The Taxi


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In the summer of 2014, Mackenzie approached me about writing a set of cabaret-style love songs as a gift for her fiancé, Evan. These three poems held particular meaning for her and so we decided to set the three of them. “Drinking Song,” by William Butler Yeats, is set in a jazz lounge style, “The Taxi,” by Amy Lowell, I set as a tango, and “This is Just to Say” is a light-hearted, mixed-meter dance.

The accompaniment for The Taxi exists in many forms: Cello/Marimba, Piano/Cello, Bass Clarinet/Marimba, and Bass Clarinet/Piano.

The Taxi

text by Amy Lowell (1874-1925)

When I go away from you
The world beats dead
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars   
And shout into the ridges of the wind.

Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
And the lamps of the city prick my eyes
So that I can no longer see your face.

Why should I leave you,
To wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night?