"Sylvia's Mother" as written by and Shel Silverstein....
Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's busy, too busy to come to the phone
Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's trying, to start a new life of her own.
Sylvia's mother says "Sylvia's happy
So why don't you leave her alone?"
And the operator says : "Forty cents more, for the next three minutes."

Please Mrs. Avery, I've just got to talk to her
I'll only keep her a while
Please Mrs. Avery, just want to tell her
Goodbye.

Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's packing, she's going be leaving today.
Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's marrying, a fellow down Galveston-Way
Sylvia's mother says "Please don't say nothing...
To make her start crying and stay."
And the operator says : "Forty cents more, for the next three minutes."

Please Mrs. Avery, I've just got to talk to her
I'll only keep her a while
Please Mrs. Avery, just want to tell her
Goodbye

Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's hurrying,
She's catching the nine o'clock train.
Sylvia's mother says: "Take your umbrella,
Cause Sylvia it's starting to rain."
And Sylvia's mother says "Thank you for calling.
And sir won't you come back again."
And the operator says :" Forty cents more,
For the next three minutes."

Please Mrs. Avery, I've just got to talk to her
I'll only keep her a while
Please Mrs. Avery, just want to tell her
Goodbye

Tell her goodbye
Please, tell her goodbye
Goodbye


Lyrics submitted by kevlar_soul

"Sylvia's Mother" as written by Shel Silverstein

Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

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Sylvia's Mother song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentIn this song, you feel the frustration of a guy who wants to have one last conversation with his old girlfriend but is stymied by Sylvia's mother. I imagine him standing at a pay phone, digging into his pockets for more coins, as he desperately tries to talk to his love before she leaves town. This is especially poignant near the end of the song, when the mother tells him "thank you for calling and, sir, won't you call back again," implying that Sylvia is nearby so the mom is pretending he's someone else.

    It reminds us of a time when communications were much more difficult. For younger persons, many of whom have their own cellphones, this may be hard to relate to, but it was just a generation ago when trying to get in touch with someone was much more difficult. If a boy called his girlfriend, he often had to talk first to her parents, who sometimes served as a gatekeeper, preventing their daughter from talking to someone unless they approved of him.
    procktheboaton November 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLovely and sad song. Pretty clear I think. He wants to say goodbye but the mom says no way. I wonder if it is based on some true story. Bye.
    mon March 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a great song... as are many of Dr. Hook's... ... why are there only two on the site:(
    assembly lineon December 24, 2007   Link

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