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Submitted by Nancy K. of Reston, Va.

 
By Helen Kruger, Music Planet Radio

 
In the summer of 1977 I was interning on Capitol Hill for the Congressman from my home district in New York. Harry had lived and attended college in my home district and paid a visit to our office while visiting DC that summer while participating in the creation of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger. Normally it’s the duty of the the Congressional staff to entertain visiting constituents and show them a good time in the Nation’s Capital. Instead, Harry invited ‘lil ole me to tag along with him and his band as they played all over DC including the Capitol steps to bring attention to the cause. It’s a day I’lll never forget. A man of great talent, charisma and wisdom far beyond the short 38 years he was on this earth. Harry Chapin’s gift was his ability to tell musical stories with timeless messages. Flowers Are Red is no exception.
 
There are so many colors in the rainbow, So many colors in the morning sun, So many colors in the flower, and I see every one
 

 

Flowers Are Red

Written by Harry Chapin
 

The little boy went first day of school
He got some crayons and he started to draw
He put colors all over the paper
For colors was what he saw

And the teacher said, “What you doin’ young man?”
“I’m paintin’ flowers” he said
She said, “It’s not the time for art young man
And anyway flowers are green and red”

“There’s a time for everything young man
And a way it should be done
You’ve got to show concern for everyone else
For you’re not the only one”

And she said, “Flowers are red young man
And green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than they way they always have been seen”

But the little boy said
“There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one”

Well the teacher said, “You’re sassy
There’s ways that things should be
And you’ll paint flowers the way they are
So repeat after me”

And she said, “Flowers are red, young man
And green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than they way they always have been seen”

But the little boy said
“There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one”

The teacher put him in a corner
She said, “It’s for your own good
And you won’t come out ’til you get it right
And are responding like you should”

Well finally he got lonely
Frightened thoughts filled his head
And he went up to the teacher
And this is what he said

And he said
“Flowers are red, and green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen”

Time went by like it always does
And they moved to another town
And the little boy went to another school
And this is what he found

The teacher there was smilin’
She said, “Painting should be fun
And there are so many colors in a flower
So let’s use every one”

But that little boy painted flowers
In neat rows of green and red
And when the teacher asked him why
This is what he said

And he said
“Flowers are red, and green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen