John F. McCullagh

Gold Star - 5,019 Points (09/28/1954 / Flushing)

He Sang Those Songs Without Words - Poem by John F. McCullagh

When they brought him to the Hospital
He was listed as John Doe.
He would have liked the irony-
as Harry Chapin fans well know..

His hair was like a lion’s mane
His face both kind and strong
Though doctor’s tried and nurses cried
Harry had sung his last song.

Like Wednesdays’ child with far to go,
He’d been on the road that day.
He was scheduled for a concert
For which he’d take no pay.

He sang songs for the suppers
of the poor and the deprived.
He may not have been “Religious”
-but he lived life sanctified-

His car was observed slowing down
And weaving between lanes
He might even have been dying then
of Coronary pains.

The trucker behind him could not stop
He rode the brakes in vain.
The truck smashed into Harry’s car
which promptly burst in flames.

The Trucker and a Motorist
dragged Harry from the flames.
I’d dearly love to thank them both
But I don’t know their names.
They Med-evacuated him
A helicopter came.
They brought Him to Nassau County Med-
listing “John Doe” as his name.

On that torrid summer day,
Without a breath of air,
There would not be an encore
That much, at least, was clear.

Left incomplete were several songs
whose words he never got to write.
Music that he never shared,
All lost within the dying of the light.

Harry’s eyes were glazing over,
It was certain he had passed.
I hope he had a peaceful end
when his Corey came for him at last.


(A tribute to Harry Foster Chapin: , Singer, Songwriter and Philanthropist. 12/07/42-07/16/81)

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, November 25, 2010



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