Chicago Boyz

What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?

  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Heartsignals

    Posted by David Foster on April 24th, 2010 (All posts by )

    Person-to-person communications media…letters, telegrams, telephone calls…have long played a role in popular music. Just for some weekend fun, here are some songs, ranging from the light-hearted to the very sad, in which various forms of communication make an appearance.

    Conventional Mail:

    Please Mr Postman, The Marvelettes (1961)

    Return to Sender, Elvis Presley (1962)

    Unconventional Mail:

    The Carrier Dove (1836)


    Western Union, The Five Americans, 1967


    Sylvia’s Mother, Dr Hook (1972) (also recorded by Bon Jovi in 2003)

    Memphis, Tennessee, Chuck Berry/Johnny Rivers (1963/1964)

    Operator, Jim Croce (1972)

    Missing You, John Waite (1984)(also recorded with Alison Krauss in 2007)

    Why Haven’t I Heard from You?, Reba McIntire (1994)

    Telephone, Lady Gaga (2009)

    How about e-mail and text messaging?…are there any good songs featuring these media? This writer thinks it’s unlikely…is she right?

    What other songs can you think of that fit this theme?


    16 Responses to “Heartsignals”

    1. Mrs. Davis Says:

      I’ll take the low hanging fruit.

      Conventional mail

      P. S. I love you, Beatles, 1962

    2. Mrs. Davis Says:

      And who could forget that 21st century classic

      The Texting Song by the Slumber Party Girls (2008)

    3. david foster Says:

      Haven’t set it to music, but I did modernize one of Heine’s poems for the Facebook & text-messaging era…

      Original version:

      A young lad loves a maiden
      she likes another one
      that other marries another
      whose heart and hand he won

      The maiden weds in anger
      the first man she can snare
      who comes across her pathway
      The lad is in despair

      It is an old, old story
      yet new with every start,
      and every time it happens
      it breaks a loving heart

      My modernized version:

      A young dude loves a hot girl
      She likes some other guy
      When his Facebook page shows “taken”
      She hangs her head to cry

      She IMs all the evening
      Till she nabs her second-best
      When her Facebook page shows “taken,” too
      The dude is in distress

      By paper, pen, and envelope
      The news once reached the lad
      It’s now done electronically
      But the pain is just as bad

    4. Jonathan Says:

      That’s quite good, David.

    5. Seven Years Of College Down The Drain Says:

      Telephone: Chantilly Lace, The Big Bopper

    6. Seven Years Of College Down The Drain Says:

      Telephone Line, Electric Light Orchestra

    7. tyouth Says:

      The Letter by the Boxtops

      Here’s a fun cover by Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, 1940!v=4RnjWLVyMps&feature=related

    8. tyouth Says:

      opps, 1970, not 1940

    9. T. Greer Says:

      Man, you guys don’t keep up with popular music, do you? This song topped the hip hop charts a few months.

      Granted, it is not a good song, but it is evidence that texting has permeated throughout popular culture.

    10. david foster Says:

      We count on Readerz to cover any gaps in our knowledge…

    11. Tatyana Says:

      Yes, I remember your variation on Heine, David, it only improved with time!

    12. mishu Says:

      Hangin’ On The Telephone

      Blondie — Parallel Lines (1978)

    13. Dan from Madison Says:

      Pixies – Letter to Memphis.

    14. T. Greer Says:

      Upon reflection, there are a few more popular songs about telephones and the like that have been released in the last year. What is most interesting about them is the meme most contain – stop calling, turn everything off, ect. The point in case is the relatively new Lady Gaga & Beyonce hit, “Telephone”. As their lyrics say:

      Just a second; it’s my favorite song they’re gonna play and I cannot text you with a drink in my hand, eh?
      You shoulda made some plans with me; you knew that I was free
      And now you won’t stop calling me
      I’m kinda busy

      Stop callin’, stop callin’; I don’t wanna think anymore!; I left my head and my heart on the dance-floor
      Stop callin”, stop callin; I don’t wanna talk anymore!; I left my head and my heart on the dance-floor

    15. anoukange Says:

      “Telephone Line, Electric Light Orchestra”

      –I second that song. A fantastic one!

      Great post David, very cool.

    16. david foster Says:

      kind of off-topic (yeah, an off-topic comment on my own post)…I was googling around, trying to find the audio for “Carrier Dove” (which is a beautiful song) and Google landed me in the 1886-1887 edition of Girl’s Own Newspaper. (Which obviously didn’t have the audio file, but did have the poem on which the song was based, according to its table of contents)

      It seems that the website has all the issues of this publication from 1880-1902 available for download (at a price of $5 each) along with various other publications from the same era.

      These Internets are amazing!

      (And some people say there’s no serendipity on the web…)