Wednesday Wisdom ~ Harry Chapin ~ Taxi

This was an absolute Gem from Harry Chapin. And from the very first time I heard it there was a verse that struck home for personal reasons then and sadly still now.

“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.”

It defines for me being held down and for the very same reasons all these years. Constant illness and pain and how I long for the freedom from it once and for all but left alive to enjoy it.

I’m still patient waiting for my time to let it all ride out. Because there’s something inside of my will far more than this pain. Free from it the fire will rage in a much more positive way.

I believe this is what Harry Chapin also meant from this particular verse of lyrics.

“Taxi” was released in 1972 off Chapin’s first album named “Heads and Tales”.

It featured bassist John Wallace in falsetto singing,

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…

And it was absolutely beautiful.

This song was not only written powerfully passionate by Chapin, his performance of it proved even more proportional.

I watched the night he debuted the song on The Tonight Show and following Johnny Carson received so many calls and telegrams from people who viewed it that they demanded his return and Carson obliged. It was the very first time in the shows history that he brought back a performer the very next night for an encore of a song.

The music world had become enchanted with Harry Chapin’s talent for his song writing and his playing.

Where Bob Dylan was the poet and folk rock king of the 1960s, Harry Chapin took the torch and carried it on into the 1970s. Two years after ” Taxi” release, Chapin hit number 1 on the charts with “Cat’s in the Cradle”. In all from 1972-1980 he released 11 albums.

What started out as a career in documentary film-making, this man accomplished himself a Composer, Arranger, Author,
Humanitarian, Playwright, Vocalist, Guitar, Piano and Harmonica player.

He left us much too soon at the age of 38 in 1981 when he suffered a heart attack on a freeway in N.Y. resulting in a fiery crash. Such talent and a saddening way in which he left this world he enriched so much with his Music.

I’ll always remember the first time I heard “Taxi” on the radio with my cousin on a rainy night in 72′. And the song that was like long story perfectly told has never left me and still gives me chills when I hear it.

 

Harry Chapin – guitar, vocals
Steve Chapin – keyboards
Russ Kunkel – drums, percussion
Ronald Palmer – guitar, vocals
Tim Scott – cello
John Wallace – bass, vocals

 

 

~

In 1987, Chapin was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his humanitarian work.

~

Taxi

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.

~ Live ~

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