Song of the Day #1,971: ‘Calling Cards’ – Neko Case

neko_case_worse_thingsBest Songs of 2013 ā€“ #19

On her latest solo album, the annoyingly titled The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, Neko Case delivers another batch of her signature smoky indie blues songs.

Today’s SOTD is one of the simplest, and the one that has stuck with me the most.

‘Calling Cards’ is the flip side of a lonely musician on the road song. The narrator of this tune seems to be reaching out to a musician on tour, or at least that’s how I read it.

The personal connection, predictably, isn’t quite working. Promises of a future together dissolve into “blah blah blah.”

The song’s final lines (“I’ve got calling cards from 20 years ago”) are interesting. Is this the tale of a long ago relationship? Or is this a new relationship echoing one from her past?

I used a calling card at the pay phone
From the other coast
Just to tell you how good it was to hear you
In those songs you wrote

They made me think there was something coming
Really something worth waiting for
Blah, blah, blah… they talk about, oh oh

Every dial tone, every truck stop, every heartbreak
I love you more
Looking like you just woke up from making songs
Shooting satellites that blew up the pay phones…
Singing we’ll all be together
Even when we’re not together
With our arms around each other
With our faith still in each other

I’ve got calling cards
From 20 years ago

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,971: ‘Calling Cards’ – Neko Case

  1. Dana says:

    I interpret this as one musician singing to a former lover who was also a musician. She seems to be reflecting on what appeared to be a blossoming, promising relationship that ultimately went nowhere, and this is one of a series of similar type relationships she regrets having never gone further. The fault lies both in her lifestyle as a musician on the road and her personality in that she becomes bored and restless after awhile, inhibiting her ability to sustain a relationship though she regrets not having done so. That’s my take on the song.

  2. Amy says:

    I like this song a lot (isn’t it #19 rather than #18?)… though I’m not sure how to interpret it. The only reference to the fact that the singer is also on the road is the calling card, though that certainly is a pretty big one! šŸ™‚ I like Dana’s interpretation that the road brings a series of such relationships, so one calling card – just like one relationship – simply replaces the next.

  3. Clay says:

    You are correct… it is 19. Fix made. Thanks!

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