Powerful. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/15/12
I imagine this song speaks to the woinding and isolation that many mass killers have felt
I wrote a college paper on this | Reviewer: Rick
In 1975 I took a course on Poetry to lighten my load. We could analyze the poetic devices found in anything each liked. It's amazing how many formal techniques are in this song, and how the changing melodies and cadences support it.
I told him about the paper after a concert he gave in Morristown, NJ. My mother still remembers his kiss.
Finally, Daniel was right in comparing this song to "A Better Place To Be." They are the 2 most serious songs. Even after 30 years, the lyrics to "A Better Place To Be" stick with me.
chilling | Reviewer: Liz | 9/2/07
This is indeed Harry Chapin's most emotionally involved song, and expresses the pain, fear, anger, and confusion that Charles Whitman felt back in 1966.
Inspiration for the song " Sniper ". | Reviewer: Daniel
This was inspired by the story of Charles Whitman,
A Vietnam veteran suffering from pressure on the area ( s ) of his brain controlling aggression caused by a tumour. He went up in the afore - mentioned clock - tower of the University of Texas, Austin, & targeted 37 people on the campus before being taken out by policemen.
I believe this was in 1963 or maybe it was '66, please feel free to correct me.
It is perhaps the most emotionally intense song that I have heard him perform, ( I had an old VHS tape of him doing it live. ) & he brings an appropriate air of panic, pathos & conflict, in sharp contrast to most of his other songs. Listening to it, then listening to " A Better Place To Be " is rather like driving a motor - cycle full - tilt down a stretch of highway, then getting on to an old - fashioned carriage.