Written by Harry Chapin
Performed by Harry Chapin
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, Sixteen 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
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
Not what my life's about
'Cause I've been letting my outside tide me
Over 'til my time, runs out

(Yes, she's flying, afraid to fall)
(I'll tell you why baby's crying)
('Cause she's dying, aren'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 two fifty 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've 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
Taxi on YouTube
This was the song that convinced me that AM radio was not where all the good music was.  How could a song this awesome not get played?  It ran too long?  But the story it told was fantastic, and the artistry of the music and vocals.

This song, on the surface, is about two kids fall in love and go different directions, but for just a moment in time, are back together again.  But it goes deeper exploring the inner dreams that forced them apart, and how their dreams came true in a form that perhaps required a little chemical distance from reality to perceive.

Taxi also helped to cement a fledgling relationship with the man I would ultimately marry.  I loved this song and my BF discovered I had just bought the album, he shared all of his albums with me, and I was totally blown away by the scope of Harry's work.

Sadly, it's been too long since he left us, and he seems to be  relegated to cult icon status.  Kids, understandably. want their own stories from minstrels of their own generation.  But these stories transcend eras and generations and are still relevant today.  It is up to those of us who had the privilege of seeing him live and feeling the passion he poured into every song to pass along the music.

I'm planning on doing a series of Chapin songs over the next few weeks.  I hope you enjoy them.
Harry Chapin Page
Song of the Week Listings
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