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Harry Chapin – Taxi lyrics

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, and 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 the 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 '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, 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 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.

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Music Facts about Harry Chapin and "Taxi" song

Taxi meanings

  • u
    In a Tonight Show interview with Harry, he explained to Johnny that this song came to him while driving in a cab. He was sitting around waiting for the next call out and started thinking about what might happen if one of his fares was actually an old flame and made the story up from there. Great story teller indeed!
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  • u
    I realize that there's a bit of Harry in me. I remember living a similar life. I dreamed of being a winning race car owner/driver and it happened to be a Dodge. I loved the sport and learned a lot about life as well. I also had a "Sue" and she was wonderful. Eventually she gave me the marry-or-move-on option and I wasn't ready to settle down. I realized that I had made a mistake and gave up on my dream while losing my "lady blue." This happened about forty years ago and I have moved on. I have not seen her for over twenty years but I still remember. I have now married my best friend and love my Marci. The greatest reality is that I have been devoted to this marriage longer that anything else and it has been educational.
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  • u
    Not quite, March 7. The woman, Sue, is "acting happy". She isn't living her dream, either. She has settled into a comfortable life in her "handsome home", but originally, she wanted to be an actress. So she's not the success she dreamed of. Both characters only made it, metaphorically, toward their dreams and goals, and they may, or may not, have settled for them. But you do know there is a sequel to this song.!
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  • d
    My high school teacher from Queens recently died. He got me into poetry and lyrics. He proposed one day that the "lady Blue" might have the handsome home because she's a call girl. She is taking a taxi home in a gown by herself. She is also quite free with the twenty dollar tips: easy come and easy go. Also she may be blue not because she was sad, but rather blue as in blue laws and blue movies. Anyway it is not the most likely interpretation but my teacher, Mr Smith from Archbishop Molly High School changed the way I looked at poetry for the rest of my life. God rest his soul.
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  • d
    Dale Vinzant
    Allegedly Harry did work as a cab driver after he got out of the Air Force (he wanted to fly). I have always wondered if this was not part of Harry's real life. Granted, Harry is a story teller, but maybe this was real, there seems to be a lot of detail, more than one would expect in a song. The vivid memories of times gone by. The wanting, the desire, but the final reality -- it could never be. Play the cards you have been dealt, maybe, someday. Hope springs eternal.
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