• Green Party Peace Sign Bumper Sticker


    Green Party Peace Sign Bumper Sticker
    The Green Party has continually opposed entry into war and has consistently called for the immediate return of our troops, in stark contrast to the Democratic and Republican parties.
    Today we march, tomorrow we vote Green Party.

  • Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened?

    Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened? ebook cover

    |

    Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened? eBook

    Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened? eBook on Amazon

    Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened? eBook

    Reflections on Occupy Wall Street, with photos, fun, and good wishes for the future. eBook, Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened? (Only $.99 !) In the eBook, the Occupy movement is explored through original reporting, photographs, cartoons, poetry, essays, and reviews.The collection of essays and blog posts records the unfolding of Occupy into the culture from September 2011 to the present.  Authors Kimberly Wilder and Ian Wilder were early supporters of Occupy, using their internet platforms to communicate the changes being created by the American Autumn.

    The eBook is currently available on Amazon for Kindle;  Barnes & Noble Nook ; Smashwords independent eBook seller; and a Kobo for 99 cents and anyone can read it using their Kindle/Nook Reader, smart phone, or computer.

  • Vintage Jewelry


    Please visit our Etsy shop at: Wilderside Vintage and Antique Jewelry
    Eco-Fashion!
    Choosing vintage or antique jewelry to wear and/or gift, is a way to be gentle on the planet. Remembering the Waste Hierarchy Triangle, folks who love the planet should always try to…”Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. Please share or donate your own jewelry and try buying vintage rather than new.

  • FaceBook

  • Instagram

    Instagram
  • tumblr

  • Pinterest

  • Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: Ultimate Fan Guide on Smashwords

Remembrances of Harry Chapin, Part I

Harry Chapin at Veterans Memorial Auditorium

Image via Wikipedia

IW: My older brother had introduced me to folk music: Jim Croce, Gordon Lightfoot, John Denver, Cat Stevens & Harry Chapin.  This happened in the way all little brothers get things from their older brothers.  I heard this wonderful music coming from the stereo in my brother’s room, and I wanted to be just like him.  I don’t remember my brother ever listening to Dylan, CSN, or the Dead, all of whom I deeply fell for later on.  Though I do remember him listening to Cheech and Chong records.

Even more so, I got tag-a-long benefits from my brother’s musical tastes.  When my parents took my brother to see Chapin perform at the Huntington Arts Festival that Harry and Sandy were spearheading, I got to go too.

Now I am not using their first names to claim any familiarity with the Chapins.  The closest I ever got was the autograph I still have on a Huntington Arts Festival  program.  But Harry wanted you to call him Harry.  He practically insisted on it. As in the audience participation line from his true story, famously awful country song “30,000 lbs of Bananas”.  Harry turned his struggle to find an appropriate ending for the song into an opportunity for storytelling.  As he went through his various failed attempts, the audience joins in from the refrain from the band in response to his request for feedback: 

“Harry, it sucks!”

When my wife decided to buy me a Harry Chapin t-shirt, she opted not to buy the t-shirt with that tagline.  Chapin’s wife Sandy sold the  t-shirts at her Native American crafts shop.  There was a counter in the back of the shop with Harry’s music and  memorabilia.  The Huntington NY shop recently closed.

Instead I dug out of my drawer the t-shirt with the tagline from his second best known song that became more identified with Harry.   Harry’s best known song, of course, was “Cat’s in the Cradle” with the lyrics written by Sandy.  I have seen 2 different versions of why this poem was written.  One as a reminiscence of Sandy about her first husband’s relationship with his father.  Wikipedia claims that the lyrics of “I Wanna Learn a Love Song”  record the story of their romance.  The second theory about “Cats in the Cradle”  is that Sandy wrote it as a warning to harry about his relationship with their own children.  Similar to the way Robert Hunter would send messages to the other members of the Dead through his lyrics. . . .

One Response

  1. […] IW: . . . .  Harry’s second most famous song is “Taxi”.  It contained the painful audience participation that adorns the other t-shirt in Sandy’ shop.  The phrase ends an encounter between Harry the taxi-driver and a now-married ex-girlfriend, neither of whom seem happy with their life choices: […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.