From The Harry Chapin Wiki

Sniper is a Harry Chapin song that is the title track of the Sniper and Other Love Songs album. Sniper was based on the story of Charles Whitman, who on August 1, 1966 killed 14 people during a shooting rampage from the Texas Clock Tower on the campus of the University of Texas, in Austin, Texas.

This song is example of how Chapin would read a story or drive through a town and spin a yarn from that brief encounter. In this case, he takes the story Charles Whitman and transforms the brutal assault into a conversation in the mind of deranged mind of the killer.


First release




"I Will Be": The Horror of Harry Chapin's "Sniper" - this detailed blog posting dissects Sniper and observes "it's more than crazy--it's inventive, insightful, piercing, and, to me at least, unforgettable."