In this song, Chapin describes how he met his wife, Sandy, when he gave her guitar lessons at her home. Sandy told us the story: "I had three little kids, and I wanted to do old folk songs with them. I thought it was fun to do 'Little Old Wagon Painted Blue,' and 'The Bucks Go Down In The Town-o.' I was a teacher, and when I was studying, they told us that American folk songs were the only true American music, not derived from other places. So I had an interest in that. And I can't ever say I played very well, but I had taken piano lessons. That doesn't really work, because I wanted to sit on the floor, and do games and stuff. And I used to do that with little kids, like, we used to march to bed to 'Marching To Pretoria.' So I thought I'd like to learn to play guitar, and I tried a couple of avenues. There was one person I found who would give guitar lessons, but he was in the Upper West Side, and I was in Brooklyn Heights. And it would mean getting a babysitter and doing all that traveling for a one hour guitar lesson. I kind of dropped the idea, and then I got a call out of the blue because I think one of the people I had talked to had left a note with Harry's mom. Harry was out working in California after doing some work shooting commercials. He was out there for a year or more, and then he came back, was between jobs, and I guess his mother handed him the note. So by the time he called I had kind of forgotten, and didn't quite know what to make of the call. But I started the lessons, which were intermittent, because Harry was doing other things. We had some guitar lessons, and I wasn't very good, so I tried to be very diligent. And then after the guitar lesson, Harry would play some of the songs that he already had written, some of which were back when he was at Cornell. Some of the early ones like 'Run Red River Run,' and 'Let Me Down Easy' - kind of folk songs.
The house is a brownstone, the first story is the kitchen, the second story is the so-called parlor, and then the top two floors are bedrooms. Downstairs there was a den, and my husband at the time always had poker night, and that was why I was doing those guitar lessons at the same time. Harry takes the song a little further… 'So one night when the lights were dim,' a little poetic license."