Poetry Quote of the Day
This version of the poem is from Shel Silverstein’s book of poems for children, “Where the Sidewalk Ends” published in 1974. A slightly different version of “Paul” is sung by Bobby Bare in his 1973 album, “Lullabys, Legends and Lies”. He begins with an introduction, “You know, American folklore is filled with legendary characters like… Billy The Kid, Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill… and probably the greatest one of all has got to be Paul Bunyan, ’cause he was the meanest and the biggest and dirtiest, tobacco chewin’est, and the funkiest and the best woodchopper of all of ’em”. Paul Bunyan is a lumberjack of huge size and strength in American folk tales. Usually included in these Tall Tales is his companion, Babe the Blue Ox, a giant creature of extraordinary strength.
He rode through the woods on a big blue ox,
Talk about workin’, when he swung his axe
Talk about drinkin’, that man’s so mean
Talk about tough, well he once had a fight
He was ninety years old when he said with a sigh,
He says, “There ain’t no man alive can kill me,
So he died…and we cried.
It took eighteen men just to bust the ground,
But late one night the trees started shakin’,
He shook the dirt from off his clothes,
He says, “Up in heaven they got harps on their knees,
So he jumps on his ox with a fare-thee-well,
But the next time you hear a “Timber!” yell