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Home > Music > The Day They Closed the Factory Down

The Day They Closed the Factory Down
by Harry Chapin

She said, "I watch him walk down Main Street A sweet one man parade.
He'd tip his hat and just like that another score he'd made
I'd watch the girls all watch him; moths drawn to the flame.
The money showed, the laughter flowed from the way he played the game.
He played the game.

"Some said he was a rambler, some said he was a rake .
Some said he was a gambler, some said he was a fake.
But I knew him like no one else, a gentleman was he.
His days belonged to himself, his nights belonged to me.
Belonged to me.

"And they're talkin' in the town square,
In the taverns and the shops
I hear them talkin' everywhere.
Their talkin' never stops.
But all their words of wisdom won't make you go away.
The day they closed the factory down they had nothing,
Nothing left to say.

She said, "I take care of my momma now, since my father died.
I'm raising baby brother, too, the way my father tried.
His thirty years in the factory ended in that furnace blast.
But they settled up for ten bucks a week and the bitterness is past,
It did not last.

"So they're moving somewhere else now
With their cloths and fabric press. They found themselves another town where they'll make shirts for less.
And that is why he said last night he won't watch the old town die.
But I would not take what he tried to leave, when he told me 'Good bye'
Ah, it's good bye

"And they're talkin' in the town square,
In the taverns and the shops.
I hear them talkin' everywhere.
Their talkin' never stops.
But all their words of wisdom won't make you go away.

The day they closed the factory down they had nothing,
Nothing left to say"
"So they're talkin' of the changes the closing brings about.
Talkin' of the hard times and the young folks moving out.
Yes, they're talking as if talking can make everything all right.
But all the talking ever done won't bring him back tonight.
Ah, tonight.

And they're talkin' talkin' talkin' talkin'
Talkin' in the shops
I hear them talkin' everywhere.
Their talkin' never stops.
But all their words of wisdom won't make you go away.
The day they closed the factory down they had nothing
Nothing left to say."

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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.

 

 


Harry's Music
Bottom Line Encore Collection
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Chapin Music
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Cotton Patch Gospel
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Dance Band On The Titanic*
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Essentials
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Gold Medal Collection
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Greatest Stories Live*
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Harry Chapin Tribute
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Heads & Tales
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Last Protest Singer
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Legends Of Lost & Found*
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Living Room Suite
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On The Road To Kingdom Come
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Portrait Gallery
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Sequel
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Short Stories
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Sniper & Other Love Songs
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Songwriter
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Story of a Life
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Verities & Balderdash
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* = Highly Recommended

The Latest Release

Sniper & Other Love Songs

 
[iTunes]

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 Greatest Stories 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!