"Wichita Lineman" as written by and Jimmy Webb....
I am a lineman for the county
And I drive the main road
Searchin' in the sun for another overload
I hear you singin' in the wire
I can hear you through the whine
And the Wichita lineman is still on the line

I know I need a small vacation
But it don't look like rain
And if it snows that stretch down south
Won't ever stand the strain
And I need you more than want you
And I want you for all time
And the Wichita lineman is still on the line

And I need you more than want you
And I want you for all time
And the Wichita lineman is still on the line


Lyrics submitted by goodreverend, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Wichita Lineman" as written by Jimmy Webb

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Wichita Lineman song meanings
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  • +2
    My InterpretationI envision the Wichita lineman is now deep into March or early April after having endured a horrific winter of cold winds, heavy snows and many sleepless nights of emergency call; he's now driving down the mainroad alone the highest towers staring southward into the low angled sun beating on the wires as he checks the transformers for overload indicator lights and any signs of line damage or fallen trees from the harsh winter snow. He knows that he needs a vacation with his woman, but refuses to yield to the pleasure of the thought for too long because the dark clouds on the horizon "don't look like rain" and "if it snows that stretch down south, won't ever stand the strain." And he turns dutifully turns south heading straight into the coming storm, and mentally prepares for another cold, windy, sleepless night, working hard at his thankless job. And when he's up on that tower working the line with his cold rough hands, he finds solace hearing her voice in the whine of the wires as the howling wind blows through them and the intense voltage hums steadily through the wires--through all of this he listens to her song, her haunted voice sings out while his frozen fingers work hard. Thoughts of her aches within his soul, and he wants her for all time, but like so many men, working hard to make a living and provide for her in ways continue to be just beyond grasp, his "need" for her, and to be a great provider and hard worker, exceeds his "wants" of sensual fulfillment. I see a hard working man who "needs" deep inside to express love to his woman in the way that most men do, by providing for her and working hard. I'm sure that he needs a long, long vacation, but doesn't even allow himself such luxuries of thought, only willing to admit needing a little break for a "small vacation". Like so many men, he dreams of being with her forever in a better place if he can just save a little more, work just little harder for a little longer... "And I need you more than want you" does not mean that he does not want her, obviously he wants her deeply, he thinks about her all the time. This is about choices, he is choosing to be away from her, and the most common reason for a man is to work hard to provide a better life for her. I feel that his basic need is to be a great provider for the love of his life.
    Yachtsmanon March 11, 2012   Link

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