Harry Chapin’s ‘Taxi’ inspired by woman he met as a camp counselor

Late singer/songwriter Harry Chapin was inspired by a woman he met when he was a camp counselor to write his 1972 song “Taxi.”

The woman, Clare Macintyre-Ross, died earlier this month at age 73. She met Chapin when she was a camp counselor at Camp Hayden and Chapin was a counselor at the nearby Herald Tribune‘s Fresh Air Fund Camp. The two camps today are among the five camps operated in Fishkill by the Fresh Air Fund.

Chapin wrote the song after he and Clare, who he called Susie in the song, ended the romantic relationship that began during their time at camp. “Taxi” appeared on his first studio album, Heads and Tales.

The Jericho, New York native died in a car accident in 1981 at age 38. He also worked as a camp counselor at Camp Deerfield in New York. As a kid, he attended Greenwich House Camp in upstate New York.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at Tangzine.com and MatthewRalph.com. I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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