Song Lyric Sunday – The Shortest Story

All my Song Lyric posts will be songs that influenced the young and naive Jerry (still working on that growing up thing) as I made my way through life. Each song will hold a fond memory for me and hopefully a small amount of entertainment for you. Most of them will be from so long ago that all you young’ens will probably just laugh at them.

Songwriters: Harry F. Chapin
The Shortest Story lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

I am born today
The Sun burns a promise
In my eye

Mama strikes me
And I draw a breath and cry
Above me a cloud
Slowly tumbles through the sky
I am glad, to be alive

It is my seventh day
I taste the hunger
And I cry

My Brother and sister
Cling to Mama’s side
She squeezes her breast
But it has nothing to provide
Someone weeps, I fall asleep

It is twenty days today
Mama does not hold me

I open my mouth
But I am to weak to cry
Above me a bird slowly crawls across the sky
Why is there nothing
Now to do but die?

Harry Forster Chapin (December 7, 1942 – July 16, 1981) was an American singer-songwriter, humanitarian, and producer best known for his folk rock and pop rock songs. Chapin recorded a total of 11 albums from 1972 until his death in 1981. All 14 singles that he released became hit singles on at least one national music chart.
Harry Chapin was an advocate for the eradication of world hunger, and was a key participant in the creation of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger in 1977. Chapin is credited with being the most politically and socially active American performer of the 1970s. In 1987, and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his humanitarian work.
Source: ———————————————————————————————My Story: On those rare occasions when I begin feeling sorry for myself. I throw on my headphones to tune out the world and this is one of the songs I listen to. It reminds me of the things that really matter to me in life. It tells me that no matter how bad I think things are, there are always people in this world who would rejoice at what I’ve been blessed with. I often contemplate the words written on Harry Chapin’s epitaph –
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

Wouldn’t it be lovely if when it’s our time to kneel before the throne, we can say that we did all we could and held nothing back. I know I have a lot of work left to do.

Short Story Saturday – Pool Party

“Man, I swear it’s the hottest summer I’ve ever seen.” I tell Jimmie “This sidewalk feels like it’s burning right through the soles of my sandals.”

It hadn’t rained a drop in seven days and there still isn’t a single cloud in the sky. The heat waves shimmer up from the street in front of us. I give a little chuckled as I think about that scene I saw in a movie; the one where some old cowboys were walking across the desert with no water. Maybe it was one of those spaghetti westerns with Clint Eastwood or some John Wayne flick.

Jimmie responded by wiping the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand, “Right on Man, I sure as hell could use a cold one.” He took of his t-shirt and rubbed down his hair and armpits with it, “and when the hell did they get a swimming pool at John’s place?  Last time I was at his apartment, the place looked like it was ready to collapse.”

“I don’t know man, he just said to come around back when we get there. Maybe he’s having a heat stroke or something but you how he is, always scheming up something.”

We hear Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming from about a block away. The music gets a little louder every time one of the little trickles of hot breeze hits us in the face. I hear them laughing each time the music hit a low spot. I wonder how they could possibly be so happy in this miserable heat. As soon as he sees us John gives a big wave and yells, “Water’s cool and beer’s on ice.”

I look at the group and jab Jimmy on the arm. “See what I mean man,” and nod toward a couple of empty chairs. Everybody has their shoes off and their feet dangling in the water.  So Jimmie and I make a quick round of hugs, cheek kisses, hand daps and what’s up man, then I grab a Coors from the ice chest and snag one of the aluminum lawn chairs. The nylon straps on the seat are a little ragged but they hold as I plop down and let out a sigh.

The afternoon sun is still burning my neck but I can see the sun is pushing the shade of the maple trees across the yard. I kick off my sandals and stick my feet into the cool water of the blue plastic baby pool. John puts on a new album and we all let the music from ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ flow through us.

The shade finally reaches us and it feels like the temperature drops fifteen degrees as it slides across the pool. I look around at the circle of friends, Kim, Alice, Debbie, John, Jimmie, Danny and Kate. I’m thinking that this feels like I might be in Heaven. Kim hands me a joint…I take a hit… now I know I am.

Do you remember the year?

Well John and Mitchy were getting kind of itchy, cause it was kind of a drag to not be groovin’ on a Sunday afternoon. So I said we’re going to San Francisco and I don’t care how much money I gotta spend, so we can fly. Here, the hometown looks the same but, you’re gonna meet some gentle people there and the rows of houses are all the same and nobody seems to care. Nothing is real and there’s nothing to get hung about. So there’s not a trace of doubt in my mind that when logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead, you can either stand in the pouring rain or hide behind rainbow’s wall.

Now, it was on the third of June, another sleepy, dusty delta day you asked me if there’ll come a time that we’ll go riding along on a carousel. I thought you looked too good to be true. You told me, “I aint never loved a man.”

But baby, I need your lovin’ and I know what you want…baby, I got it.

So let’s spend the night together and don’t worry ‘bout tomorrow. Then, all over the world you can hear the sound of lovers in love.

That’s when we skipped the light fandango because we both knew that all you need is Love.