Chapin, Harry - Flowers Are Red Lyrics




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"





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Chapin, Harry Flowers Are Red Comments
  1. SuperAvengerMan

    Here from Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld and Sarah Jessica Parker

  2. Joseph Lancon

    S-seven
    C-cruel
    H-hours
    O-of
    O-our
    L-lives

  3. Atiksh Singh

    literally found this in the middle of nowhere, great song though saving it. thx youtube algorithm. the ending is so sad though

  4. WreckDiver99

    ...and this is how public schools have indoctrinated students. My parents used to say this, and I was "Nobody tells me how to think", now I see my son, and am just "WOW". One teacher was repeatedly stating "So and so should never be president because they don't do the right things". Well, what is "right" and "wrong". You don't agree with one side or another that is fine, but you DO NOT use your influence on children, parents teach their children these things. It isn't about "right and wrong", this was PURELY on politics and why one is bad and one is good. It's getting worse and worse at the public school level. 1st graders being told to think THIS way as that is THE ONLY way to think...wow...just wow.

  5. Amira Walsh murphy

    Great song but sad

  6. Kirby

    I'm very lucky that both of my parents were artists but even so, when I was in school, I always got in trouble for doing things "my own way."

  7. Dashbash oof

    I have an assignment for this its 4 am

  8. Robert Monnette

    so so sad makes me want to cry

  9. Faaris Haque

    Zain bikha

  10. Christina Hamilton

    I sang this in kindergarten in art, along with the rest of my class.

  11. Marissa Jenson

    What a sad song!

  12. Brent Bartley

    Cheers Noel

  13. mytexas days

    I listened to some of his songs in the 60'? But I have never heard this one before. It was mentioned last night in a Grammy legends televised program. It makes me sad. I would have felt bad for the little boy,, then angry at the teacher, then determined to change the boys views and the teachers when I was young.

  14. TheKristina 1106

    Love you Mom, rest in peace 🌄🏡📚🌴🏝🍓🐶🐶🐶✌❤🔥🐚🌿

  15. Darlene Forbes

    This song makes my want to slap the teacher!

  16. Niamh2012

    Ironically they played this song for us in play school

  17. Desiree Curnutt

    What a sad song about society... Even though that's what happens....

  18. Beverly Rollins

    Sarah Jessica Parker and her siblings sang back up on this

  19. Saurabh Gothivrekar

    This is the saddest song I have ever heard. I cried like a baby imagining this could happen with my four year old son who exactly uses all colors for flowers :-(

  20. XEvilXChibiX

    This is quite interesting. I remember this song being played for my class in elementary school, grade 5, we all learned every word together and sang it as a group along with the audio. But I remember very clearly this song ending with a much happier tone. I remember the new teacher using the words of all wonderful colours in the last course and bringing the creative spirit back to life in the young boy, in my self as well. And I remember the awesome feeling I got and the expression I imaged the boy would have, a huge grin.

    yooneeque1

    I believe Harry himself felt bad about the initial negative ending and he later added in one more stanza:


    But there still must be a way to have our children say:
    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.


    IIRC his own free-spirited young son was the inspiration for this song. I work with children and always try to remember the lyrics.

  21. WiglyWorm

    Jeez. When the kid went to the new school, I thought we were going to get a happy ending. Nope. We just got the real ending. What a rollercoaster.

    ML Hart

    This is the album track. When he performed it in concert, he changed it to say, '... but wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all sing, "There are so many colors in the rainbow... etc"

  22. little biffy

    Love this :)

  23. harold townsend

    before his time

  24. tim tompas

    Tears that a teacher didn't teach but killed imagination and creativity.

  25. Mark Lowe

    We listen to this song at camp a lot

  26. sam chalouhi

    i must thank my art teacher julia sharp, who said i might be the most obnoxious kid ever (prob true) but I should stick with my self confidence and stick it up the system cuz art is not to define but refine the system... 30 years later, I am still an artist of my own variety

  27. Maddi Reilley

    I HAVE A FOOT FETISH IF YOURE INTERESTED PUHHHLEASE HIT ME UP WILLING TO PAY $$$$$$

    Maddi Reilley

    ONLY PERSONS OVER 60 YEARS OF AGE PLEASE
    THE DIRTIER THE FOOT THE BETTER
    I AM ENAMORED WITH LONG TOENAILS

    Tygur Masscotter

    Please stop talking to yourself. You're very annoying... :-/

  28. Nick Tokman

    This is a great song and it makes me very angry.

  29. japanese anime lover1

    whenever I hear this my first thoughts are a) this lady has never met someone who was colour blind and b) she hadnt seen many flowers because voilets are purple tulips can be yellow or orange and there are alot of other colours they can be. the further the song gets the more angry I get

  30. hendo337

    Sarah Jessica Parker said she was involved as backing vocals on a version of this song with Harry. Strange world. The song sort of reminds me of my grandmother. She was a rural teacher in Canada until they moved to NY so my Grandfather could get higher paying work in the 60s. After that she worked for Nestle then worked nights at a nursing home as an LPN until she quite to take care of me then my cousin during the day. Eventually she took care of a girl across the street for a few years. She really enjoyed influencing young children with good habits, activity and creativity. She painted, sewed, knitted, cross stitched, did pottery, puzzles, word and card games. She passed away in 2009 during my first week of college after I got out of the military and had a surgery that spring. I could tell all summer she had little interest in spending another winter a shut in.

  31. Courtney Whiteside

    VOTE GREEN PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Saturday Morning Jukebox WLCS 98.3fm

    Why does it HAVE to be the GREEN party? Can't it be plum? LOL

  32. intenselan

    My second grade teacher played this in class. I got made fun of for crying.

    megapanka

    Aha you da man! Talk about feelin a song

    Tygur Masscotter

    Well, obviously you were more intelligent than the other jackasses in your class, who didn't "get it." :-/

  33. Eli Hull

    If you liked this one, check out "Mr. Tanner."

  34. Eli Hull

    Saw him peform this in concert in New Jersey.

  35. Donna Washington

    made me sad to hear this.

    Mike O Brien

    Donna Washington

    Mike O Brien

    Donna Washington
    Donna, if you feel sad see " Dan Breen speaks of Michael Collins." For reasons of history, I expected Dan to say he hated Collins, but he didn't. His words will put you in a happy frame of mind. Hopefully!

  36. Leigh Bradley

    It astonishes me how relevant his music is today. Common core anyone?

    Kevin Davis

    Based on your comment, I'm pretty sure that you don't understand common core. Common core sort of embraces the whole "so many colors in the rainbow" spirit.

  37. Jennifer Isaacs

    I really love this song.

  38. Jennifer Isaacs

    Lyrics

    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 saw
    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"

    Okan Bilici

    Jennifer Isaacs Thanks a lot!

    MysticS1ay3r

    Jennifer Isaacs the lyrics are in the description.

  39. Padraic Reid

    Mr. M'Choakumchild

  40. mossmangene

    in the 1st grade we had "sit on the floor and sing" time. we were asked which song we wanted to sing. i raised my hand and voted on a Christmas song even though December was months away. teacher said "we CAN'T sing that kind of song now."
    well .... i knew i COULD sing it. i just couldn't figure out why no one else could. that was in 1962.when we at least had recess and were allowed to play dodge ball, tag..etc. to end this post....is there any doubt why our children aren't near the top?????? ya'll check out to taxi and sequel

  41. Team iron

    This is weta I saw at music at school

  42. Plaboon1

    LIVE is ridiculously more heartfelt. This is GREAT, but doesn't evoke 1/2 the emotion of the live version...I miss Harry!

    Plaboon1

    +Plaboon1 This version cute and cheeky. I will get the REAL version up online. You will be move and impressed with the dimensional difference in depth. The song goes from "cute message" to "Washington powerhouse....WHY do we teach like this?"

  43. Firefly

    Love this message, cute song! Common Core?

    Yeh No

    Core values

  44. Richard Ranke

    I saw a film of him performing this on a TV Children's Program. Thank you, Melinda S. Mock, for introducing me to one of the best Harry Chapin songs.

  45. Courtney Pauley

    this song breaks my heart because I was that child

    John Phillip

    @ComedianBobFarrell The visiting art teacher who went to my primary school played this after my teacher castigated me for using "too much smoke and ruining the picture" when we were doing a take on Monet's Gare St Lazare.....
    Didn't realise why he played it till years later.
    Totally lost interest in art in Secondary school as my background dictated that art "wasn't a real job" (a real job being manual or unskilled work), a shame as I wasn't too bad at in primary school,

  46. t grove

    I like it and its my teacher's fav song

  47. Asher Selig

    I really dislike this song!

    Nicks !!

    +Asher Selig
    IKR!

  48. SlairMongrel

    It's taken me 18 years to remember this song, from when I heard it on the radio as a kid. been sitting here for an hour, feeling simultaneous rage and sadness. Then the memory dawns; a teacher of mine in middle school, one day during a free period took and tore up my portfolio of drawings, saying I'd never amount to anything. He taught math. Knew fuck-all about drawing. Let me tell you, don't eve let anyone tell you you can't do something you're passionate about. It messes you up. Don't be like the strict teacher, or mine. Fuck you, Mr. Nord. Die in a fire.

    HerbieHibbish

    +SlairMongrel When I was young I wrote awesome, creative stories. Then in 2nd grade a teacher gave me an F for "writing class". She accused me of plagiarism and insisted that my story was far too advanced for someone my age. My parents fought the grade but she still failed me. I didn't complete another story until high school, and continue to struggle with creative writing despite knowing how wrong this teacher was. Neither Mr. Nord nor Mrs. Anderson should ever have been allowed to shape young minds.

    Lois Carrington

    Popeslave, I paid for a creative writing course, and the teacher asked us to write a poem, which I did, then he said my poem could not be mine, because I could not write like that.
    It was an awkward moment for me as an adult. Of course it was my work. I have written all my life. He did not perceive me as the writer of such stuff.
    Don't ever let anyone, who has no idea, put you down.
    At the Open University, I went on to get a distinction for my poetry as part of my degree.

    Yul Hubbart

    Slair and Popeslave: I read all your comments there and was sorry you came across such jackasses: to be honest with you I think in one or two cases you were facing intense jealousy from the teacher (I don't know if you realise this). A friend of mine once shared an excellent old saying with me and it goes something like this: "Those who can...do - those who can't...teach." It has a lot of truth in it.

    John Phillip

    @Yul Hubbart Virtually ALL my secondary school teachers were waiting out the last couple of years to retirement, one even went so far to write the number of days till that day on the board and boast that he didn't care how many passed or failed, he also was utterly incompetent and got basic maths equations wrong and then tried to cover it up when pointed out

    Yul Hubbart

    That doesn't surprise me at all. One of the happiest days of my life was my last day at secondary school - knowing that I wouldn't have to deal with those sarcastic, disinterested, useless fucktards again. Thanks for the comment.

  49. Shani Black

    one of the saddest songs i've ever heard, even sadder because it becomes more true everyday :(

    R Johnston

    Not True...I am a teacher and all of us listen to this song and try to make our lessons more differentiated.

    Tygur Masscotter

    +R Johnston Well, then, thank you. :-)

    Darlene Forbes

    Shani Black Makes me angry then sad then angry all over again

  50. Flourchilid

    Right here you've got the best argument against standardized testing.

  51. Matthew Seabrook

    No this song symbolizes Bullying and Harry Chapin knew it and he tried to get people to realize what they were doing to children and no one saw

    Nikolas Bryant

    @Matthew Seabrook No. He made it because a child who was close to him (friends kid? Nephew maybe?) got a report card that said "Your child marches to a different drum. We'll get him with the parade by the end of the term."

  52. can2ej6

    i  think this song symbolizes what a job can to a person

    Tygur Masscotter

    And I think that's the reason so many people HATE their jobs nowadays. Going to WORK is like going to JAIL (except some probably make less money at work than those in jail...)

    Andrew Hatfield

    "Nowadays" people have never liked their jobs.

  53. stanphries

    I learned this song in elementary school from the best music teacher ever, David Root.  I didn't know that it was Harry Chapin until I saw Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.  Aside from the echoes in my head, I probably hadn't heard this in 25 years.

    klive1979

    @stanphries Did you grow up in Stow, Ohio? My music teacher was Mr. Root and he taught this to us as well.

    stanphries

    @klive1979
    Yep, I went to Indian Trail.  I also got his name wrong.  It's Ted Root, not David.  I mixed that up with another Mr. Root that I knew.

    klive1979

    I am also an Indian Trail alumnus. I was there from 84 to 90. I did not think David sounded right. The three major songs I remember from him are this one, the Eddie Cutcha Catcha song, and the hole in the bucket, dear Liza.

    stanphries

    @klive1979 We were in the same class. Senor Don Gato, 59th St Bridge Song, "there was a man who had a goat," Cats in the Cradle, etc. I still draw Mr Piano Mouth from time to time.

  54. ravinprophin

    Thumbs up if you watched Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee ;)

    Anthony Passaro

    ravinprophin what episode?

    Nick Giroux

    Never knew the connection with Sarah Jessica Parker before that episode.

    arotom

    @Anthony Passarothe one with Sarah Jessica Parker

  55. mrsbrown333

    i was lucky to have a dad who said 'see all the colours!" 

    moojmasti2010

    👍👌

  56. J. Schoenborn

    Definitely! What ever happened to individualism? Reminds me of a time when I came home from school my first day of 1st grade (Lemme tell ya, I was pretty happy, ya know? Glad to be outta kindergarten and meeting new people and that good stuff) absolutely crushed. Told my mom what happened and she had a talk with my teacher. Apparently what happened was that when I went shopping for my "school supply list", I had gotten **gasp** generic brand markers instead of Crayola brand markers. The reasoning why by my 1st grade teacher: "Well, everyone has to have Crayola brand markers. WE (emphasis on the "WE") can't have anyone who's different from the others because it might give other children ideas."

    Tygur Masscotter

    Well, let's be honest...in Yankeeland, whose government has pretty much gone to Hell in a hand-basket now, either she or the school likely was getting kickbacks from Crayola. Or, maybe Crayola secretly had been given a no-bid government contract, as is done in the current corporatocracy there - so it would really be NO surprise... :-(

  57. Nathanielle Crawford

    Comedians in Cars turned me on to this song. This song could have easily been my elementary school sound track and it makes me wonder what Harry Chapin thinks of school now. I'm really afraid for kids now.

    pigskin1000

    Unfortunately ol' Harry died many yrs ago so he probably has no thoughts on our current schools.  He was one of a kind.

    Nathanielle Crawford

    That's your belief system and I respect that. Please respect that myself and others believe that those who are no longer with us on this plain are still with us in another.

    Funky Monkey

    Nathanielle Crawford he died in a car accident in NYC in 1981...on his way to perform a free concert

    Deb Bellemore

    Me too we just watched the episode with Sarah Jessica Parker -her and her siblings sang in this song!

  58. Daniel Mills

    School is the place where inspiration goes to die.

    Nikolas Bryant

    @Daniel Mills What if it's art school? What if it's an improv class or something?

    Plagued Frost

    +Rusty Shackleford Then that's where they go to be criticised and or shamed... Na' just playin', it's where they SUPER DIE!!!

    David Breen

    Very true

    Suzanne Stapler

    It's getting worse and worse! Especially when conservative students (and people of all ages) aren't allowed to express their beliefs and/or are beaten up for it.

  59. Michele Silvers

    Never heard this version with just Harry singing. It is nice. I wish the Lord would have shared him longer with the world. His insights about people and the world should not be forgotten.

  60. R Siel

    This happened to me in a silly sort of way in Kindergarten.....

  61. Pat Lennon

    Harry Chapin is beyond genius...Apply this to Obama's joke of a socialistic concept called Obamacare...Wisdom trumps knowledge every single time :)

  62. pogospace

    Should be on the walls of classrooms.

  63. Jesse Smith

    yea show alot of truth in this song

  64. Childofpraise2Yahweh

    So goes to show how school narrows our imagination and puts us in tiny boxes ......beautiful to see such truth put to music

  65. captainsoul1953

    what a lovely song this is

  66. mookie8668

    Lol...once you get it on your head.. you sing it all day...

  67. 7giovina

    I used to cry when I heard this as a kid

  68. Arlene Sullivan

    My one regret is not seeing Harry live. He is and always be my idol! I went into teaching to stop this crazy way of teaching.

  69. Scorpiutza

    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
    ♥♫★ lalalala :P
    I like the fact that the last teacher was thinking as the little boy was thinking.I'll pretend the last part of the song didn't happen,he should've stayed to the way he was thinking,painting flowers in all colors. :P

  70. Death By Pinkie Pie!

    yes MnktoDave, yes there is

  71. Death By Pinkie Pie!

    i like it

  72. electronmusicjunkie

    Reminds me of teachers I had in school who wanted to push their ways on you making you think thats the way you have to comply (which is needed in some cases), but you also have to teach that there's other ways to do things too.

  73. Marisa Horn

    This is just so sad

  74. MnktoDave

    Unfortunately, there is so much truth to this song...

  75. ASealUponThineHeart

    I love this one!