Friday, January 30, 2009

I heard it on the radio

"Oh yes, wait a minute, Mr. Postman. Wait, Mr. Postman. Please Mr. Postman, look and see, is there a letter, a letter for me?"

So sang The Marvelettes, the Carpenters, The Beatles, and probably other groups. For many generations, it may be the most well-known song about mail.

But, I remember several others...

In 1980, George Jones released "He Stopped Loving Her Today," with the lyrics, "...kept some letters by his bed, dated 1962. He had underlined in red every single 'I love you.'"

Like Jones' song, many songs about letters are sad. "Travelin' Soldier," written by Bruce Robison and recorded by the Dixie Chicks tells of a young man going off to war and seeking someone he can send letters back to: "He said I bet you got a boyfriend but I don't care, I got no one to send a letter to. Would you mind if I sent one back here to you?"

Conway Twitty's "Joanie" says, "Joanie wrote me a note one day, and this is what she had to say, 'Jimmy please say you'll wait for me; I'll grow up some day, you'll see.'"

Several songs have the title "Dear John" or "Dear John Letter," including one recorded by Hank Williams. R.B. Greaves sang "Take a Letter Maria," and The Box Tops (and many others) sang, "Give me a ticket for an aeroplane, Ain't got time to take a fast train.
Lonely days are gone, I'm a-goin' home, 'Cause my baby done wrote me a letter," in the song "The Letter."

From the 1930s came "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," recorded by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Fats Waller, Billy Williams, Nat King Cole, Barry Manilow and many others. And, in 1962, Elvis Presley released "Return to Sender": "I gave a letter to the postman, He put it his sack. Bright and early next morning, He brought my letter back. She wrote upon it: Return to sender, address unknown. No such number, no such zone."

More recently, Brad Paisley sings about writing a letter and sending it back in time to his 17-year-old self, reassuring himself that everything will be OK.

What songs about letters do you know? I'm sure there are more!


PostMuse said...

The Bangles... "Return Post" ....

Writing the lines as they come to me
Scratching them out almost immediately
Don't know what it's done to me
It's cold and it's wet it's been raining all night
And there's a letter I've been trying to write
Something better waiting somewhere for me
One of them is sitting on the wrong coast
One awaits an answer by return post

Midway Records said...

P.S. I Love You by The Beatles. As I write this letter...

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