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6 telephone songs and 10 reasons I love my landline

Pink Rotary Dial Phones Black

Rotary Dial Phones via tracy27 with attribution via flickr (creative commons applies)

And those of us with ravaged faces
Lacking in the social graces
Desperately remained at home
Inventing lovers on the phone
–From Janis Ian and At Seventeen

Did you know that more than 60 percent of Americans have given up their landline phones? In fact, nearly 25 percent of Gen Xers, 13 percent of Boomers and 5 percent of the Silent Generation do not have a landline at home.

Call me (call me) on the line.
Call me, call me any anytime.
Call me(call me)I’ll arrive.
You can call me any day or night.
Call me!
— From Blondie and Call Me

Robert and I have considered giving up our landline to cut expenses, but we’ve decided against it. The main reason is because we have preschoolers and we just feel more secure having a landline in the house when we leave them with a sitter. There are other reasons for keeping it though, and most of them have to do with my attachment to it.

I think of all the friends I’ve known.
But when I dial the telephone.
Nobody’s home.
All by myself

From Eric Carmen and All By Myself

Reasons Not To Give Up Your Landline Telephone

I find it so interesting that while cell phones have been called the security blanket of Gen Y, I feel like assuming the fetal position everytime I think about giving up my landline. Here a few reasons I don’t want to let it go.
I never have to keep track of minutes.
Calls are never dropped/I can hear on it.
There are no hidden charges.
They’re big.
My makeup doesn’t smear all over a landline.
I think police, fire and EMS can find me easier if I call 9-1-1 from a landline, and depending on where you live, that is true!
The landline belongs to everyone in the house while cell phones belong to individuals (i.e. Your phone is ringing).
I have never once lost my landline phone or had it stolen.
I rarely get calls on my landline for people who once had my number.
People who call from landlines aren’t driving in traffic, killing time (especially mine) while trying to get from A to B. (i.e. Well, I’m where I was going, I gotta go.)

Well your nobody called today
She hung up when I asked her name
Well, I wonder
Does she think she’s being clever
From Sylvia and Nobody

From Meri Wilson and Telephone Man
Hey, baby, I’m your telephone man.
You just show me where you want it and I’ll put it where I can.
From Jim Croche and Operator
Operator, let’s forget about this call

There’s no one there I really wanted to talk to
Thank you for your time, you’ve been so much more than kind
You can keep the dime…
And, I’d remiss not to include, from Tommy Tutone and Jenny (876-5309)

Jenny I’ve got your number
I need to make you mine
Jenny don’t change your number
Eight six seven five three oh nine…
What about you? Do you have any aversions to cell phones, landlines? Have you given up your landline? What’s your best landline memory? Are there any
other landline songs you can think of?

Which of the telephone songs do you like best?

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Jennifer K

    How can we forget 867-5309 (Jenny) by the one-hit wonder Tommy Tutone?

    And I still have my landline.

  2. Anonymous

    The end of Pink Floyd’s “Young Lust”:

    “collect call for Mrs. Floyd from Mr. Floyd” — and Mrs. Floyd’s lover hangs up, confusing the operator…

  3. CGHill

    Weirdly, the Marvelettes (Beechwood 4-5789) and Wilson Pickett (634-5789/Soulsville, USA) share six out of seven digits.

    In fact, most of these tend to end in 9, mostly for prosodic purposes. See the Partridge Family, “Echo Valley 2-6809,” and of course Tommy Tutone and Jenny.

    Inevitable exception, in country: Hawkshaw Hawkins, “Lonesome 7-7203.”

    (I have a 40-year-old pink rotary phone, which I have fitted with a proper contemporary phone plug. It does work.)

  4. JenniferfromLaJolla

    Fun post. I am keeping my landline. I like it. And I too feel more secure somehow having it.

    Can’t believe no one has come up with the song Telephone Line by E.L.O.. Gen X and E.L.O. go together like pop rocks and K-Tel records.

  5. jen

    @kiwimommy – I love Sheena Easton to this day. Morning Train!

    @John J Franks IV – Yikes! I knew that. I’m phonetically challenged. I’ll change it. Thank you!

    @Colleen Foshee – I checked out your blog. I really like it.

    @ALL – Some great remarks about phone songs from people on FB – Here’s a Quarter Call Someone Who Cares; and this one I’ve never heard:

    5789 by the Marvelettes…
    Beechwood 4-5789
    You can call me up,
    And have a date any old time.

    I also thought about E.T. Phone Home. Not a song – but a cultural touchstone (touchtone – sorry, couldn’t resist) for Gen X.

    Love these comments. I do love my landline. Sigh.

  6. Friar

    From Squeeze, “853-5937”

    Angela can’t make it to the phone
    If you care to leave your name and number
    She’ll give you a ring when she gets home

    The singer is apprehensive, because when he calls the next door neighbor to see if everything’s OK, no one’s answering his phone, either…

  7. Anonymous

    How ironic is it that you have a post about the accolades of a land line during a day you can’t find you cell phone and even more ironic that you call around on a land line to find out if anyone has seen your cell phone. Rob


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