"Chuck E.'s In Love" as written by and Rickie Lee Jones....
How come he don't come and PIP with me
Down at the meter no more?
How come he turn off the TV?
And he hang that sign on the door?

We call and we call
"How come?" we say
What could make a boy behave this way?

So he has learnt all of the lines now
And every time, he don't stutter when he talks
It's true! It's true!
He sure is acquired a cool and inspired sorta jazz when he walks
Where's his jacket and his old blue jeans?
This ain't healthy this is some kinda clean?

I think Chuck E.'s in love
Chuck E.'s in love
Chuck E.'s in love
Chuck E.'s in love

I don't believe what you're saying to me
This is something I have to see

Is he here?
I look in the poolhall
Is he here?
I look in the drugstore
Is he here?
No, he don't come here no more

I'll tell you what, I saw him
He was sitting behind us down in the pantages
And whatever it is that he's got up his sleeve
I hope it isn't contagious

What's her name?
Is this her there?
Christ, I think he's even combed his hair
Is that her ?
What's her name?
Oh, it's never gonna be the same

But that's not her
I know what's wrong
Chuck E.'s in love
With the little girl who's singin' this song
Don't you know?
That Chuck E.'s in love
Chuck E.'s in love
Chuck E.'s in love oh my
Chuck E.'s
Chuck E.'s in love
Chuck E.'s in love with me


Lyrics submitted by InSilenceEasy, edited by soulmach

"Chuck E's in Love" as written by Rickie Lee Jones

Lyrics © Reservoir One Music, RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Chuck E.'s In Love song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentBear with me, because my explanation of Chuck E. (the character) may at first seem irrelevant. Rickie Lee Jones used to be in a relationship with fellow beatnik poet Tom Waits, and they were living in a hotel together. One of the local characters staying there was called Chuck E. Weiss. Chuck helped Waits write some of his album 'Nighthawks At The Diner,' and has since done a little recording of his own. The three - Jones, Waits and Weiss - were good friends, and used to hang out together. After a while, Chuck decided to leave. Some time later, he phoned up the couple at the hotel; Tom answered the phone, and after talking for a brief time, he hung up. Jones asked him who it was, and Waits replied "Chuck E.'s in love." And basically, Jones liked the sound of the phrase.

    I read this in a bio on Waits, who is one of my favourite solo artists.
    NellieWhiskeyon March 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song is about a group of friends and two of them become lovers. And all the friends are wondering who this new girl is and why is he getting all fixed up for her. And the narrator (presumably a woman) is listening to all these rumors going around. But at the end, she settles them with the line "Chuck E.'s in love with the little girl singing this song." So she is the new girl everyone is wondering about.
    InSilenceEasyon April 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf someone could tell me what "p.i.p." is, that would be awesome. Maybe that will explain why its "down at the meter?
    InSilenceEasyon June 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's actually "p.l.p." (there are lots of other little errors in these lyrics, too, like "I know that's wrong" instead of "I know what's wrong"). I don't know what it stands for either though.

    This song is pretty self-explanatory. The lyrics always make me grin; it's one of Rickie Lee's few cute, light songs.
    just_old_lighton February 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't reckon it's self-explanatory! What the hell is it about? Who the fuck is Chuck. E? The only thing that I can gather is she's a bit off at the fact Chuck. E has moved on or something.
    klson March 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPLP is Public Leaning Post - I seem to remember. As in someone you physically lean on in a friendly way.
    daviesr7on July 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought a public leaning post was a street lamp?
    just_old_lighton July 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPersonally, I think this song is about a kind of coming-of-age. An adolescent tomboy who has to face up to tangled relationships when one of her childhood friends gets a crush on her. By the sound of it, she's both alarmed and flattered by the idea, probably because she's so naive. That's how I relate to it, anyhow, maybe because I'm a tomboy myself, and this scenario has come up more than once before amongst my friends. Anyways, this is a pretty cool, offbeat kind of song.
    NellieWhiskeyon September 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThanks to "Nellie" for the additional background.

    Chuck E Weiss has released a hand-full of wistful, bluesy and witty albums, which I highly recommend - "Extremely Cool", if I had to pick one.

    Also, RLJ is the mystery blonde featured on the cover of Waits' (brilliant, as ever) "Blue Valentine" album.

    It does sound like "pip" - any further thoughts?
    irkthepuristson October 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationMy search indicates that p.l.p. might indicate "platonic life-partner", which is a chaste and non-sensual partnership/friendship. Perhaps Jones is using it as a verb meaning "hangout non-romantically", such as a no-strings attached friendship between a man and a woman. The connotation would be pretty much equal to commenter daviesr7's suggestion of "Public Leaning Post", which he says means someone you lean on physically in a friendly [often non-sensual] way. I assume "the meter" is a hangout place. So, "How come he don't come and p.l.p with me down at the meter no more?" probably means Jones isn't seeing Chuck at their usual hangout spots, and she's missing their friendly non-romantic fun times. NellieWhiskey's comment made me realize that they're roomates, and Chuck hangs "that sign on his door", because he doesn't want to be disburbed. She's wondering why his behavior has changed. "We call and we call", to Chuck saying, "what could make a boy behave this way?"

    "He learn all the lines...he don't stutter..." suggests that Chuck has been taking up the practice of smooth talking. "He sure is acquired a cool and inspired ... walk..." meaning that Chuck has been walking with a new swagger and strutting to make an impression. "Where's his jacket and his old blue jeans?" means Chuck has also been dressing to impress.

    Given the signs and behaviors, Jones deduces that Chuck E. is in love. She starts hitting up all their hangout spots asking around for Chuck, but he's nowhere to be found. She is very curious to see and discover who Chuck's new love interest is. She finally sees Chuck sitting in a row behind her "down at the Pantages", which my research indicates is a chain of performing arts centers. She wonders what "he's got up his sleeve", suggesting that Chuck's demeanor appears different to her, and maybe his new attitude seems like a drag to her, so she says, "I hope it isn't contagious." Over time, she gets more and more curious about his love interest, continually asking, "Is that her there? What is her name?" She noticed that Chuck combed his hair, which is another attempt to impress someone. "Is that her? What's her name?" The she says, "Oh it's never gonna be the same," suggesting that she's afraid that another woman would interfere with her highly valued friendship with Chuck. Finally the truth clicks, and she discovers that none of the surrounding women are Chuck's love interest, because Chuck was in love with her all along! She finishes the song, "Chuck E.'s in love WITH ME" :) Sweet song.
    soulmachon July 14, 2013   Link

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