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Lyr Req: Taxi (Harry Chapin)

DigiTrad:
A BETTER PLACE TO BE
ALL MY LIFE'S A CIRCLE
CAT'S IN THE CRADLE


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WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 Dec 08 - 09:27 AM
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Subject: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: olddude
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 08:56 PM

Harry's
Taxi

Taxi


and I still can't watch it without crying

God Bless you Harry


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: olddude
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 10:25 PM

Youtube is going through some scheduled maintenance so the video of Harry playing Taxi is down for a couple of hours from what I read on youtube. you can check back in a bit


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 04:19 AM

It is a heartbreaking song and very well delivered.

love and happiness denied for sake of dreams

Unrealised dreams - "Now I'm flying in my taxi... I go flying so high when I'm stoned"

Realised dreams - "Now she's ACTING happy in her fine home"

Who is the least satisfied in this song? I think it is she.

This song made me sad when I was young, it makes me really depressed now. Life is all fekked up.

GODS! I need to watch the giggling baby video again, now.


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: oldhippie
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 07:31 AM

You really cannot discuss "Taxi" without including the follow-up Harry wrote, "Sequel". Play them back to back, then lets discuss the whole story.

But, if you really want a good cry, try Harry's "A Better Place To Be", or "Mr Tanner".


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Subject: Lyr Add: SEQUEL (Harry Chapin)
From: oldhippie
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 07:37 AM

Lyrics Add:

Sequel
Harry Chapin

So here she's actin' happy inside her handsome home
And me, I'm flyin' in my taxi, takin' tips and gettin' stoned.

I got into town a little early.
Had eight hours to kill before the show.
First I thought about heading up north of the bay
Then I knew where I had to go.

I thought about taking a limousine
Or at least a fancy car.
But I ended up taking a taxi
'Cause that's how I got this far.

You see, ten years ago it was the front seat
Drivin' stoned and feelin' no pain.
Now here I am straight and sittin' in the back
Hitting Sixteen Parkside Lane.

The driveway was the same as I remembered
And a butler came and answered the door.
He just shook his head when I asked for her
And said "She doesn't live here anymore."

But he offered to give me the address
That they were forwarding her letters to.
I just took it and returned to the cabbie
And said "I got one more fare for you."

And so we rolled back into the city
Up to a five storey old brownstone
I rang the bell that had her name on the mailbox.
The buzzer said somebody's home.

And the look on her face as she opened the door
Was like an old joke told by a friend.
It'd taken ten more years but she'd found her smile
And I watched the corners start to bend.

And she said, "How are you Harry?
Haven't we played this scene before?"
I said "It's so good to see you, Sue
Had to play it out just once more."
Play it out just once more.

She said I've heard you flying high on my radio
I answered "It's not all it seems"
That's when she laughed and she said, "It's better sometimes
When we don't get to touch our dreams."

That's when I asked her where was that actress
She said "That was somebody else"
And then I asked her why she looked so happy now
She said "I finally like myself, at last I like myself."

So we talked all through that afternoon
Talking about where we'd been
We talked of the tiny difference
Between ending and starting to begin.
We talked because talking tells you things
Like what you really are thinking about.
But sometimes you can't find what you're feeling
Till all the word run out.

So I asked her to come to the concert.
She said "No, I work at night."
I said, "We've gotten too damn good at leaving, Sue"
She said, "Harry, you're right."

Don't ask me if I made love to her
Or which one of us started to cry
Don't ask me why she wouldn't take the money that I left
If I answered at all I'd lie.

So I thought about her as I sang that night
And how the circle keeps rolling around.
How I act as I'm facing the footlights
And how she's flying with both feet on the ground.

I guess it's a sequel to our story
From the journey 'tween heaven and hell
With half the time thinking of what might have been
and half thinkin' just as well.

I guess only time will tell


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Subject: Lyr Add: A BETTER PLACE TO BE (Harry Chapin)
From: oldhippie
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 07:40 AM

Lyrics Add:

A Better Place To Be
Harry Chapin

It was an early morning bar room,
And the place just opened up.
And the little man come in so fast and
Started at his cup.
And the broad who served the whisky
She was a big old friendly girl.
And she tried to fight her empty nights
By smilin' at the world.

And she said "Hey Bub, It's been awhile
Since you been around.
Where the hell you been hidin' ?
And why you look so down ?"

But the little man just sat there like he'd never heard a sound.

The waitress she gave out a cough,
And acting not the least put off,
She spoke once again.

She said, "I don't want to bother you,
Consider it's understood.
I know I'm not no beauty queen,
But I sure can listen good."

And the little man took his drink in his hand
And he raised it to his lips.
He took a couple of sips.
And he told the waitress this story.

"I am the midnight watchman down at Miller's Tool and Die.
And I watch the metal rusting, and I watch the time go by.
A week ago at the diner I stopped to get a bite.
And this here lovely lady she sat two seats from my right.
And Lord, Lord, Lord she was alright.

"Oh she was so damned beautiful that she'd warm a winter's frost.
But she was long past lonely, and well nigh unto lost.
Now I'm not much of a mover, or a pick-em-up easy guy,
But I decided to glide on over, and give her one good try.
And Lord, Lord, Lord she was worth a try.

"Tongued-tied like a school boy, I stammered out some words.
But it did not really matter much, 'cause I don't think she heard.
She just looked clear on through me to a space back in my head.
And it shamed me into silence, as quietly she said,
'If you want me to come with you, then that's all right with me.
Cause I know I'm going nowhere, and anywhere's a better place to be.
Anywhere's a better place to be.'

"I drove her to my boarding house, and I took her up to my room.
And I went to turn on the only light to brighten up the gloom.
But she said, 'Please leave the light off, Oh I don't mind the dark.'
And as her clothes all tumbled 'round her, I could hear my heart.
The moonlight shown upon her as she lay back in my bed.
It was the kind of scene I only had imagined in my head.
I just could not believe it, to think that she was real.
And as I tried to tell her she said 'Shhh.. I know just how you feel.
And if you want to come here with me, then that's all right with me.
'Cause I've been oh so lonely, lovin' someone is a better way to be.
anywhere's a better way to be.'

"The morning come so swiftly but I held her in my arms.
But she slept like a baby, snug and safe from harm.
I did not want to share her with the world or break the mood,
So before she woke I went out and brought us both some food.

"I came back with my paper bag, to find out she was gone.
She'd left a six word letter saying 'It's time that I moved on.'"

The waitress took a bar rag, and she wiped it across her eyes.
And as she spoke her voice came out as something like a sigh.
She said "I wish that I was beautiful, or that you were halfway blind.
And I wish I weren't so dog-gone fat, I wish that you were mine.
And I wish that you'd come with me, when I leave for home.
For we both know all about loneliness, and livin' all alone."

And the little man,
Looked at the empty glass in his hand.
And he smiled a crooked grin,
He said, " I guess I'm out of gin.
And know we both have been so lonely.
And if you want me to come with you, then that's all right with me.
'Cause I know I'm goin' nowhere and anywhere's a better place to be


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 07:50 AM

Harry Chapin, for me, is one of the most incredible songwriters I've ever heard. He had such a depth of understanding of the human condition. I was lucky enough to see him live, and it was a night I shall never forget, ever.

He was a man of compassion, integrity and empathy.

When he wrote 'Sequel', the story of Sue and Harry went to a happier place:

Sequel

There are so many of his songs that I love.

A Better Place To Be
Mail Order Annie
Flowers Are Red
Circle
Cats in the Cradle
Mr. Tanner
Taxi
Sequel
Story of a Life
Dance Band on the Titanic
Tangled Up Puppet
Corey's Coming

The list goes on and on....

I never realised that one day, 'Flowers Are Red' would come to mean so much to me. It's about education and how we turn children off from the magic of the world, to the science of fact, to the idea that they MUST learn as some say they must, and are then judged accordingly, by those same people.

That song was in my mind for many years, as I watched my first child being told to conform, to do things the way the system dictated, the way that some teachers dictated, just as Harry's song told the story of. Like the child in Harry's song, by the time she'd found the teacher who'd let her paint her flowers the colours she wanted, the damage had gone so deep, that it took years to repair. And even now, to this day, that damage floats back now and then, given to her by those who thought of themselves as 'teachers' but who had no idea what life, teaching, children or kindness are about. REAL teachers are born, never 'made' and it makes no difference how many certificates you may have, because if you have no kindness inside you, no love for children, then you are not a teacher. I've said before that all teachers should have to listen to this song, as part of their 'training'until they understand the meaning behind it...although the real teachers, the natural teachers, those who need no training, will only ever need to hear it once, as they'll immediately understand.

Flowers Are Red

'Taxi' is one helluva good song, and thank you, Dan, for posting it.

Harry Chapin was one helluva great songwriter.

More than that, he was one helluva wonderful person too.


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 07:52 AM

A Better Place To Be


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 09:27 AM

"You really cannot discuss "Taxi" without including the follow-up Harry wrote, "Sequel". Play them back to back, then lets discuss the whole story."

No, I think it is better to discuss the song without the follow-up.   I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out why that was necessary. Sure, every artist is entitled to create their own work and fullfill their own visions, but I thought that "Taxi" spoke for itself and was a beautiful story that did not need embelishments. In my opinion, "Sequel" was a sentimental followup that never approached the power of the original. It comes across as egotistic - the narrator had to place himself above the situation. For me, it diminishes the power of the original.

Imagine if Harry chose to write a followup to "Cats in the Cradle" - would he have made the narrator the winner of a Father of the Year award?

Don't get me wrong, I loved Harry Chapin's music. I could not begin to count the number of his concerts that I attended. He came along at a point in my life where I was still discovering music, and I feel his influence led me into a greater understanding and focus on a style of music.   He was not perfect, as "Sequel" shows.


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 09:44 AM

Harry Chapin - In His Own Words

Harry's WHY campaign - World Hunger Year

Jen Chapin - Harry's Daughter, who carries on his WHY work. See her blog

Harry's Official Site, run by his family


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: EBarnacle
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 09:50 AM

Harry was a brilliant writer. One time, I was at a festival in Perth Amboy and he drafted me to do the contratenor part in Taxi as well as backing him up on concertina. I recorded the concert.

What I get every time I play the tape is that Harry had to have been chronically depressed, based upon his writing. When he is not present to carry his work, almost the entire body of his work is very 'down." When he was physically present, the brilliance came through the mood.


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 09:55 AM

Some powerful words about Harry and 'the music', from Bruce Springsteen, half way through this video, which I've written below:

Bruce Springsteen - Remember When The Music

"I remember when Sandy sent me this tape, I listened to it and said 'Gee, this is a little on the corny side' and I sat down and tried to think what the song was about, and I guess there was a time when people felt that music provided you with a greater, oh a greater sense of unity, a greater sense of shared vision and purpose, than it does today. And my generation, we were the generation that was gonna change the world. Somehow we were gonna make it a little less lonely, a little less hungry, a little more just place.

But it seems that when that promise slipped through our hands, we didn't replace it with nothin' but lost faith. And now we live in times that are pretty shattered, I got my music, you got yours, the guy up the street he's got his. And you could kinda sit back and say, not cynically, but truthfully, well maybe all men are *not* brothers, and maybe we won't ever know who or what we really are to each other.

But I think Harry instinctively knew that it was gonna take a lot more than just love to survive. That is was gonna take a strong sense of purpose, a duty, and a good clear eye on the dirty ways of the world.

So, in keeping his promise to himself, he reminds us of our promise to ourselves, and that tonight, alongside Harry, it's that promise that his Spirit would have us remember, and honour and re-commit to.

So, do something.

And may his song be sung."


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: olddude
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 10:25 AM

Harry said that when everyone else thinks your songs suck, embrace the suckage ... he made a T-shirt that read "Harry it Sucks"
he would laugh and laugh and say, that way my friend ... no one has to tell me that anymore. See I already know ... and then laugh

One time he was playing in a bowling alley of all places. people were making so much noise nobody was listening.. Then it got really quiet. Harry thought, wow .. I think they are getting into one of my songs ... then he realized, some timer thing on the wall was ready to change to the number 69 ... then everyone broke out with the cheers ... and beer ... he laughed Oh well

Goes to show even the greatest had their bad gigs ... he got into his music after he said "I made and ass of of myself trying to be a photographer"

Harry always laughed ... and always worried about other people who needed help. He would give you the shirt off his back if he thought you needed it more.   Everyone was his friend. He didn't care if you were rich , poor, swept floors or was a movie star.

His love for others was an example that we all should follow


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 10:40 AM

I've told this before but its worth the retelling. Harry gave us lots of great songs and song lyrics and I felt a certain "kinship" with him as he tended to say things in ways that I wished I had. One song, "Cat's Cradle" took on a special meaning much later in my life.

I was 43 when we adopted Tristan and 44 with Michael. When Karen and I decided I should quit and become a fulltime Dad and househusband it was a tough decision. I wrote my resignation letter to the staid and conservative Fortune 500 I was with saying, "I don't want my life of that of my sons' to wind up like a Harry Chapin song lyric."

LOL......I got to thinking about that after I wrote it and realized that not one swinging dick in the entire organization had any idea who Harry Chapin was! The fact they had no idea of what I was talking about made the decision to resign infinitely easier.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: olddude
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 10:58 AM

I use to wear and old hand painted 1920's tie and hat that my granpa gave me when I played out ... they were just awful and I would get tease from people about it ... but it made people laugh         


             From Mail order Annie

      But then I'm not no handsome fancy Dan.


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: olddude
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 11:09 AM

Check out Jen's (his daughter) music, she has picked up where he left off
she has an incredible voice and her song writing I think is right up there with anyone's. He has to be smiling. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree for sure


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 11:10 AM

Harry's songs were too long, too esoteric, too weird, too "out of the mainstream" and too sad. Those were all accusations (read, excuses)made, mostly by music executives, for why he did not have a chance to record more and get more air play in the days when radio could make or break careers.

He was a force of nature on stage and seemed to truly live through his songs. I have seen few performers who could connect with an audience as he did. Behind this, his writing showed an amazing level of depth and awareness of the human condition.

He didn't play by the rules. He was very un-starlike; drove a VW beetle and performed for charitable events, seemingly at the drop of a hat. I didn't know him, but feel as if I did. He died way too young, but left quite a legacy of timeless material.


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 06:11 PM

Can remember seeing Chapin at the O'Keefe Centre in Toronto. It was the fourth of four shows in two days, and his voice was totally fried. He was STILL giving 110%. Awesome performer.


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: CamiSu
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 01:35 AM

Actually TJ it was a Rabbit, but mostly he drove a beater station wagon (5 kids--remember?) when he drove--which he shouldn't have much. He just didn't pay as much attention to some esentials as he should have. (Ironically the accident that killed him was not due to his driving, but a car malfunction) He drove me into the city once when I'd missed the train, and it was a rather scary drive. My younger brothers, as teenagers drove for him when he didn't have a license.

His phone # was listed in the book. He was kind to everyone. He respected my dad, who was as conservative as Harry was liberal and my dad respected Harry.

He taught me Cat's in the Cradle and Shooting Star before they came out, and he taught me Shooting Star as he wrote it, not as the record execs made him record it.

It was about 7 years after he died that I could listen to his music again. It was too painful before that.

What a great man.

CamiSu


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Subject: RE: Review: Harry Chapin - Taxi
From: John Hardly
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 08:17 PM

Definitive version of "Taxi"


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