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Songs That Harry Wrote

from The Margarita Collection by Harvey Andrews

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The songs of Harry Chapin were a big inspiration for me in the seventies.


I was in a barroom just the other night
Tuning my old guitar
When two young girls stood in front of me
And one said "Hey Grandpa
You gotta plug in, you gotta synthesise
You gotta get outta those jeans
We came here for music tonight
And they hire us an old has-been.
And we want a dance machine!"

I was far too tired to be angry
I was too damn broke to be mad.
I said "Give me a try tonight ladies
I might not be too bad
You see, every song has a story,
If you listen you might just learn,
That life's for the living by everyone,
And youth is a flame you burn.
What you borrow, you must return.”

And I sang the songs that Harry wrote
I sang with all my soul
For Annie from America
And the singing made me whole
Yes, I sang for the Mister Tanners
For the waitresses with dreams
For the lost ones and the lonely
And for all that music means
There were songs before machines

And when the night was over
And the room began to clear
And the glasses clinked, and the spotlight blinked
And I reached for another beer,
I looked around for the young girls
But they must have left too soon
And I thought that trying to reach those kids
Is like trying to reach the moon
Flying a silver spoon

And I thought those days are over
And the songs must all be dead.
Am I the last one singing all the memories in my head?
I'd given them my best shots
And I'd hoped that they could see
That what the songs were saying is
You grow up fast and free
But you can't fight destiny

The clock was chiming midnight
When I walked out to my car
And standing there were the two young girls
So I put down my guitar
And the one reached up to kiss my cheek
And the other one held my hand
And they said "We thought you ought to know
It's like a new found land.
And now we understand."


from The Margarita Collection, released January 1, 1996


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Harvey Andrews Shropshire, UK

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