This Album Changed My Life: Shel Silverstein - A Light In The Attic (1981)

Singer-songwriter Rhob Cunningham on an album of musical poems

Rhob Cunningham: “I don’t listen to it so often nowadays, I just cherish the world it opened up for me.”

Rhob Cunningham: “I don’t listen to it so often nowadays, I just cherish the world it opened up for me.”

 

As a wee nipper, I first learned of the influence a record can hold with this collection of musical poems, as narrated by the jangled wordsmithery of Shel Silverstein.

It was on a scratchy 12-inch – a first foray into the delicate world of needle on grooves. With brevity akin to any Buddy Holly classic and speckled with the twinkling winks familiar to both Spike Milligan and Billy Connolly lovers alike, Shel proffers tales of Aunt-eaters, overpopulated bathtubs, blue traffic lights and how to get what you want. To the busy ear, it is a tirade of nonsense, yet, there is infinite magic to be found.

Every poem is a spilled bag of scrabble tiles. You can take them at face value or search for extras hidden behind your ear. A Light In The Attic taught me that every word can be new. There are no inherently bad words, it’s just how you use them.

I don’t listen to it so often nowadays, I just cherish the world it opened up for me. I have gone back and read the print version out loud from time to time. You should save it for a weekend afternoon near tiny humans: it opens ears and widens eyes.

Rhob Cunningham’s new album, Step Outside, is out now. More info at: rhobcunningham.com 

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.