Top Ten “Story Songs” # 8 Harry Chapin (Taxi)

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By Dale Nickey:

Number 8….

“TAXI” – Harry Chapin

There are some songwriters who try their hand at the story song with great success. There are the rare few who specialize in the form. Harry Chapin was one of the latter. The mawkish, weepfest “Cat’s In the Cradle” went # 1 and paid the bills. However, the urban fable:”TAXI” was Chapin’s first splash in the mainstream and is by far the superior work; both musically and lyrically. A chance reunion with an old flame in a cab is artfully set up with the line, “she was gonna be an actress, and I was gonna learn to fly….” Gorgeous cello fills and a rich and melodious instrumental bridge makes “TAXI” a musical feast as well as an engrossing story song that rewards multiple listens. Such a tragic irony that uber-philanthropist and all around good guy Chapin would die too young of cardiac arrest in fiery a car crash 1981. He did NOT die in a taxi accident as many urban legend enthusiasts would have you believe.

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