Flowers are Red – Harry Chapin

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Flowers are Red – Harry Chapin

Post by rogerwimmer » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:08 am

Doc: When I was very young, I remember hearing on a song on the radio station my parents listened to and I'm trying to figure out what the song is - I have tried everything. The song is about a little boy who is painting roses in school and the teacher tells him that he is painting with the wrong colors...or close like that. The title is something like "Roses are Red" or "Grass is Green." Do you have any idea what the song is? Thanks. - RJ

RJ: First, I think you noticed that I changed the title of your question to reflect the real title of the song you're asking about. I hope you don't mind, and on to your question . . .

I'm sure the song you're referring to is Harry Chapin's song, "Flowers are Red," which was released on September 10, 1978. It's a marvelous explanation of how one person, in this case a teacher, can restrict the creativity and imagination of another person, a little boy.

There are several versions of the song on the Internet, but to hear the song along with the lyrics, click here.

Here is another version where Harry Chapin explains why he wrote the song. I'm going to warn you that the introduction has about 50 seconds of useless comments and gibberish by the band members, but Chapin does eventually explain why he wrote the song - click here.

Harry Chapin was a great storyteller and most of his songs contained some type of emotional message. One of his most emotion-laden songs that tugs at the hearts of all fathers who spend many hours at work or who travel a lot is Cat's in the Cradle. Listen to the song and, if you're a father, decide if you should work a few extra hours today.

Harry Chapin died in a car accident in New York in 1981. He was only 38 years old.


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Roger Wimmer is owner of Wimmer Research and senior author of Mass Media Research: An Introduction, 10th Edition.

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