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Home > Stories > Favorite Chapin Quotes

(Compiled from several messages, 3/97)
from Tiny Dancer, Leah, Chuck, Dave, Eric, Dreamer, Susan, and Jake

When you look in his eyes
You know that somebody's in there
(from Old Folkie)

All I got is time
Nothing else is mine
(from Everybody's Lonely)

And they're talkin' in the town square
In the taverns and the shops
I hear them talkin' everywhere
Their talkin' never stops
(from The Day They Closed the Factory Down)

When someone asked where he had gone
They said, "Oh he was daft,
Who cares about that crazy fool?"
And then they'd start to laugh
(from The Rock)

I'll help you with your burden, babe
I'll help you lug your load, lady
(from Stop Singing These Sad Songs)

Since you've gone I've gone along
(from Same Sad Singer)

I dreamed of being here
But I never dreamed that you would be
So long time gone from me
(from Same Sad Singer)

You don't find time to talk to me
About the things you mean
(from Tangled Up Puppet)

Could you put your light on please, it's kind of dark tonight
And I feel a little lonely, yes, I need a little light
(from Could You Put Your Light On Please?)

Well, I got no place to go now
I really do not know how
To light my life, now that you're gone
(from Empty)

I really can't believe in the thought of you just leaving
But no one's here, you must be gone
(from Empty)

Well, I never meant to use you
And I never thought I'd lose you
But no one's here and you are gone
(from Empty)

It's time for me to sleep and to rest these thoughts away
(from Any Old Kind of Day)

Now sometimes words can serve me well
Sometimes words can go to hell
For all that they do
(from Story of a Life, a personal fave)

There's something burning somewhere
Does anybody care?
Is anybody there?
(from What Made America Famous?)

They put the cold dirt over him and left me on my own
And when at last I looked up I saw I was not alone
(from Corey's Coming)

It seems like I've been here before
I can't remember when
But I have this funny feeling
That we'll all be together again
(from Circle)

If I'm alive then there's so much I've missed.
How do I know I exist ?
Are you listening to me ?
Are you listening to me ?
Am I ?
(from Sniper)

It's got to be the going, not the getting there that's good.
(from "Greyhound")

There are so many colors in the rainbow, so many colors in
the morning sun
So many colors in the flowers and I see every one.
(from "Flowers Are Red")

He reappeared beside me saying, "You're all I ever had."
(from "Shooting Star")

He sang from his heart and he sang from his soul....
He did not know how well he sang, it just made him whole.
(from "Mr. Tanner")

He laughed and sneered and said, "Dear son, where did
you think you came from in the first place?"
(from "The Mayor of Candor Lied")

Sandy is the seashore, and Sandy is the sea. Sandy is
the clear blue sky, or so it seems to me...
(from "Sandy")

And one that's my personal favorite, but most likely could
only have the first part on a work based screen saver:

When it's all said and done, there's justice to this life,
for what that man done to me, I done to his wife!
(from "Odd Job Man")

There's no tick-tock to your electric clock but still your life runs down.
(from Half Way to Heaven)

All your dreams of open spaces you find in your children's faces - one by
one. (from Story of a Life)

My all time favorite Chapin line isn't part of a song lyric:

This is for Nancy; I never to it *to* Nancy, so I'll do it for her instead.

(Song intro on Greatest Stories Live, in response to "For Nancy" from
someone in the audience)

'I spent a week there one afternoon' description of Watertown as he sets the
scene for A Better Place to Be. I have used that as a desciption of quite a
few places I've been to.

When you're going nowhere, anywhere's a better place to be

Good dreams don't come cheap, you've got to pay for them and
If you just dream when you're asleep this is no way for them
to come alive... to survive.

Music was his life
It was not his livelihood
And it made him feel so happy
It made him feel so good
He sang from his heart
And he sang from his soul
He did not know how well he sang
It just made him whole.

-"Mr. Tanner"

"She knows more of love than the poets can say,
And her eyes offer something that won't go away."
(She Sings Songs Without Words)


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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.



Harry's Music
Bottom Line Encore Collection
      [Amazon] [iTunes]
Dance Band On The Titanic*
      [Amazon] [iTunes]
Gold Medal Collection
      [Amazon] [iTunes]
Greatest Stories Live*
      [Amazon] [iTunes]
Harry Chapin Tribute
Heads & Tales
      [Amazon] [iTunes]
Last Protest Singer
Legends Of Lost & Found*
Living Room Suite
      [Amazon] [iTunes]
On The Road To Kingdom Come
      [Amazon] [iTunes]
Portrait Gallery
      [Amazon] [iTunes]
Short Stories
      [Amazon] [iTunes]
Sniper & Other Love Songs
      [Amazon] [iTunes]
Story of a Life
Verities & Balderdash
      [Amazon] [iTunes]

* = Highly Recommended

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 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!