's known for, with a blend of his signature conversational vocal style.
Consistent Output
This version of "Unicorn" is part of Bill Anderson's consistent output; he's released an album nearly every year since his career began in the late 1950s.
The song lyrics of "Unicorn" tell the mythical story of why unicorns are not seen in the modern day, suggesting they missed Noah's ark.
Bill Anderson's Legacy
Bill Anderson is known as "Whisperin' Bill" for his soft vocal style, which can be heard in "Unicorn."
Prolific Songwriter
Bill Anderson has written songs for many other country music stars, making his rendition of the "Unicorn" one of many songs he has made in his long career.
Age-Defying Career
Bill Anderson was 81 when he released "Unicorn," demonstrating his enduring presence and creativity in the country music industry.
Artist Background
"Unicorn" is a song by American singer-songwriter Bill Anderson. Anderson has been a significant figure in the country music scene since the 1950s and 1960s, having secured several number one hits on the Billboard country charts.
Song Inspiration
The song "Unicorn" was inspired by the legendary mythical creature, the unicorn, which symbolizes beauty, purity, and the unusual.
Song Features
"Unicorn" is known for its silver-toned, smooth delivery, a signature style of Anderson. Its country style sound is characterized by traditional instruments like the guitar, banjo, and fiddle.
Lyric Style
This song demonstrates Anderson’s knack for storytelling. The lyrics are clever and creative, presenting a fantasy narrative centered around the mythical unicorn.
Cover Version
Anderson's "Unicorn" should not be confused with the song of the same title by The Irish Rovers, which was also a hit around the same time. While both songs deal with unicorns, they are completely separate compositions.
The exact release date of Anderson's "Unicorn" is not clear. Bill Anderson's career spans several decades, with his most active period being from the late 1950s through the 1970s.
Although "Unicorn" may not be Anderson’s most well-known song, it’s a testament to his wide range and ability to deliver songs on varying themes, from heartfelt country ballads to light-hearted and imaginative tales like this one.
Like many of his songs, "Unicorn" has been enjoyed primarily by country music fans. Bill Anderson's music is often credited for its emotional depth and relatability, qualities that "Unicorn" also embodies.
The song is available on various music streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. It can also be found on several of Anderson’s compilation albums.
Songwriting Accomplishments
Bill Anderson is recognized as a remarkable songwriter, having been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. While "Unicorn" might not be his most awarded song, it still bears the qualities of a finely composed piece from a master storyteller.

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    "Unicorn Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Jul 2024. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/1050110/Bill+Anderson/Unicorn>.

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