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"More than any other entertainer in his generation, Harry was a citizen-artist."
- Ralph Nader & Mark Green
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by Harry Chapin
This phone's growing into my ear
I made three hundred calls today,
Though yours is the only voice that I wanna hear
I got to make me a living someway.
I know you hate me doing this
You say I'm selling out,
But how in the hell is a mad s'posed to live?
Selling's what it's all about.
Hello, Sir, I'm the Pocano Land
And I'm calling you with an offer of some land
That you'll just have to see.
A quarter-acre plot, that's what I've got for you
Nineteen ninety-five, four hundred dollars down
And just ten bucks a week
It's two short hours from New York City,
A Pocano Land Site green and pretty.
There's lakes there, and trout streams,
Mountain views, Country Dreams,
We dreamed our dreams in college, girl
Back then we thought we should,
And we promised that we would save the world
Way back then we thought we could.
I know you love your teaching now, but I wish you'd understand,
There aren't that many jobs around, I'm doing the best I can.
I'm here with forty other guys
Crowded in a room,
Making a living selling the moon
And rustic dreams in June.
I used to hate the city now I'm dwelling in it,
Used to love the country now I'm selling it.
I'm doing well at it,
That's the hell of it!
I said that we would find a farm
And live out on the land,
It's strange how dreams come back at us
In ways that we had never planned.
Here I'm selling real estate
And laughing at myself,
If I can't have my country dream
I'm gonna sell it out to somebody else!
Darling, don't get mad at me
I'm doing this for you,
It's really not so sad to see we had
Growing up to do.
Please don't push me anymore
It's gonna work out fine,
I know I said I'd quit before
But just give me a little more time.
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"Oh, if a man tried to take his time on earth and prove before he died what one man's life could be worth, I wonder what would happen to this world?" -- Harry Chapin, 1942-1981.
The Latest Release
Sniper & Other Love Songs
In 1972, Harry released
Sniper & Other Love Songs.
Thirty years would pass before the album would ever reach the CD format. Sniper was finally re-released in June, 2002.
Originally given a working title of Sweet City Suite, the album tells the story of various characters one might run into in
a city. The album features the original studio versions of Chapin classics "A Better Place to Be" and "Circle." But
perhaps more importantly (as those songs are already well-distributed on compilation CDs), the album features seemingly
lost Chapin stories, including "And the Baby Never Cries," "Burning Herself," "Barefoot Boy," and "Woman Child."
Sniper is for the seasoned Chapin fan. New fans would do better to check out
Live. But for Chapin fans who have reached the level of the
Dance Band on the Titanic album, this is the next step. Slightly over-produced and having a little of the "forced"
feel that some of Harry's studio albums possess, this album does not capture the powerfully live Harry Chapin. Nonetheless,
it captures Harry's great iconoclastic songwriting--Harry takes the story song to new heights here. But the album works best
for those ready for it; don't buy it until you are ready to appreciate it!