25 Minutes to Go

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"25 Minutes to Go"
Song by Shel Silverstein from the album Inside Folk Songs
Released 1962 (1962)
Genre Country
Label Atlantic
Writer Shel Silverstein
Inside Folk Songs track listing
"Boa Constrictor"
(7)
"25 Minutes to Go"
(8)
"Folk Singer's Blues"
(9)

"25 Minutes to Go" is a song by Shel Silverstein, from his 1962 album Inside Folk Songs.

Lyrics[edit]

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.

Well they're buildin' the gallows outside my cell.
I got 25 minutes to go.
And the whole town's waitin' just to hear me yell.
I got 24 minutes to go.

The song is similar in concept to Silverstein's children's 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. "Boa Constrictor", like "25 Minutes to Go", appeared on Silverstein's 1962 album Inside Folk Songs.

Cover versions[edit]