Song of the day

The day the music died.

No, today’s song is not American Pie by Don McLean (although maybe it will be someday). In that song, the day the music died was the day Buddy Holly died in a plane crash. To me the day the music died will always be July 16, 1981. It was on this date that Harry Chapin died in a tragic car accident on the Long Island Expressway. I dialed up Harry on my ipod this morning during my commute and as always, I found myself want to listen to his stories over and over again. You see Harry did not so much write songs as he did stories. Lets face it, he was not your typical music star. He was not really good looking, he did not sing that well. He was a decent guitar player, but nothing special. It was his song writing that made him special. Listen to any Chapin song and you will be captivated by the story he is telling.

I can pick almost any song (and over time, I am sure many will appear here) but today I choose “Remember When the Music.” This beautiful song was written by Harry the day after Al Lowenstein died. Al Lowenstein was a political activist who worked for many liberal democrat causes in the 60s. At one point Harry had worked for him and they had become friends. The song reminds us of a time when life was simpler and when people dreamed of a better tomorrow.

I looked for a youtube or some other site that had Harry singing this song. Unfortunately, I cannot find Harry singing it. However, in 1986, Harry Chapin posthumously became the 101st recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor the US can bestow upon its citizens. The following year a concert was organized in his memory and to honor this occasion. Different artists sang Harry’s songs at Carnegie Hall. Here is Bruce Springsteen singing “Remember When the Music.”

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