Sequel

Album: Sequel (1980)
Charted: 23
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Songfacts®:

  • A lot of people were taken by Chapin's 1972 hit balled "Taxi," and the story of its characters: Harry, a taxi driver, and his ex-lover Sue, now a successful but unhappy actress when he picks her up in a taxi he's driving. So years later, Chapin did this sequel, using the same music while continuing the story. The song peaked at #23, spurred by fans of the original. Sadly, Chapin's life didn't continue - he died in an automobile accident in 1981. This was his last hit.
  • Sandy Chapin, who was married to Harry, wrote a lot of poetry which Harry would turn into songs ("Cat's In The Cradle" is an example). She explains how this song came about: "I'm pretty sure I gave him the idea. I was thinking of a novel that I had read, too. This is all a very long time ago, you know. (laughing) I think it was by Graham Greene, an English writer. But anyway, it was like turnaround in a relationship. There was a relationship where one of the two people was much stronger and sort of the caretaker of the other, and then the tables were turned, and the woman became the stronger person, and so forth. So with that idea, I said, 'Wouldn't it be interesting to see what happened to these people maybe 20 years later?' I just tossed out the idea. And as usual Harry was on the road and busy doing other things. And then at one point he said, 'Why don't you try to write it?' And I didn't do anything with it. Then he sat down and wrote the sequel." (Read more in our interview with Sandy Chapin.)

Comments: 5

  • Pocono Charlie from PaChris in Vanceboro --- Sue was an actress, who knew well about 'playing out scenes'. Harry meeting her again was a role-reversal of their last meeting.
  • Jon from Colo Spgs, CoChapin did a year at the AF academy and he did have dreams to fly -- like so many others of us. "Taxi" and "Sequel" hit a good nerve here at AFA!!. I heard him sing "Taxi" when I attended AFA -- back in 1976 or 1977?. "Taxi" is an anthem to dreams of flying machines and loves lost trying to get there. "Sequel" is remarkable as is the song "Taxi." Gaping Chapin (his nickname at the Academy - his doolie year) was like all of us - 'gonna learn to fly'. Maybe he did it in a taxi - but the song? It's an AFA favorite... Sequel is too, for many reasons. Especially for those of us who did similar - try to learn to fly and who lost loves doing it. Clear skies - your six is clear Harry. -Jonbouy
  • Chris from Vanceboro, NcGiven the deliberate overtones of irony in Harry's body of work, I was always struck by the line:
    "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"...

    That last repeated phrase, while it was obviously repeated to fill the line with the right number of syllables and rhyme scheme, "Play it out just once more" takes on new significance when one realizes that we would lose Harry not long after the release of the song.

    "Play it out just once more" before WHAT?

    I can't help but wonder if he had a sense of foreboding himself?
  • Kurt from Nashville, TnOriginal entry, sadly, misses Taxi's point: neither got the dream, at least at that point in their lives. Sue was NOT a successful actress, any more than Harry (the song character, not the singer) was then a successful singer.

    While Sue had presumably tried and failed to make it in that tough career choice, she had given up just as Harry had. It was clear to me from that song that she'd compromised ny marrying some rich guy - "actin' happy inside her handsome home" - and if it isn't clear from Taxi it becomes crystal in Sequel. If she were a successful but unhappy actress in Taxi she'd have owned the house; in Sequel, she's living in a walk-up because she's had to leave the house. Short of a vow of poverty and resulting giveaway, she can only be a wife who walked away from an unhappy marriage and home.
  • Grizzly from Panohai, PaTaxi was a great, bittersweet song, and Sequel matches it perfectly. What can you say about two really well-written songs like this -- they were great emotional songs. So many Chapin songs were filled with emotion, which is one of the things I like about them. If you like heart-felt ballads and haven't listened to these two, do yourself a favor and get them into your ears.
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