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The White Stripes – Hello Operator lyrics

Hello operator
Can you give me number nine?
Can I see you later?
Will you give me back my dime?
Turn the oscillator
Twist it with a dollar bill
Mail man bring the paper
Leave it on my window sill

Find a canary
A bird to bring my message home
Carry my obituary
My coffin doesnt't have a phone
How you gonna get the money?
Send papers to an empty home?
How you gonna get the money?
Nobody to answer the phone

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  • p
    Okay. The first verse tells me that we are starting from childhood as shown in the reference to that skip rope rhyme, this is the beginigs of a tycoon I think or a man/woman desitned for power and weath because obviously the child is asking money back from a person as they have obviously done a favour to somoneone recently. The oscillatior of course generates power and once that starts up gives the growing person (becoming a man) status. " twist it with a dollar bill" mix power and money. " mail man bring the paper" have people respect you and do what you require of them " leave it on my window sill" you see even though the mail man is bringing you the paper (doing what you need of him) he is still alienated from you because of your power and weath shown through him leaving it on the window sill and not directly giving him the paper.
    The second verse tells us that the wealth and stress of his obligations has lead to his death and that because he alienated himself not many people are too affected by his death " my coffin doesnt have a phone". The next few lines tell me that before his death he was in debt and that he has no heir to worry about such things " nobody to answer the phone"
    The song is about the over whealming effect of power and money on people.
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