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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 ..."
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Home > Music > I Don't Want to Be President

I Don't Want to Be President
by Harry Chapin

Just after I was born, my father said to everyone
That I would be the President one day
Youíre a natural politician, boy, get it in your head
And you know that it might just turn out that way
So through all the years of my childhood
There more important things than to play
I started caring for my country and my fellow man
And this is what I would always say

Iíd say, I donít want to be President
But I want to help the poor and the helpless people
I really donít want to be President
But if Iím elected I promise to be faithful

I graduated college with my law degree
I was a young man on the move, they always say
I was helping my community, committed to the people
I was working as a citizen, to build a better day
They persuaded me to run for Congressman
They said from Congress you could do much more good
And youíve got to have the power if your changing things
And I was hoping to do everything I could for the people

Iíd say I donít want to be President
But I want to help the poor and the helpless people
I really donít want to be President
But if Iím elected I promise to be faithful

Time is a march where the powerful are drummers
Big business, big labor, big oil
And soon I was meeting with the men who ran the country
The men who owned the sky and the soil
Oh, I became a Senator, a man to be reckoned with
Playing golf with millionaires, and speaking on TV
And when they talked of potential presidential candidates
Most often talked about, and most prominent was me
Well, I got the nomination, ran a campaign of conscience
I stood for peace and brotherhood and for prosperity
And on the day of the election I went home to my mansion
When the people had spoken, theyíd elected me

But I donít want to be President
I really donít want to be President

Layout, design, images, and user-contributed text are © Copyright 1996-2017 HarryChapin.com: The Harry Chapin Archive.

"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!