I remember listening to Harry Chapin in the ’70s, especially enjoying “Cat’s in the Cradle” and “Taxi”. I did not purchase any of his tapes or records, but I had an album entitled “Storytellers” which included Harry and his rendition of “Taxi”, along with several other performers. When I heard he had died, I thought about what a loss it was, not only to the music industry but to humanity.

Over the years I listened occasionally to his music, always amazed at the almost magical ability he had to put stories in song. But it is only in the past year that I have begun to purchase his tapes and listen to them repeatedly and recently, view a video of his last concert.

I realize that Harry Chapin recalls a part of my life when I was just starting a new marriage and a new career. He told, through his messages, of the wonders that life can bring, as well as the hardships. After having a stillborn child, enduring the death of my husband at a young age, struggling to raise two young sons alone and working three part-time jobs while attending graduate school, I understand that Harry’s words touch upon everyone at some period in his or her existence.

Harry sang the high notes and low notes of life, and his words are as meaningful today as when he first wrote them. As I currently begin a new life in a new city where I know no one, look for employment and prepare my sons for new schools, I do not think it so strange that a singer who died 17 years ago and whom I only listened to occasionally while he was alive should occupy my thoughts so frequently. I know that Harry Chapin in his music reflected the realities of living, the joys and the struggles, the challenges and choices. He was truly a man for all seasons. You were here for too short a time, Harry, but thank you for the music and the message.

Jan Willms

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