Sunday, July 11, 2021

Harry Chapin

It's hard to believe but it was exactly forty years ago (July 1981) that Harry Chapin died. In a tragic, fiery accident on the Long Island Expressway.

He was 38 but had packed a lifetime into those years. Harry not only wrote and sang popular songs, he found meaning in life. He worked hard to feed LI's hungry, donated most of his earnings to charity and gave more benefit concerts than anyone else. In fact, he was on his way to one when his VW got hit by a tractor-trailer.

Harry's songs, like "Taxi" and "Cat's in the Cradle," were in the air of my youth. They tell poignant, poetic stories that resonate to our common experience. A new documentary about Harry has just been released; it's called "Harry Chapin: When in Doubt, Do Something."

Harry lived in my hometown (Huntington) and is buried here. Last year I visited his grave in the cemetery on New York Avenue. Here are some pics of it, with proof that Harry's fans still adore him.


  1. Masterful story teller. His songs were so much "Harry" that others really can't cover his songs. I'd go to one of his concerts and think of the audience members that were the skin and bones of his songs.
    Thanks for the reminder of what a great human being Harry was!

  2. I did not realized he died so young! Wow!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  3. So young.... that always makes me so sad, the life he could have lived.

  4. I knew a little about him and his music but not all these little details of his charity work (which makes sense given his music/lyrics) and how he died.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  5. Very interesting to learn of his dedication to charity.

  6. I know about him only because you have written of him before and you sent me some of his music I remember which was so nice of you to share with me. I am a bit useless/clueless when it comes to mainstream music so I was really grateful for that and really enjoyed listening to it (just wondering WHICH computer the CD is currently in as that's when I last listened to it!!) I really like poetic songs which tell stories

  7. Something about the fact that Harry was a mere year older than I presently am when he met his untimely end hits me especially hard. Just as there is so much more life I want and hope to live, I would imagine he felt much the same way and would have gone on to keep enriching the world of music - and the world in general - with his soulful talents for decades more, had fate not unfolded in the way that it did.

    Autumn Zenith �� Witchcrafted Life