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"There's been a lot of talk about 'How can we fill Harry's shoes?'
The answer to that is that the challenge of Harry's life was NOT one of 'following in his footsteps' or 'filling his shoes.'
The challenge is in filling our OWN shoes:
We carry on Harry's work not just because we loved and admired him.
We do so because it is the proper work of us all ..."
- James Chapin
> Music >
by Harry Chapin
At first you seemed just like my dream
Of a finer better life
Much more than I could ask for
In a lover or a wife
Though I work with my body
And my work makes my hands rough
There are gentle things inside me
That are anything but tough
There are lessons you could teach me
Things I do not know
Things I've never done, girl
And places we could go
But you only wear your tailored suits
For me to rip and tear
Ah, can't I hold you quietly
And smell your perfumed hair?
I saw you as the answer
That I never dared to dream
I saw you as the window
Into a world I'd never seen
I saw you as the vision
Come to raise me from the mud
But you came to use my sweat to cool
The fever in your blood
I'm not Marlon Brando
On his motorcycle bike
When you call me your animal
It's a name I do not like
Please do not tear my back
Yes, of course I bleed
The violence you thirst for
Is not what I need
Your silken skin is armor
That begs for brutal hands
But why can't I be gentle
And tell you of my plans?
I know that you're using me
Not I just using you
And you're not so scared
Of losing me as I losing you
At first you seemed...
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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!