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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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The Parade's Still Passing By
The Parade's Still Passing By
by Harry Chapin
I got the news today
That you refused to play
Cause you never made number one
But it's not just the words
It's the deeds that are heard
When all is said and done
Kings take their crowns
They melt them all down
Trying to get the gold out
You went to hell and
Even when you weren't selling
You never ever sold out.
You weren't no leader
You were more like a bleeder
Who was trying to cry for us all
You weren't no sage
But your sense of outrage
Sounded like a trumpet call
Fifteen years ago
In the old folky show
You were just one voice in the crowd
But now with so few singing
Your voice would have been ringing
Out 'bout twice as loud.
There but for fortune
Say a small circle of friends
Some may see the changes
So few see the ends
The pleasures of the harbor
Have come to you at last
You may not be marching anymore
But the parade's still going past
I'm not taking the blame
That we killed you
You know you did that to yourself
But it was kind of a shame
That you played that game
Cause you were better than anyone else
One shot of your bottle
Got you full throttle
It was the friend that was always there
But your greatest gift
And the curse you lived with
Was that you could always care.
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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!