Harry Chapin - Stranger With The Melodies Lyrics

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It was my first night in that rooming house

In the last room down the hall

I heard a hoarse voice and an old guitar

Coming through the paper thin walls



A crazy nonsense nursery rhyme

That did not mean a thing

But for the first of what was to be a thousand times

This is what I hear him sing



Hold that D chord on the old guitar

'Til I found the G

Drop it down to old E minor

'Til the A chord rolls back home around to D



I had to lay there listening

It seemed he was in the room

This stranger with his melody

Singing there in the gloom



And he repeated it over and over again

Such a soft and sinkin' sound

It was kind of like a music box

That was slowly winding down



You see, he sang it, he hummed it

Whistled it, and he strummed it

He laughed it and he cried it

He did everything but hide it



And he sang

Hold that D chord on the old guitar

'Til I found the G

Drop it down to old E minor

'Til the A chord rolls back home around for me



So I lay there in that lumpy bed

Countin' choruses instead of sheep

'Til I banged on the wall and out I called

"Hey bub, I need some sleep"



The sudden void of silence

Then I heard that hoarse voice say

"It weren't so long ago, boy

They paid me to play "



I said, "It's kind of late for music, sir

Two hours 'til it's daylight"

He answered, "I need my music most

In these dark hours of the night



You see I've tried gettin' high on something son

But it only brings me down

Staying dry don't work out better, boy

'Cause my eyes get wet and I drown



Won't you please let me continue

And I'll be in your debt?

You see I'm not singing to remember, son

I'm just singing to forget"



And he sang

Hold that D chord on the old guitar

'Til I found the G

Drop it down to old E minor

'Til the A chord rolls back home around for me



That's when I said

"If I'm supposed to listen to you sir

Just one quick question then

Why in the hell do you sing one song

Over and over again?"



And this is what he said

He said, "I gave her the music, son

She gave me the words

Together we'd write the kind of songs

The angels must have heard



Of course we'd fight like cats and dogs

But life ain't no rosebud dream

Still whatever we'd do everybody knew

We truly were a team



I can't remember now if I done her wrong

Or if she done wrong to me

But all I know that when I let her go

That it did not set me free''



That's when I said, "You sound like what's-his-name"

He said, "That's who I am

But you can't wrap a name around you, boy

'Cause it really don't mean a damn"



"You see, a song don't have much meaning

When it don't have nothing to say

What she could do was magic, son

All I could do was play"



He started singing again

That's when I drifted off

Maybe I dreamed what I heard

'Bout this stranger with his melody

Who'd gone and lost the words



Hold that D chord on the old guitar

'Til I found the G

Drop it down to old E minor

'Til the A chord rolls back home around to D

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