My husband and I had discovered Harry Chapin when a friend introduced his music to us. The song she found so good was The Sniper. I listened to it, and found it very disturbing, but I couldn’t keep my mind off how well he told the story.
When I heard others, I found that he had a special way of getting inside my head, expressing what I felt and thought–insecurities, joys, and dreams.
We bought each album as it came out, and when my husband’s brother came to town for a visit, we wanted to take him with us to Harry’s concert on our college campus. We let him listen to his records, and Jesse liked them. The highlight of any concert is when the performer plays the new songs, the ones he’s promoting on the album about to be released.
When he played Corey’s Coming, about the old railroad man who lives a lonely life, but has a love that no one knows about, I knew it was more than coincidence that we had brought Jesse. My brother-in-law is a “rail fan”, someone who lives and breathes trains. He had fallen in love with Harry’s music before the concert, but this song was just the perfect one to convince him to buy all of his records and listen to them as we did.
I saw Harry only that one time in person, but I felt he was my friend. He spoke for me! When my husband left, and I was low, hearing his ballad “College Avenue” soothed me.
I understood the emotions in Tangled Up Puppet, as I have a daughter who confused me as she grew up, and the song Dancing Boy really got to me since I had a little boy once who made me feel the same way. I could list every song he recorded, and tell you how it affected me, because they all did. I am so pleased to have the CD which has parts of some of his interviews when he tells how passionate he was about World Hunger Year, and other charities. I am blown away that the Foundation still is going strong, and I feel it is such a testament to Sandy.
To those who loved him as I did, and to his family who always will miss him, I want to say that he gave me strength to get through a lot of difficult times, and I treasure his music and his memory.
We lost a good friend when he died, but I am so grateful that his memory lives on in so many.
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