Hey guys it’s Sam, and I’m actually bringing back one of my oldest and most forgotten segments on Sammwak…Time for Tunes! (Click here if you didn’t see my first T4T post.) If you don’t remember from last April, Time for Tunes is dedicated to reviewing songs that are either at the top of the mainstreams or from so long ago, Thomas Edison was still alive. And today, that’s just where we roam. “Oldie songs”, I like to call them.

Thomas Edison with a very original phonograph prototype.

Upon hearing “oldie” in terms of music, you might think, “Yeah, turn up the phonograph and move those petticoats!” If you think that, you are on one half, wrong. Do I look like I live on the Oregon Trail? I’m talking like sixties old. And that’s just where we’re headed to. There’s one man out there who has stuck his hand into everything in fame, and made it out successful. He’s one of the weirdest (and honestly, sometimes one of the worst) poets I’ve read. Sometimes he shaves his head and wears his beard–other times he shaves his beard and wears his head. Just as the 60s rolled in, he was already a maxed-out adult. He was the idea for a screamo band (which makes me scream), he is Shel Silverstein.

Shel, Shel, Shel, my man. I’ve literally sat through almost all of his books, and I wonder why I still have a dull head afterward. I actually wonder what it would be like if Shel hadn’t taken…er, the big nap. (He would be 81 years old if he was still alive!) From his poem book trilogy, to the “adults-only” ABZ Book, Shel still has to be one of the most memorable dudes I’ve seen.

Enough jibber-jabber, let’s get to the song.

Shel had a series of fifteen albums, starting with Hairy Jazz, depicted above. That’s not the song I want to look at today. Today I want to look at one of Shel’s later songs in 1969. It explains a perilous warning to our economy. It is “Thumbsucker”, from Shel’s album Freakin’ at the Freakers Ball (see picture).


Released: 1969

Genre: Folk, rock, comedy

Length: 4:30

Label: Columbia

Producer: Ron Haffkine


4 minutes and 30 seconds of groove, song, and screaming. It depicts thumbsucking as some sort of addiction spread nationwide, and the addicts become infinite thumbsuckers. Shel even gives a thorough explanation at the beginning of the song:

“…And every time, every time you make a peace sign with your finger, and every time you push a doorbell, and every time you’re on the highway, and you stick your thumb, they’re always deep in the shadows, some dirty, sneaky thumbsuckers, who will leap out upon you, grab your wrist, and start to suck your thumb, draining all your natural thumb juices and leavin’ you hopeless, heartless, a shakin’, quiverin’, crawlin’, slaverin’, thumbsuckin’ addict for the rest of your unnatural life!”

And this is when Shel breaks into actual song. The concept is vapid, but with its groove and stylized entertainment, you’ll barely even know it’s about thumbsucking. It’s even got an impressive piano solo. So the sixties weren’t half bad with this guy around. But I’m not completely hypnotized. The song is conceptually ridiculous, and that’s that.

Groove (how groovy is the song?): A – 5 points

Creativity (how creative did the artist(s) get?): A+ – 5 points

Ratio (would this happen in real life?): B- – 3 points

Smarts (is it real talk, or is it just something spit out?): C+ – 2 points

Impression (will people want to listen to this again?): A- – 4 points

Humor (will this make people smile or laugh?): B – 4 points


Final score: 23 out of 30 (3 1/2 stars)


I suggest you listen to “Thumbsucker”. It’s funny, it’s groovy, and it’s entertaining. That’s what a successful song needs. So that’s all from Sammwak. Please like this post if you blog here at WordPress, and please subscribe if you do or don’t. I’ll be releasing juice like this every Monday and Friday! Remember–it’s 100% natural!

– Sam

p.s. Be on the lookout for other Shel songs!


* – This song is originally a Shel Silverstein poem.

  • “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out”* – Only a song with a name that long (ten words!) would be a poem. The story, and song, chronicled a girl named Sarah C.S. Stout, who simply didn’t like taking the garbage out. And you know how garbage piles up when you leave it there? Well, this garbage went to its extreme (I’ll explain to you in my Shel poem talk).

The garbage grew and grew so high,

it nearly outdid the state.

Sarah said, “Okay, I’ll take the garbage out!”,

but by now, it was already too late.

  •  “26 Second Song” – Shel Silverstein performs a quick Hawaiian-esque ditty that’s only twenty-six seconds long. Salvage every minute, hula dancers.
  • “A Front Row Seat To Hear Ole Johnny Sing” – Probably the longest song on the album at 4 minutes! Shel explains how without a front row seat to hear a guy named Johnny sing, makes his life feel incomplete.

p.p.s. This is my first promotion of my new sister blog that I’m making…Gamers United League! The one-stop shop of everything video games. So you’re gonna have to say goodbye to the reviews I do here on Sammwak…but then say hello to them again on GUL! It’s not ready yet, but you always have the URL here: