"The Red Telephone" as written by and Arthur Lee....
Sitting on a hillside
Watching all the people die
I'll feel much better on the other side
I'll thumb a ride

I believe in magic
Why because it is so quick
I don't need power when I'm hypnotized
Look in my eyes
What are you seeing (I see)
How do you feel?
I feel real phony when my name is Phil
Or was that Bill?

Life goes on here
Day after day
I don't know if I'm living or if I'm supposed to be
Sometimes my life is so eerie
And if you think I'm happy paint me (white) (yellow)

I've been here once
I've been here twice
I don't know if the third's the fourth or if the
The fifth's to fix
Sometimes I deal with numbers
And if you wanna count me
Count me out

I don't need the times of day
Anytime with me's okay
I just don't want you using up my time
'Cause that's not right

They're locking them up today
They're throwing away the key
I wonder who it'll be tomorrow, you or me?

They're locking them up today
They're throwing away the key
I wonder who it'll be tomorrow, you or me?

They're locking them up today
They're throwing away the key
I wonder who it'll be tomorrow, you or me?

We're all normal and we want our freedom
Freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, I want my freedom


Lyrics submitted by minette

"The Red Telephone" as written by Arthur Lee

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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The Red Telephone song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentHowever, the phrase they posted more closely reflects the accent of the speaker.
    Benjeron May 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlast part should be: "And all of God's children gotta have their freedom".
    moe2000on June 05, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this songs about freedom?
    and probably something to do with the government haha
    sourgirl711on December 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlove this song. relate to any line you feel.

    for an interpretation...this is just what the artist wanted to express, i guess.

    really all there is to it.
    nuumbon January 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe "red telephone" was a famous hotline which linked the White House via the National Military Command Center with the Kremlin during the Cold War.

    I'm also pretty sure I heard Arthur Lee say in an interview that most businesses in Russia were also fitted with red telephones which would be used to pass down orders from the state. The phone would ring and it would be whoever was regarded as your superior passing on orders, them having received a call on their red telephone from their superiors.

    Ahhh totalitarian governments eh?
    GMan2012on March 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh and the first part was about how Arthur would sit alone up in his house on the hillside watching the people of LA. Feeling much better alone and isolated from whatever madness was going on.
    GMan2012on March 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo, GMan: you're saying that this authoritarian system (i.e. superiors passing down orders, with their right to do this - because the business is their property, or they have been assigned this role by those who own it) is not replicated under the despotic capitalist business?
    yohaneuano5on September 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's a reference to the former band member "Cupid" and his downfall as far as the lock and key go. The reference to the red telephone came from the Colburn "Our man Flint" movie. The secrets and powers that be of that day are being relived in or current race for space. Soviets/Capitalists... It's an international de ja vu ...
    gaddisonmailon December 30, 2015   Link

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