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janetlee1964

Meaning of "The Call" by Anne Murray

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I did not find this song listed under the Songs List. I feel like maybe I'm missing some brain cells to have to ask this, but I really don't understand what the song's actually saying. I know a guy's begging for change, but that's about it!

Here's the lyrics as I found them on Google search:

It's a long distance phone

And I feel so alone

Here without him.

Its a crime and a shame

That I ain't got the change

And don't you know that

I`m worried about him.

I've been all over street

Every street, up and down

Looking for the man.

It's just a face in the crowd

Where the traffic roars loud

But don't you know he'd be

Proud to give a helping hand.

Chorus:

Mister, can you

Fnd it in your heart

To lend me a dollar

For the times have been slow

I'm fresh outta dough

And I ain't got the

Money to call him.

I threw my pride out the door

'Cause I've been turned down before

But I'll keep trying.

This kind of pain is

Kind of hard to explain

But the feeling's the same

As like dying.

Chorus:

Mister, can you

Fnd it in your heart

To lend me a dollar

For the times have been slow

I'm fresh outta dough

And I ain't got the

Money to call him.

You put the change in my hand

You're the world's kindest man

And I thank you, Sir.

You'll never know what you've done

For this poor mother's son

A thirsty man just got a

Cold cup of water.

Chorus:

Mister, can you

Fnd it in your heart

To lend me a dollar

For the times have been slow

I'm fresh outta dough

And I ain't got the

Money to call him.

Chorus:

Mister, can you

Fnd it in your heart

To lend me a dollar

For the times have been slow

I'm fresh outta dough

And I ain't got the

Money to call him...

Thanks to all!

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Oh.. that's a tough one. Let me try. I'll summarize at the end.

[it's a long distance phone

And I feel so alone

Here without him.]

So.. we have "her" and "him". She want's to call him on the phone.. or does she?

[its a crime and a shame

That I ain't got the change

And don't you know that

I`m worried about him.]

So she doesn't have the means.

[i've been all over street

Every street, up and down

Looking for the man.]

-- Actually the original lyrics here are:

[i've been all over town, every street, up and down]

Here get's tricky.. She's a "wanderer" looking for "the man"

[it's just a face in the crowd

Where the traffic roars loud

But don't you know he'd be

Proud to give a helping hand.]

So he can be anyone who is willing to "help her"

Chorus:

[Mister, can you

Fnd it in your heart

To lend me a dollar

For the times have been slow

I'm fresh outta dough

And I ain't got the

Money to call him.]

So, she needs a reason "the call" to ask for the money.

[i threw my pride out the door

'Cause I've been turned down before

But I'll keep trying.]

So she's not proud of what's she's doing but she's doing her best to ?? survive.

[This kind of pain is

Kind of hard to explain

But the feeling's the same

As like dying.]

This is the key phrase. What kind of pain does she really experience. "Fresh out of dough?"

Chorus:

[Mister, can you

Fnd it in your heart

To lend me a dollar

For the times have been slow

I'm fresh outta dough

And I ain't got the

Money to call him.]

[You put the change in my hand

You're the world's kindest man

And I thank you, Sir.

Here comes "the man".

[You'll never know what you've done

For this poor mother's son

A thirsty man just got a

Cold cup of water.]

"thirsty man got cold cup of water" sounds more like "you've got what you need".. in this case the money.

Chorus:

[Mister, can you

Fnd it in your heart

To lend me a dollar

For the times have been slow

I'm fresh outta dough

And I ain't got the

Money to call him.]

Chorus:

[Mister, can you

Fnd it in your heart

To lend me a dollar

For the times have been slow

I'm fresh outta dough

And I ain't got the

Money to call him... ]

I see only 2 choices for what this song is about.. How about you?

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Being Canadian I know this one...

The song was written by Gene MacLellan, a very successful songwriter. Therefore the references to the singer in the first person were written from a male point of view.

MacLellan wrote as a male character and Anne didn't change it to reflect otherwise, creating confusion.

The song is fairly simple: a heartbroken & poor man begging in the streets. Zhivko pretty much had the meaning down, but it does get confusing when a woman sings a male dialogue. :grin:

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Ah.. So this:

[You'll never know what you've done

For this poor mother's son

A thirsty man just got a

Cold cup of water.]

Is actually the original lyrics while all the rest were changed to reflect her point of view?

How come this one is not changed..:(

Actually you are quite rite. In it's simplicity the meaning is exactly this. Simple : "poor man begging in the streets for money". However, sang by a woman and with the changed lyrics, I had another idea about the deeper meaning of the text. And it makes a lot of sense for a guy like me not familiar with the writer or the singer. :)

I can swear for me the hidden meaning was stronger then what the text was really saying.

I wonder if the writer did this intentionally or not?

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I can't be sure about intentions because Mr. Maclellan wrote some amazing songs (he was also the writer off Murray's mega-hit "Songbird") but I can put to you that perhaps none of the lyrics are really changed.

Perhaps the man referenced from the very start of the song is God or some form of saviour. Murray & Maclellan are both religious. Could it be it's a deeper song than we ever imagined?

Deciphering certain songs is sometimes like counting the hairs on Jimi Hendrix's head. It's tedious and while concentrating on little things you miss the big picture. :shades:

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I Think there might be something to it. For me like a first time listener, i ended up with 2 different feelings for what this song is about. The first one was the obvious. The poor "in my case i listened to the version sang by Anne" woman looking for money to survive, having the "call" as excuse to beg.

The second deeper one that i am more willing to accept was that "the person described in the song" is a hooker, looking for next client.

Read this and tell me, isn't this possible?

lyrics cut:

"It's just a face in the crowd

Where the traffic roars loud"

I may be wrong tho.

What you guys think?

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I think it's a tale of a woman who started out simply begging but soon found that selling her body paid much more and she eventually grew used to being a hooker. Whether she needs the money to survive or see a loved one (family, boyfriend, etc) she knows that she's transformed into a full-on working girl. The Call is a call for help (I think)

Re-reading the lyrics with this in mind the working girl in the street, no more pride, lots of rejection but still a voice deep inside calling for help because those city streets are dangerous.

BTW: I did some more digging and found that Anne changed NO lyrics making this song all the more puzzling. MacLellan wrote it for her to sing tho :crazy:

Edited by Guest

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