FACTOID # 21: 15% of Army recruits from South Dakota are Native American, which is roughly the same percentage for female Army recruits in the state.
 
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Encyclopedia > 25 Minutes to Go

25 Minutes to Go is a song performed by Johnny Cash on his famous At Folsom Prison concert album. It was written by Shel Silverstein. John R. (Johnny) Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an influential American country and rock music singer and songwriter. ... At Folsom Prison is a live album by Johnny Cash, recorded on January 13, 1968 at Folsom State Prison. ... Sheldon Alan Shel Silverstein (September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999) was an American poet, songwriter, musician, composer, cartoonist, screenwriter, and author of childrens books. ...


The song is literally "gallows humor", as it is sung by a man awaiting his own execution by hanging. Each verse consists of two lines, of which the first line is anything from humorous to poignant, and the second line is a minute-by-minute countdown. Cash's version, excerpted below, varied somewhat from Silverstein's original lyrics:

Well, they're building a gallows outside my cell;
And I've got 25 minutes to go.
And whole town's comin' just to hear me yell;
I've got 24 minutes to go.
...
I can see the buzzards, I can hear the crows;
1 more minute to go.
And now I'm swingin'!
And here I go-oh-oh-oh-oh...

In the live prison concert recording, Cash flubbed one line, singing "7 more minutes to go" instead of "4 more minutes to go".


The song is similar in concept to Silverstein's kiddy song "Boa Constrictor": It presents the point of view of someone who is experiencing a calamity in "real time", composing and singing as the events unfold, with a fatal conclusion.


External links

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Johnny Cash
Discography
Albums : With His Hot and Blue Guitar | Sings the Songs That Made Him Famous | The Fabulous Johnny Cash | Greatest! | Hymns by Johnny Cash | Songs of Our Soil | Sings Hank Williams | Ride This Train | Now, There Was a Song! | Now Here's Johnny Cash | The Lure of the Grand Canyon | Hymns from the Heart | The Sound of Johnny Cash | All Aboard the Blue Train | Blood, Sweat and Tears | Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash | The Christmas Spirit | I Walk the Line | Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian | Orange Blossom Special | Sings the Ballads of the True West | Everybody Loves a Nut | Happiness is You | Carryin' On with Johnny Cash and June Carter | From Sea to Shining Sea | Old Golden Throat | Heart of Cash | The Holy Land | More of Old Golden Throat | Hello, I'm Johnny Cash | Man in Black | A Thing Called Love | America: A 200-Year Salute in Story and Song | The Johnny Cash Family Christmas | Any Old Wind That Blows | Johnny Cash and His Woman | Ragged Old Flag | Junkie and the Juicehead Minus Me | The Johnny Cash Children's Album | Sings Precious Memories | John R. Cash | Look at Them Beans | One Piece at a Time | The Last Gunfighter Ballad | The Rambler | I Would Like to See You Again | Gone Girl | Silver | A Believer Sings the Truth | Rockabilly Blues | Classic Christmas | The Baron | The Adventures of Johnny Cash | Johnny 99 | Rainbow | Believe in Him | Heroes | Johnny Cash is Coming to Town | Classic Cash: Hall of Fame Series | Water from the Wells of Home | Boom Chicka Boom | The Mystery of Life | American Recordings | Unchained | American III: Solitary Man | American IV: The Man Comes Around | American V: A Hundred Highways | American VI
Live albums: At Folsom Prison | At San Quentin | The Johnny Cash Show | På Österåker | Strawberry Cake | The Survivors Live | VH1 Storytellers | At Madison Square Garden
Soundtrack albums: I Walk the Line | Little Fauss and Big Halsy | The Gospel Road | Return to the Promised Land
Compilation albums: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 | The World of Johnny Cash | Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 | International Superstar | Greatest Hits, Vol. 3 | The Unissued Johnny Cash | Johnny & June | Tall Man | Encore | Love, God and Murder | Unearthed | The Legend | The Legend of Johnny Cash | Personal File
Songs
"25 Minutes to Go" | "A Boy Named Sue" | "Cocaine Blues" | "Cry Cry Cry" | "Dark as a Dungeon" | "Engine 143" | "Folsom Prison Blues" | "Get Rhythm" | "Goodnight, Irene" | "Green Green Grass of Home" | "Greystone Chapel" | "Hey Porter" | "Home of the Blues" | "Hurt" | "I Walk the Line" | "In My Life" | "It Ain't Me Babe" | "Jackson" | "Like the 309" | "The Man Comes Around" | "One Piece at a Time" | "The One on the Right is on the Left" | "Remember the Alamo" | "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" | "Ring of Fire" | "What'd I Say"
Family
June Carter Cash | John Carter Cash | Rosanne Cash | Carlene Carter | Vivian Liberto | Tommy Cash | Carter Family
Related articles
Sun Records | Columbia Records | Mercury Records | American Recordings | Legacy Recordings | Lost Highway Records | Sam Phillips | Jack Clement | Rick Rubin | Carl Perkins | Jerry Lee Lewis | The Highwaymen | Waylon Jennings | Kris Kristofferson | Willie Nelson | Folsom Prison | San Quentin State Prison | Outlaw country | Tennessee Three
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