Saturday, May 22, 2010
Harry Chapin's "W.O.L.D." is a tale about a disk jockey who "just had to run around" and left his wife and children. Years later, he feels the same emptiness that prompted him to take flight and, in a call to his wife, expresses the desire to return–but it's too late. His desolation is reflected in the lines, "Sometimes I get this crazy dream, that I just take off in my car, but you can travel on 10,000 miles and still stay where you are." Like other Chapin compositions such as "Taxi," "Dreams Gone By" and "Cat's In The Cradle," "W.O.L.D." is essentially a poignant short story set to lyrics whose theme is the gap between dreams and reality. Chapin's death in 1981, at age 39, in a car crash on the Long Island Expressway deprived the world of an outstanding singer-songwriter and philanthropist.