Favorite Lyric Friday

After writing a post in memory of Mama Cass, it occurred to me that I forgot another major music death that happened in July. On July 16, 1981, Harry Chapin died in a car crash in Long Island.

Harry was a singer and social activist similar to Pete Seeger. His big cause was world hunger and in 1975 together with radio DJ Bill Ayres he founded World Hunger Year. Beyond his own activism, Harry worked within the music community to get other performers socially active. It was Harry’s work that enabled things like We Are the World and Live Aid to happen.

The world had a major loss with Harry’s death.

There are many lyrics of Harry’s that are amazing, and I am putting two here. First is from the song Mercenaries which is a song about men going to war and what they do when they get leave. The meaning of the song is clear in the last verse.

And you’re back in your army
Back shedding red blood
And you dream of the girl
As you sleep in the mud
And you know you’d swap with her
If the deal could be made
‘Cause you’d rather be working
At love as your trade

And finally on Harry’s tombstone it reads from the song I Wonder What Would Happen to this World:

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

Here is a link to Mercenaries. You need to click a few buttons to get the song, but it is worth it.

And here are two youtubes for I Wonder What Would Happen to this World. The first audio of Harry and his band and the second is a jazzy version by his daughter Jen.



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