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
Songwriter(s) Shel Silverstein

"25 Minutes to Go" is a song by Shel Silverstein, from his 1962 album Inside Folk Songs.[1]


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 in 25 minutes I'll be in hell.
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.[1]

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Inside Folk Songs - Shel Silverstein | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 30 November 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  2. ^ Cover: Johnny Cash https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxvR7ZUjaJk
  3. ^ "Povl Dissing - 25 Minutter Endnu / Han Skød Pistolen Af". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
  4. ^ On the House- Head of the Herd https://soundcloud.com/headoftheherd/sets/on-the-house
  5. ^ Cover: Head of the Herd https://soundcloud.com/headoftheherd/12-25-minutes-to-go
  6. ^ 25 Minutes to Go, retrieved 2017-03-13
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngV_rSnSZdw