Song Lyric Sunday: Rupert Holmes, “Answering Machine”

Jim had another prompt from Ai for this week: "lyrics associated with electronic communication devices (pagers, iPhone, Android, fax machine, computer, TV)." I went all the way back to 1979 for this one…

"Answering Machine" was the third single from Rupert Holmes’s 1979 album Partners In Crime. As with the other two singles from the album ("Escape (The Piña Colada Song" and "Him"), he wrote the music and lyrics. It reached #12 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #32 on the Hot 100 in the US,and came in low (#85) on the Canadian Top 100.

The lyrics are from AZLyrics:

A little while ago I went and placed a call
To tell this girl I know that she could have it all
The wedding ring, the whole dumb thing
I was willing to tie the knot
So I called her up, and this is the answer I got…

[Chorus]
I’m so sorry you have just reached my answering machine
I’m not in, and listen, I’m sure you know this whole routine
Leave your name and number
And I’ll try and get back to you
You have thirty seconds to talk to me before you’re threw

And I said, “Baby lets go get married.
I need to know you’re mine!
I am hangin’ on, I am hangin’ on, I am hangin’ on this line
And if I can leave one message
Before you go to bed, I would say to you…”
[BEEP] And the phone went dead

So I stepped down to buy some dog food for the cat
Of course she called about three minutes after that
Will she be my wife and share my life?
Well of course she can write the plot
Cause she called my up, and this is the answer she got

[Chorus]
I’m so sorry you have just reached my answering machine
I’m not in, and listen, I’m sure you know this whole routine
Leave your name and number
And I’ll try and get back to you
You have thirty seconds to talk to me before you’re threw

And she said, “Baby I got your message.
Well I’m answering your call.
I have thought it out, I have thought it out
and I think that all in all
If you ask if we can marry, and make it for all time
then my answer is…”
[BEEP] and the phone went

[Chorus]
I’m so sorry you have just reached my answering machine
I’m not in, and listen, I’m sure you know this whole routine
I’m so sorry you have just reached my answering machine
I’m not in, and listen, I’m sure you know this whole routine
I’m so sorry you have just reached my answering machine
I’m not in, and listen, I’m sure you know this whole routine

[Continue 1 more time]

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday and Song of the Day for December 19, 2021.

12 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: Rupert Holmes, “Answering Machine”

    1. I don’t think Rupert ever got his due. He was (and still is) a clever songwriter, screenwriter (he wrote the whole series Remember WENN, including the music), author, and librettist who’s won two Tony awards. All that besides being a talented performer. That’s an enviable skill set.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That was in the days when the messages were limited by the machine to a fixed length. Still, they should have been able to fit their messages into 30 seconds, which, when you try it, is a long time…. Glad you liked the song!

      Liked by 1 person

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