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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
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Tangled Up Puppet
Tangled Up Puppet
by Harry Chapin
I'm a tangled up puppet,
Spinning round in knots,
And the more I see what I used to be,
The less of you I've got.
There was a time that you curled up in my lap; like a child
You'd cling to me smiling, yours eyes wide and wild
Now you slip through my arms, wave a passing hello
Twist away and toss a kiss, laughing as you go
You used to say "Read me a story and sing me songs of love"
For you were Princess Paradise like your wings of a dove
Now I chase you and tease you trying to remake you my own
But you just turn away and say "please leave me alone."
And I'm a tangled up puppet
All hanging in your strings
I'm a butterfly in a spider's web
Fluttering my wings
And the more that I keep dancing
And spinning round in knots
The more I see what I used to be
And the less of you I've got
You are a drawer full of makeup and rinses and things
You keep changing your moods like your earrings and rings
But tonight while we played tag for five minutes in the yard
Just for a moment I caught you off guard
But now you write your secret poems
In a room just for your dreams
You don't find time to talk to me
About the things you mean
And what I mean is--
I have watched you take shape from a jumble of parts
And find the grace and form of a fine work of art
Hey, you, my brand new woman, newly come into your own
Don't you know that you don't need to grow up all alone
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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!