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Harry Chapin, Storyteller

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Harry Chapin, Storyteller

We started off the holiday season listening to Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Paper.” To keep us in the spirit, today we turn to Harry Chapin, who would have celebrated his 69th birthday yesterday had he not died 30 years ago in an automobile accident.

Harry Chapin was a storyteller. He tugged at our heartstrings with his musical tales of ordinary lives – a too-busy dad who raises a too-busy son ("Cat's in the Cradle"), a taxi driver who has a chance meeting with an ex-girlfriend ("Taxi"), a DJ who throws himself into his work and loses his family ("W*O*L*D").

One of Chapin's most touching stories is one we like to listen to around the holidays. "Mr. Tanner" paints a picture of a man with a great talent… or maybe it's not so great, but it still brings him private joy. In the background of each chorus is a holy and wholly familiar holiday hymn.



We hope Harry Chapin helped inspire all the Mr. Tanners out there to keep singing, no matter what.

Written by Linnea Crowther