I’m not surprised that at least one “Taxi” fan uncloaked him/herself in the wake of my rip on it last week. It’s that kind of record: Not only do people adore it, they’re willing to defend it against somebody who doesn’t, although people never say exactly what it is that makes them consider the song a classic.
A couple of commenters have mentioned “Sequel,” Chapin’s updating of the story, which reached Number 23 in December 1980. It’s been a long time since I heard it, but I went out and found the lyrics online–and I’m actually offended less by it than I am by its predecessor. Unlike “Taxi,” “Sequel” doesn’t overtly announce its pretensions to Great Art. It’s just a song, and it’s a harmless one, although it does contain a fair amount of philosophical gibberish: “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”. You’re left with the feeling that a lot of what’s in the lyric is there to fit the tune, and not because it actually means anything.
If you still think I’m hideously wrong, there’s always the all-purpose argument stopper: “Well, who the hell are you, anyway? Have you ever written a song?”
Nope. But you don’t have to be a chef to know you don’t like the taste of something.
If you’ve decided you hate me now, there’s good news for you: Due to the press of actual remunerative labor (three deadlines in the next 10 days or so) and the holiday (turkey and football coma wiping out Thursday), posting will be mighty light here this week. So you might consider visiting any of the music blogs listed at the right–they’re all fine and worthy, and many are better than this blog anyhow. (At least one would probably have kind things to say about “Taxi,” if you asked.) And if you haven’t done so yet, poke around the Hype Machine (also linked at the right) and explore the world of mp3 bloggery.