This bit of mythology that explains why we no longer have unicorns comes from the mind of Shel Silverstein, author, poet, songwriter, and cartoonist. The lyrics also appeared as a poem in Silverstein’s book Where the Sidewalk Ends. Silverstein recorded and released his version of the song in 1962 on his album Inside Folk Songs. Glen Campbell played lead guitar on the track However, the most popular version was by the Canadian band The Irish Rovers. In 1968, their cover went to #2 on the U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart, #7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and #5 in Ireland..
Over the years, there were numerous covers of the song, including versions by Bill Anderson, Shay Duffin, Robert Goulet, Bob Turner, The Bachelors, the Kidsongs Kids, and “Uncle Bill.” The Unicorn has been a popular song in pubs. And Will Millar of The Irish Rovers opened a pub called The Unicorn in Toronto in 1981.
The Irish Rovers are a group of Irish folk musicians, some of whom live in Canada now. They named themselves after a traditional song called “The Irish Rover.” They formed in Toronto in 1963. They have had a roving group of members, and have been performing for more than 50 years. Heard on the early songs were Will Millar, Jimmy Ferguson, George MIllar, and Joe Millar. The band has also included John Reynolds and Ian Millar. Wilcil McDowell on accordion has been part of the signature sound of the band.