This has to be one of the most beautifully written and sung songs that will keep the listener guessing who is Shannon and did she ever return from the sea? What a beautiful, yet sad song about a beloved pet!
“Shannon” was a song written about the passing of Beach Boy Carl Wilson’s Irish Setter of the same name. The song went gold and became a worldwide hit. The second single, “Springtime Mama,” sold just short of gold. This was Gross’ first album and first hit on the new Lifesong Record label.
This song was a hit in the US in 1976, but is perhaps best known for being the subject of a legendary, profanity-laced tirade by American Top 40 radio show host Casey Kasem while recording an episode of the show in 1985. A listener had requested the song as a “Long Distance Dedication” (a regular feature of the AT40 show) to his own recently-deceased dog. Kasem was upset that the show’s producers had placed the dedication immediately following the Pointer Sisters’ hit “Dare Me,” an up-tempo song that Kasem considered a poor lead-in to a sad song like “Shannon” – and he let the producers know of his displeasure in no uncertain terms. In the end, the dedication, and the mismatched songs, were presented as scripted in spite of Kasem’s objection, but the outtake of his rant eventually surfaced as a bootleg recording. The so-called “Snuggles tape” (named for the dog to whom the dedication was made) contradicted Kasem’s normally straight-laced, easygoing on-air persona, and provided an amusing footnote to his 18-year-long run as the show’s original host. The falsetto vocals on “Shannon” were written because Gross was a big fan of Beach Boy member Brian Wilson and was influenced by his singing style.
Song Lyrics –
Another day’s at end Mama says she’s tired again No one can even begin to tell her I hardly know what to say But maybe it’s better that way If poppa were here I’m sure he’d tell her
Shannon is gone I heard She’s drifting out to sea She always loved to swim away Maybe she’ll find an island With a shaded tree Just like the one in our backyard
Mama tries hard to pretend That things will get better again Somehow she’s keepin’ it all inside her
But finally, the tears fill our eyes And I know that somewhere tonight She knows how much we really miss her
Shannon is gone I heard She’s drifting out to sea She always loved to swim away Maybe she’ll find an island With a shaded tree Just like the one in our back yard Ah Just like the one in our back yard Ah