100 Songs – 4/100 – Copper.


4/100 – Copper by Harry Chapin

I can’t believe this is only the fourth time I’ve done this. There are so many songs that are important in my life.

My mom’s favorite artist is Harry Chapin. Naturally, I listened to a lot of Harry Chapin when I was little. Harry Chapin is secretly best known for writing “Cats in the Cradle,” though he is not the one who is usually associated with the song. I had a few favorite Harry Chapin songs through my childhood – Mail Order Annie, Corey’s Coming – but nothing got my little 8-year-old self singing and tapping my toes like Copper, a song that is pretty much only on one of Harry Chapin’s albums, and we only own it on vinyl.

As I’ve grown up, my brain has developed a bit more (amazing!!) and I’ve been able to actually get an idea of what this song means and is about, though I don’t really know. I think it is about a police man who gets extra money from a store owner by keeping tabs on his store extra, and then the store owner says something about it in front of the police man’s kid and the cop gets angry and then that’s where the story starts. Maybe, I mean I have been wrong before.

Harry Chapin is a phenomenal story teller. The majority of his songs are stories. Mail Order Annie is about a guy who picks up his mail order bride, named.. Annie. Corey’s Coming is a story of a young man who hears this old crazy guy, John Joseph, always talk about this girl, Corey, that nobody in the town knows of and thinks doesn’t exist. Then the guy dies and it’s just the young man and the grave digger and preacher guy, and he says “if you’re a relative, he had a peaceful end” that’s when she said “my name is Corey.. you could say I’m just a friend.” Schooled those townsfolk! Man, Harry Chapin is just awesome.

Back to the song, though. The bridge of the song is my favorite part. In deciding what song to use as my 4th song for the soundtrack to my life, I caved and used 99 cents of my Amazon gift card to buy the MP3 and have listened to it on repeat the entire time I’ve been writing this blog entry, and it’s the best 99 cents I’ve spent all day. I wish I could link you to a video or something of the song, but I’ve never been able to find one. Sorry 😦

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