"Taxi" as written by and Harry F. 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 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

Whoa, 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
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


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"Taxi" as written by Harry F. Chapin

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Taxi song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentIts about two people who grow up together and life takes them down different paths.
    When they meet up years later their lives are just too different for them to get back together.

    Remember what John Lennon said:
    Life happens to us when we're busy making other plans
    wiclo6on January 15, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song...so sad and tender. Similar type song to Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne:
    jersey73on March 22, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI heard an interview with Harry Chapin back before he died when I was working at WGBS in Miami. He said he was actually a cab driver and had heard his old girlfriend was in town and he started to think what would she say if he picked her up as a fare. He was terrified of how she would react if this happened and she saw that all he had done with his life (his singing career had not yet taken off, of course). He had this vision of her getting in his cab and saying, and here I can quote the comment he made verbatim, "Harry, what happened to YOU?"
    dolfanon December 23, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is pure poetry..simple and lovely.
    outsidelookinginon July 12, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment@Nuschler: Just to clarify, I didn't say his choices were gentle, I said that Chapin was reflecting gently on his choices. Not: "I really fucked up!", but rather: "ahh...hmm...if it had only been different..."

    Also, I differ with your deterministic view that if you're gettin' high while driving a cab, you've hit the end of the line; could be just a stop before getting it together...who knows?

    But yeah, now that you point it out, there is that element of "wrong dude" when looking objectively at his situation. That makes the song even more bittersweet to me, because he's sort of in denial about himself, isn't he?
    deedubon September 08, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAccording to interviews Chapin & his wife gave separately over the years, HC had taken a year off from his work as a documentary film maker to focus on growing his music career. A year later his career was non exsitant, he was now marred, raising his wife's 3 kids from her 1st marriage and she was pregnant with their 1st child, and he was having a hard time finding film work to make money, so applied for a cab drivers license, even though he didn't want to drive a cab (basically he needed to start making money again). He was depressed about the whole situation (his wife leaves a wealthy lawyer to marry him and he's an out of work film maker with a going nowhere music career who's broke, and they're about to have four kids!). Around this time HC heard that an Ex of his had married and was doing quite well, and thus the background for "Taxi" was born.

    According to an interview his wife did with a songwriiters website a few years ago, "Sue" was based on an old college girlfriend, they never were in SF though and in fact other than one brief period before they married HC never worked outside the NY area. She stated she didn't know why SF was chosen as the site of the song and speculated it may have been simply because it fit the lyric better , it sounded better.

    It made sense from a storytelling standpoint to continue the storyline in SF when he wrote "Sequel", the song that catches the two characters 10 years removed from this chance encounter, right before he passed away.
    FlairFan01on January 08, 2015   Link
  • +1
    MemoryThis songs reminds me of my childhood. Dad use to play this album all the time in the car. Harry and his music will forever be linked to my childhood. Thank you
    uglytunaon February 18, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreatest song! I love the story and the sequel to the song rocks too! I'd like to see a movie on Harry and Sue. That would be kinda cool! Too bad Harry died in '81 before he could write more song about Harry and Sue:-(
    Just_a_minor_thingon July 25, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is such a beautiful, sad song.
    RyanJ1983on April 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh, 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.

    Beautiful, beautiful lyrics. Always reminds you of your first love,especially if life didn't quite go the way you thought after your youth and innocence have long faded away.
    jgjacksonon July 13, 2008   Link

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