Narrative songs: “Taxi” by Harry Chapin

Harry Chapin was a great storyteller, as he wrote many narrative-type songs, the most famous of which is “Cat’s In the Cradle.” Maybe I’ll do that one next time.

It was raining hard in ‘Frisco.
I needed one more fare to make my night.
A lady up ahead waved to flag me down.
She got in at the light.

“Oh, where you going to, my lady blue?
It’s a shame you ruined your gown in the rain.”
She just looked out the window,
she said, “16 Parkside Lane.”

Something about her was familiar.
I could swear I’d seen her face before.
But she said, “I’m sure you’re mistaken,”
and she didn’t say anything more.

It took a while, but she looked in the mirror,
and she glanced at the license for my name.
A smile seemed to come to her slowly&#8212
it was a sad smile, just the same.

And she said, “How are you, Harry?”
I said, “How are you, Sue?
Through the too many miles and the too little smiles
I still remember you.”

It was somewhere in a fairy tale,
I used to take her home in my car.
We learned about love in the back of a Dodge.
The lesson hadn’t gone too far.

You see, she was gonna be an actress
and I was gonna learn to fly.
She took off to find the footlights
and I took off to find the sky.

Oh, I’ve got something inside me
to drive a princess blind
There’s a wild man, wizard,
he’s hiding in me, illuminating my mind.

Oh, I’ve got something inside me,
but it’s not what my life’s about
’cause I’ve been letting my outside tide me
over ’till my time, runs out.

Baby’s so high that she’s skying.
Yes, she’s flying, afraid to fall.
I’ll tell you why baby’s crying:
’cause she’s dying&#8212aren’t we all?

There was not much more for us to talk about.
Whatever we had once was gone.
So I turned my cab into the driveway
past the gate and the fine-trimmed lawns.

And she said we must get together,
but I knew it’d never be arranged.
And she handed me twenty dollars for a $2.50 fare.
She said, “Harry, keep the change.”

Well, another man might have been angry
and another man might have been hurt.
But another man never would have let her go.
I stashed the bill in my shirt.

And she walked away in silence.
It’s strange how you never know.
But we’d both gotten what we’d asked for
such a long, long time ago

You see, she was gonna be an actress
and I was gonna learn to fly.
She took off to find the footlights
and I took off for the sky.

And here, she’s acting happy
inside her handsome home
And me, I’m flying in my taxi,
taking tips and getting stoned

I go flying so high, when I’m stoned…

This entry was posted in Music. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.