Where Dreams Go to Die

I found an old CD of the late, great Harry Chapin I’d burned back in the “free Napster” days.

Most of his songs are powerful and poignant, but one in particular grabs me in these days. It’s about the cleaner from Ohio who loves to sing and is encouraged to give it a shot on the professional stage. He’s the best singer in Dayton, but it’s an entirely different story when he goes to New York for his big debut. In one succinct review, Mr. Tanner’s dreams are shattered, and his life is sucked out of him.

He came home to Dayton and was questioned by his friends.

Then he smiled and just said nothing and he never sang again,

Excepting very late at night when the shop was dark and closed.

He sang softly to himself as he sorted through the clothes.

Music was his life, it was not his livelihood,

And it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good.

And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul.

He did not know how well he sang; It just made him whole.

Ever feel like that?