Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Squeeze - "853-5937"

853-5937 - Babylon and On

(Debuted December 19, 1987, Peaked #32, 11 Weeks on the Chart)

The telephone has been a popular device for song lyrics throughout the years. Whether the telephone line itself, the operator, telephone servicemen, numbers and even answering machines have been included in popular songs throughout the years. It's even been used in songs to heighten a sense of anticipation, as well as fear and paranoia.

In the case of "853-5937," the song began as a message for an answering machine, which can be heard in the refrain. That refrain also includes the English colloquialism "she'll give you a ring when she gets home," a term few Americans are ever heard saying. A lady named Angela, it seems, isn't able to answer the phone after several tries (this was before Caller ID was widespresad), but her failure to pick up is only making the narrator worried that she is no longer interested in him.

"853-5937" was the secong single from Squeeze's LP Babylon and On, a pun that could also be applied to a telephone conversation. Following the group's biggest American hit "Hourglass," it reached into the Top 40 briefly. They never made the U.S. pop chart again.

1 comment:

  1. I notice that Squeeze had three Hot 100 hits. Their post 1980 material was very radio friendly so I'm surprised they didn't have more hits in the US. Their best material was from 1978 to 1980 but I think they were probably far too "British sounding" to make the US charts at the time. Their "Cool For Cats" (1979) and "Argybargy" (1980) albums and the singles taken from the albums are worth a listen.