Poetry Corner – Harry Chapin

Hello Dear Ones!

My poet choice for this week is one of my favourite singer/songwriters – Harry Chapin.  Many of you may know him best for his song “Cats in the Cradle”.  However, did you know the song was written originally as a poem by his wife, Sandy? A popular version was also sung by Cat Stevens. Of all the music Harry wrote, this was his only number one hit.

Harry was more than a singer, songwriter and musician, he was also an author and playwright. And Harry was known to be quite the humanitarian – his band did a lot of work for World Hunger. One year they raised almost $800,000 for that worthy cause.

Harry died back on July 16, 1981. Yet his music lives on today. Harry was even inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on October 15, 2006.

My focus for this post today is my favourite of all of Harry`s works – Corey`s Coming. I`ve listened to it more than several dozen times and I cry over and delight in it every single time. Enjoy the YouTube version in the link above and the lyrics here:

Corey`s Coming

by Harry Chapin


Description: Originally found on the album On the Road to Kingdom Come. Also found on Legends of the Lost and Found, 1979 and The Gold Medal Collection, 1988.


Old John Joseph was a man with two first names
They left him in the railroad yard when they took away the trains
Only one run a week comes on roaring down that line
So all he’s got to worry ’bout is time.

I come by in the evening to hear ’bout where he’s been
He says – Come on sit down Kid, where shall I begin?
He starts telling me the stories of the glories of his past
But he always saves the story of his Corey for the last.

And he says – My Corey’s coming. No more sad stories coming
My midnight-moonlight-morning-glory’s coming aren’t you girl?
And like I told you, when she holds you
She enfolds you in her world.

I was quite surprised to find out all the places that he knew
And so I asked the townfolk if his stories were true
They said – Old John was born here, he’s lived here all his life
He’s never had a woman, let alone a wife.

And very soon you’ll find out as you check around
That no one named Corey’s ever lived in this town
So I chided the old man ’bout the truth that I had heard
He smiled and said – Reality is only just a word.

I came by one evening but he did not hear my shout
I looked in the window and saw the fire was out
When he would not wake up I forced in the door
And found that Old John Joseph would tell stories no more.

The scene at the graveyard, three of us were there
Me and the gravedigger heard the parson’s prayer
He said – We need not grieve for this man,
For we know that God cares!

They put the cold dirt over him and left me on my own
And when at last I looked up I saw I was not alone
Standing there in silence, with a shawl around her head
was a beautiful young woman; I remember what she said…

Is that John Joseph there?  I nodded my head yes
That brought a soft smile from her.  She said – It’s time he got some rest.
So I said – If you’re a relative, he had a peaceful end.
She said – My name is Corey – you can say I’m just a friend.

Corey’s coming, no more sad stories coming
My midnight-moonlight-morning-glory’s coming aren’t you girl?
And like I told you, when she holds you
She enfolds you in her world.

So that’s the old man’s story, I’m glad you came tonight
A busted down old railroad yard sure makes a lonely sight
You may wonder why a young man would work out here alone
Well the job pays enough to keep some flesh on my bones.

And I confess I get to missing the old man a bit
And there’s one other reason I guess I should admit –

Can’t you see my Corey’s coming, no more sad stories coming
My midnight-moonlight-morning-glory’s coming aren’t you girl?
And like he told me, when she holds me
She enfolds me in her world.

Sending you a virtual hanky… and thanking you for stopping for a moment in my world.

In Light and Laughter,

Marcia

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