Chapin, Harry - Tangled Up Puppet Lyrics




There was a time that you curled up
In my lap like a child.
You'd cling to me smilin'
Your eyes wide and wild.
Now you slip through my arms,
Wave a passing hello.
Twist away and toss a kiss
Laughin' as you go.

You used to say "Read me a story."
And, "Sing me songs of love."
For you were Princess Paradise
On the wings of a dove.
Now I chase you and I tease you
Tryin' to remake you my own,
You just turn away and say,
"Please leave me alone."

And I'm a tangled up puppet
All hangin' in your strings.
I'm a butterfly in a spider's web
Fluttering my wings.
And the more that I keep dancin'
And spinning 'round in knots
The more I see what used to be
And the less of you I've got.

You are a drawer full of make-up
And rinses and things.
You keep changing your moods,
Like your earrings and rings.
But tonight while we played tag
For five minutes in the yard,
Just for a moment I caught you off-guard.

And I'm a tangled up puppet
All hangin' in your strings.
I'm a butterfly in a spider's web
Fluttering my wings.
And the more that I keep dancing
And spinning 'round in knots,
The more I see what used to be
And the less of you I've got.

Now you write your secret poems
In a room just for your dreams.
You don't find time to talk to me
About the things you mean,
And what I mean is

I have watched you take shape
From a jumble of parts
And find the grace and form
Of a fine work of art.
Hey, you, my brand new woman
Newly come into your own,
Don't you know
That you don't need
To grow up all alone.





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Chapin, Harry Tangled Up Puppet Comments
  1. R.... ....

    Better not be music

  2. R.... M....

    I had dropped my daughter off at high school and was driving back home. This song came on the radio and I had to pull into a parking lot until I stopped crying. I had seen Harry perform this live but it never had such an impact until that day. We miss you Harry. 😂

  3. S.... P....

    Any man with a child, knows this... Fatherhood is full of joys, but make no mistake... it will break your heart. For those of us with daughters, the bittersweet reality of it all is no better captured than in this song...

  4. K.... C....

    What a beautiful song for this brutal ugly world today. Harry you gave me the courage to become a singer too and I thank you every night I play your masterpieces. I never saw you in concert but I feel I knew you in a deeper way across the ocean to NYC. Rest Happy Harry. One day I want to place a little tangled up puppet on your grave :) We are lost without the Harrys of this world.

  5. M.... R....

    Tangled Up Puppet

    I'm a tangled up puppet,
    Spinning round in knots,
    And the more I see what used to be,
    The less of you I've got.

    There was a time that you curled up in my lap; like a child
    You'd cling to me smiling, yours eyes wide and wild
    Now you slip through my arms, wave a passing hello
    Twist away and toss a kiss, laughing as you go

    You used to say "Read me a story and sing me songs of love"
    For you were Princess Paradise on the wings of a dove
    Now I chase you and tease you trying to remake you my own
    But you just turn away and say "please leave me alone."

    And I'm a tangled up puppet
    All hanging in your strings
    I'm a butterfly in a spider's web
    Fluttering my wings

    And the more that I keep dancing
    And spinning round in knots
    The more I see what used to be
    And the less of you I've got

    You are a drawer full of makeup and rinses and things
    You keep changing your moods like your earrings and rings
    But tonight while we played tag for five minutes in the yard
    Just for a moment I caught you off guard

    And I'm a tangled up puppet
    All hanging in your strings
    I'm a butterfly in a spider's web
    Fluttering my wings

    And the more that I keep dancing
    And spinning round in knots
    The more I see what used to be
    And the less of you I've got

    But now you write your secret poems
    In a room just for your dreams
    You don't find time to talk to me
    About the things you mean
    And what I mean is

    I have watched you take shape from a jumble of parts
    And find the grace and form of a fine work of art
    Hey, you, my brand new woman, newly come into your own
    Don't you know that you don't need to grow up all alone

    Written by Harry F. Chapin and Sandy Chapin

  6. 1.... ....

    One of my favorites from Harry Chapin. It's about letting go. Harry left this Earth when I was 3 yo. He is still a favorite of mine. His songs touch emotions that are not always easy to handle. RIP Harry.

  7. A.... K....

    41 comments? wow. I'll just say that this is the song i listen to when i need a good cry. so beautiful yet full of sorrow. a tap into the quintessence of melancholy.

  8. S.... L....

    For you sweetie! Ramona Winningham, you left this world far to soon! I love you!

  9. A.... G....

    I haven't thought of this song in years. And in the time in between, I've become a father to a beautiful, wonderful little girl.

    And this song just gutted me thinking about the day when she's not my little girl anymore. Treasure. Every. Moment.

  10. D.... H....

    For Jen Chapin

  11. P.... ....

    So beautiful. Now that I'm the mom of a teenage daughter, it means so much more to me than I was younger.

  12. P.... I....

    I love this song, I have it on my ipod. It's such a sutuble, upbeat song.

  13. R.... P....

    Hard to get through this song without tears, especially where I try to hold on to every bit of my sweet teenage daughter. Beautiful song..

  14. D.... ....

    I actually had the privilege of seeing his beautiful daughter sing this song while her husband played with her. That was an amazing experience! Harry would have been so proud!

    D.... ....

    +Devon Indeed he would have ! Jen does a great version of this beautiful song ! Only less then 300 signatures now needed for the promotion of Harry into The Songwriters' Hall of Fame ; where he belongs ! You can sign and share at www.inductharry.com. We are working tirelessly to get this done for hid wife Sandy and the kids !

    D.... ....

    +Judy Kinne I signed the petition. So glad you let me know. Harry truly was a musical genius!

    D.... ....

    + Devon - thanks so much. If you are interested in either of the groups; one of which is based in the outback of Australia ! ( And that one is the most active.) The 2nd is smaller here in America. Feel free to find me on FB, but my middle name is Andrews. PM me and I will  direct you to these fabulous Chapinites !!!

  15. P.... M....

    In the late 70's Harry came to my small midwestern college. I hadn't been an easy teenager and I thought my parents had written me off; they were going to move and thought perhaps I should stay in the midwest. Harry performed at my little college and having consumed some brandy, I shouted out "Play Piano man" He looked up and said " Great song, but not mine, but I have one for you" and then he sang "
    Tangled Up Puppet"
    after the concert I went down to see Harry, he parted the crowed of admirers , pulled me close, kissed my forehead, and said " I sang it for you, do you know what you need to do" I said yes sir. I went back to my dorm, called home and told my parents that I loved them, their response? they had waited 18 years to hear that. Harry changed our lives.

    P.... M....

    That was Harry. One of a kind. He connected like no other artist I have ever seen in concert.

    P.... M....

    Wish I had known him other than through his music...but the music is all we have now.

  16. S.... P....

    Who is the piece of work that disliked this song?? Really!??

    S.... P....

    +Justin Mathewson I was just thinking the same thing.. unreal.

    S.... P....

    +Justin Mathewson Must have been an accident. :)

  17. K.... ....

    My baby girl.. all grown up now...

  18. K.... W....

    I think of this song everytime I am around my one granddaughter who is now 10 years old

  19. O.... C....

    Harry Chapin I miss you.  You worked for so much good and asked so little for yourself.  Yet the cold hard world just doesn't seem to change.  Anyone taking the time to listen can't helped but be moved, even if just a little bit, by your musical stories.

  20. N.... A....

    This was always one of my favorite songs of Harry's.  I thought I would play this song at my wedding, but it was not to be.   I love you and miss you so much Dad!  No other man has lived up to.

  21. m.... w....

    After suffering a minor stroke that served as a wake up call to quit smoking this song was my inspiration to stay smoke free I want this song to be our father/daughter dance when the day comes. Today marks 1 year smoke free Thank you Harry for the inspiration and help to get there. I will be there that day for my girl

  22. B.... V....

    In 1978 My first wife and I took our 8yr old daughter to see Harry at a small club in Kalamazoo Mi. He was doing a fund raiser for a politico. He sat on the edge of the stage and sang this song to her. 20 plus years later this was the Father/Daughter dance song at her wedding. I cried, she cried, her mother cried, her sister cried. Everyone who the story cried.

  23. j.... n....

    We sang and danced to this song at my daughters wedding 20 years ago. We sure do miss you Harry

  24. p.... ....

    You interpreted it just right.

  25. t.... ....

    It was my daughters Father /Daughter dance song. Cried like a jerk, but Harry could make you do that.

  26. C.... .....

    i told my oldest the same thing

  27. J.... ....

    I understand. I was born in 77' and am amazed when others my age not only know who Harry Chapin is, but love his music. He is the only musician where I have collected all his albums, including the live ones. Truely one of the greatest artsists to have lived.

    J.... ....

    I was born 76 and I share him with everyone I love. He is timeless!

  28. K.... M....

    It's too bad you didn't get to see him live. What a show. I went to see him 5 times. He was my all time favorite!

  29. 1.... ....

    I have subscribed as im a big HC fan and this is a song i love. If you 'd like to subscribe back that would be nice. I have included this song in my latest creation.

  30. S.... C....

    Im 18, and at college. My dad and I are the only two in my family that listen to Harry Chapin and when he told me that this song reminds him of him and I, I cried. I cried so hard. I'm still crying. Maybe I'm just interperetting this song wrong, but this makes me feel like I didn't spend enough time with him...

  31. f.... ....

    This song has always brought tears to my eyes ever since I had my first daughter. I could never listen to it with tearing up and I finally stopped. Today is my daughter's graduation prom from high school and the first time that I have listened to Tangled Up Puppet in 15 years..... the tears are still there. As one who grew up listening to Harry, all that I can say is thank you and we miss you.

  32. L.... ....

    It's tough to love a musician who died a decade before you were born, too. I know the feeling.

  33. J.... ....

    I live for this song

  34. A.... C....

    @monkey43left
    Agreed. There is such a trend for the empty cookie cutter "Club tune" that it has taken away part of the true soul of musical expression. I'm nearly thirty and I've been listening to his stuff for a decade now. It takes true genius to move someone so much with words and melody, and Harry had that and some to spare. Every time I hear this song i get "this close" to bawling as I have a little girl myself.

  35. G.... ....

    Lee DeWyze is an oldie? LOL
    But seriously, he's very talented and seems like a sweet guy =)

  36. G.... ....

    Thanks so much for posting this!

  37. G.... ....

    @MW277j Hahaha

  38. D.... V....

    best father daughter dance song ever. Leaves me sad, the words hit home in so many different ways, They grow up so fast,hold them while you can , while you can. Now more than ever there are so many distractions in their lives, too many ways too avoid real relationships even among family members

  39. M.... B....

    If only my own daughter would invite me to her wedding..
    I miss you Baby, Sorry your mother took so far away for so long to who the hell knows where. Audrianna my little Rose I Do So Love You

  40. d.... ....

    He really was one of the greatest. Can't wait til my daughter is old enough to make this our song.

  41. m.... w....

    The day my daughter gets married this will be our father daughter dance song. She doesn't have a choice !

  42. S.... L....

    And I'm a tangled up puppet
    All hanging in your strings
    I'm a butterfly in a spider's web
    Fluttering my wings

    And the more that I keep dancing
    And spinning round in knots
    The more I see what I used to be
    And the less of you I've got