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   - Harry Chapin

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Home > Music > I Wanna Learn a Love Song

I Wanna Learn a Love Song
by Harry Chapin

I come fresh from the street,
fast on my feet, kind a lean and lazy;
not much meat on my bones, and a whole lot alone,
and more than a little bit crazy.
The old six string was all I had
to keep my belly still,
and for each full hour lesson I gave
I got a crisp ten dollar bill.

She was married for seven years
to a concrete castle king.
She said she wanted to learn to play the guitar
and to hear her children sing.
So I'd show up about once a week
in my faded tight-legged jeans
with a backlog full of hobo stories
and dilapidated dreams.

She said, "I wanna learn a love song full of happy things."
She said, "I wanna learn a love song; won't you let me hear you sing?"
She said, "I wanna learn a love song, I wanna hear you play."
She said, "I wanna learn a love song before you go away."

So I tried to teach her a couple of chords
and an easy melody;
but it always turned out she'd rather listen
to my guitar and me.
I could hear her old man laughing in the den,
playing stud poker with the boys
while I sang so soft in the living room,
to scared to make much noise.
I came one week and the den was dark
and she met me at the door.
And we sat on the couch and we sang and talked
till I could not sing no more.
The silence kept on building,
her eyes grew much too wide;
and I could her both of our heartbeats,
but there was no place to hide.

She said, "I wanna learn a love song full of happy things."
She said, "I wanna learn a love song; won't you let me hear you sing?"
She said, "I wanna learn a love song, I wanna hear you play."
She said, "I wanna learn a love song before you go away."


Well, I guess you know what happened,
God, I never been so clean.
Yes, I feel like I'm working in a Hollywood movie
or living out a good bad dream.
And all them pinup girls in that tinsel world
never touched me like she can;
it took another man's wife in the real world life
to make this boy a man.

She said, "I wanna learn a love song full of happy things."
She said, "I wanna learn a love song; won't you let me hear you sing?"
She said, "I wanna learn a love song, I wanna hear you play."
She said, "I wanna learn a love song before you go away."
I guess you know I stayed.


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

* = 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!