Top 5 Songs of All Time That Pay Homage to the Telephone: Part 1
Here at A Courteous Communications the telephone is our life. As a modern day operator our jobs have slightly changed over the years, but we still commit to connecting people and businesses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So grab a cup of coffee and recall some of the greatest songs of all times that feature the telephone in their lyrics. Warning: These songs are known for getting stuck in your head all day so take caution.
Songs About the Telephone
867-5309/Jenny, Tommy Tutone
Doesn’t matter what year you were born, we all know this very famous telephone number because of Tommy Tutone’s hit song, “867-5309” or “Jenny” released in 1981. In today’s world of saved phone numbers on mobile phones, it very well may be the only telephone number we have fully memorized.
Lead guitarist Jim Keller, interviewed by People in 1982, said “Jenny is a regular girl. Friends of mine wrote her name and number on a men’s room wall at a bar. I called her on a dare, and we dated for a while. I haven’t talked with her since the song became a hit, but I hear she thinks I’m a real jerk for writing it.”
Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels), Jim Croce
“Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)” was released in 1972 and has a most interesting backstory of how it came to fruition. The story was inspired during Jim Croce’s military service, where he saw lines of soldiers waiting to use the outdoor phone on base. The soldiers used to stand in the rain, waiting for their 3-minute phone call to call home.
Jim’s wife, Ingrid Croce says, “Most of the [soldiers] were getting on the phone and they were okay, but some of them were getting these ‘Dear John’ letters, or phone calls. I think that was the most important aspect of the song, because it was just so desperate. I think if you look at the words to the song there are so many aspects of our generation that are in it.”
Being so far from America, it is a blessing that modern technology like the Internet allows our soldiers to keep in touch with their loves ones back home.
Telephone, Lady Gaga Featuring Beyoncé
Jumping to more recent lyrics surrounding the telephone, Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” hit the radio in 2009 and caused a sensation. Did you know that it was originally written for Brittney Spears? Spears even recorded the song but when it didn’t appear on her album, Gaga took the song to Beyoncé.
Lady Gaga told MTV News that this song is about her “fear of suffocation.” Loving her job so much she fears that she cannot just unplug and have a good time because she’s always connected. Gaga admits, “That’s my fear – that the phone’s ringing and my head’s ringing,” she explained. “Whether it’s a telephone or it’s just the thoughts in your head, that’s another fear.”
Ms. Gaga, may we suggest hiring a modern day operator to intercept those calls and take messages for you until you get out of the club?
I Just Called to Say I Love You, Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder brought “I Just Called to Say I Love You” to the world in 1984 and won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for best original song. It also has the distinction of being Motown’s biggest-selling single in the UK to date.
Did you know that there was a dispute about who actually wrote the lyrics? Lee Garrett and Lloyd Chiate claim they wrote this hit song but after taking it to court, Stevie Wonder prevailed as the true songwriter.
You think modern day courters write out their confessions of love? I just texted to say I love you; doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
Call Me, Blondie
The New York-based punk band, Blondie, released “Call Me” in 1980 after being asked to write it for the film American Gigalo. It became the band’s highest selling single and stayed at the top of the Billboard charts for 6 consecutive weeks.
The bridge of the original English-language version also includes Italian and French translations of, “Call me, my darling.” In Italian, “Amore, chiamami,” translates to, “Love, call.” And in French, “Appelle-moi, mon chéri,” translates to, “Call me, darling.”
Call Courteous, Anytime!
This wraps up our first article featuring music singles that have lyrics about the telephone. There are countless more and we will be highlighting our favorites in the future so stay tuned. In the meantime, why not share your favorite songs about telephones or operators with our modern day operators.
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