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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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Odd Job Man
Odd Job Man
by Harry Chapin
I give part time help
I'm the odd job man
I can't do what I want
So I do what I can
And I'll tell you now
So that you will understand
You get just what you pay for from the odd job man
One day this dude drives in the station
And I slide out to the pump
And he says, " I need some odd jobs done
Can you get off from this dump? "
Well I can always use some extra bread
So I nod and take the job
When he says " Clean up before you come
I do not hire slobs "
Now you can see I'm not no fancy pants
But everyone has pride
And especially since this lovely lady's
Sittin' by his side
Still something keeps my trap shut
And I nod again " Alright "
And he gooses his Mercedes
And he squeals off in the night
Well I find his place next morning
It's more a palace than a pad
And it kind of makes my pick-up truck
Start looking pretty bad
But the same lady swings the door back
And before one word is said
She leads me to his trophy room
Where he sits with his stuffed heads
He's got this list of jobs for me to do
While he's out of town
And he says "I'm too damn busy boy
The way I move around"
Well I start to figure prices when he says
"It's time you learned,
When you're dealing with a gentleman
You get just what you earn"
I set to work that weekend
And I'm fixin' up some stairs
When I feel that someone's watching me
And I see SHE'S standing there
And she says "I like to watch you work
You have such supple hands"
She says "Can I help you?" and I say
"Baby you CAN !! "
Well she looks me in the eyes boys
I admit I looked a little lower
That's when she starts breathing faster
And I start working slower
You see when you have a helper
With her attitude and grace
You start puttin' lots of extra hours
Workin' 'round the place
Well a month had too soon come and gone
With my odd jobs all done
When who should pull up to the pump
But the long-lost prodigal son
And he says "Here's a hundred dollars boy"
Pulls the bill off from his wad
And he starts to hand it over
Like a gift come straight from God!
I say "That's just a buck an hour sir !"
He says "That's what I pay for jerks"
Now I admit that almost blew my cool
But I staggered back to work
You see most times when it's said and done
There's justice to this life
'Cause what that man had done to me
I'd done to his wife!
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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!