Big Yellow Taxi: Six Songs About Taxicabs

Categories: Lists

joni taxi april 19.jpg
For poor kids, like myself growing up, a ride in a taxicab is a foreign adventure, particularly in Houston where it's not an especially necessary form of transportation like some other large cities such as New York.

For us, it's the closest we could probably ever get to having a chauffeur, other than our parents. With that in mind, riding in a cab still remains a rare and fascinating experience in my life when it happens.

Because my brain works exclusively on music, I started to think about songs involving this particular form of public transportation while taking a ride the other night. So here's a look at some of the songs I could think of where even rich and famous artists found subject matter in that common-man experience of riding in a cab.

6. Emile (written by Prince), "Annie Christian": In the chorus to this one, the original writer of the song Prince declares that he lives his entire life in taxicabs. While this is seemingly a metaphor of some kind -- the whole song is shrouded in some of Prince's deeper lyricism about a figurative antichrist that carries through all the tragic events in life -- it still goes through my head every time I get into a cab.

I had to use a cover here, because Prince doesn't like his own music being on YouTube. However, I think Emile did a really good job revamping Prince's original dance song into a very creepy chillwave song.


5. Harry Chapin, "Taxi": For this song, the "Cat's in the Cradle" writer came up with a story of a late-night run-in with an old flame while driving a taxi through the rain in 'Frisco. It's a classic example of the storyteller mode of songwriting, akin to Dylan before Chapin.



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