Holy Crap, Dawson’s Creek Just Quoted Harry Chapin

harrychapin dawsonscreek

What kind of alternate universe am I living in?

Apparently one alternate enough that I am actually watching Dawson’s Creek. I never watched it when it was on, even though I was right around that age. It just never appealed to me. I wasn’t watching much TV then and when I did it was pretty much just The X-Files. But then after the end of the past school year, I was just looking for some TV to relax to, something to help me unwind from the insane intensity of the last year, something that wouldn’t really make me think, and a friend suggested Dawson’s Creek.

So here I am, on Season 5 already. I go back and forth about liking the show, and almost all of the characters. But today, I was just starting an episode and in the teaser, Joey says to Dawson, “Sometimes I think it’s better when we don’t get to touch our dreams.”

Whoa, that was weird, I thought, pausing the video. That’s almost verbatim from the song “Sequel” by Harry Chapin. It could be a coincidence for sure, but that word “touch” made me suspicious. That’s not what people usually say. It’s more often “reach” or “live” or even “realize.” Still it could be nothing. Then the phone rang and I realized what time it was and took my call, got ready and left with a friend. I just came back, many hours later to resume the video.

Joey continues, “I spend half the time wondering what might’ve been and the other half thinking, just as well.” Now that is direct, verbatim from the end of the same song. No way is that a coincidence.

It just has me floored. I never expected it. It kinda gave me chills. The intersection of two completely different and unrelated things just has my mind warped a little, like I might now love this show based on this alone.

For one, I’m a sucker for anything that involves quoting lyrics. It’s something I’ve always done in my own writing, and I always loved how Grey’s Anatomy episodes are all named after songs, but this was even better because it was lyrics, and because it was Harry Chapin. I mean, what the fuck is he doing on a Dawson’s Creek episode? And that total wtf is also why I love it so much.

I don’t really know anyone else who listens to Harry Chapin, except maybe some of the kids I went to blind camp with. I would have no idea who Harry Chapin was without that place. A few of his songs were really integral to that experience. “Circle” was our closing campfire song for all the years I was a camper there and one of the years I was a counselor. Sometimes our director, Phil, would sing “Mr. Tanner” or “Cat’s in the Cradle” when we sang songs after meals, and “Flowers are Red” was part of just about every Sunday Morning Program I can remember.

Being the nostalgic kind of person that I am, a few years after my time at blind camp, I bought Harry Chapin’s Gold Medal Collection, as it had all the songs I knew of his, and since then I’ve listened to that double album so many times, including “Taxi” and its sequel “Sequel” which has the lines that Joey says to Dawson. I don’t think I know of anyone else who even knows this song, as it wasn’t one of the camp staples.

So then to suddenly hear the lyrics spoken aloud on Dawson’s Creek was just a really strange, awesome experience.

~EJ

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