Song: “Answering Machine”
I know you might not always click the link to the lyrics that I provide, but with these Rupert songs, you’re going to want to go the extra click.
You know Rupert Holmes. He wrote “Escape (The Pina Colada Song),” a song about two people wanting to cheat on their spouses, but end up answering each other’s personal ads and re-fall in love again at a bar, probably as they met originally, over some Pina Coladas.
Of all the shows I’ve done, and all the words I’ve typed, one of stee’s favorite things remains something I neither wrote nor conceived. It’s Brently and Chip’s baby. The show told the story of how Rupert sold his soul to the devil in order to write a one-hit wonder because he was in danger of losing his lovely lady (that’s me) to Kris Kristofferson.
Rupert Holmes’ Partners In Crime is… well, it’s a concept album about the difficulties in relationships. People try to do the right thing by getting married, or do the wrong thing by cheating, and due to communication problems (caused by this new-fangled technology), things can get complicated, like in “Answering Machine,” where two people are on the brink of getting engaged, if only it weren’t for that darn beep cutting them off before the final thought.
Track Three, “Nearsighted,” has Rupert complaining about his glasses, and how they keep him from truly finding love. No, seriously.
Unfortunately, I can’t find online lyrics for many of these songs. This is a shame, because “Lunch Hour,” the song about cheating during your work break, has the best chorus:
Lunch hour, lunch hour, lunch hour, lunch hour–How do you find time to eat?
When there’s so many people on the street,
And all of them are hungry, hungry, hungry, HUNGRY! HUNGRY!
Give me a sandwich to go!
If you can find a copy, it’s worth it.
Rupert’s other hit from this album was a song called “Him.” I could always tell a true Rupert fan (or someone who really listened to a lot of radio) when I’d say, “I’m in this show about the guy who wrote The Pina Colada Song?” and someone would say, “Oh, ‘Him’ is a much better song.”
And it is. It’s about a guy who comes home to his lady (Rupert likes to call his women “lady” (see: “I was tired of my lady…”)) to find a pack of cigarettes by the window.
Not my brand, you understand.
Sometimes the girl forgets.
She forgets to hide them.
I know who left those smokes behind…
Rupert likes to take things pretty literally. Call him the predecessor to R Kelly. The song I sang in the show was Track Eight, “The People That You Never Get To Love.” I cannot find the lyrics to this anywhere. I have a feeling the only people who have these words committed to memory are Rupert Holmes and me. This is a song about… um, it’s about the people that you never get to love.
You’re browsing through a second-hand bookstore.
And you see her in non-fiction, V through Y.
She looks up from World War II and
You catch her, catching you, catching her eye.
And you quickly turn away your wishful stare.
And take a sudden interest in your shoes.
If you only had the courage
But you don’t
She turns and leaves and
You both lose.
This song goes on to point out other people you don’t get to love, like the girl who gets off the elevator before you ask her out, or — my favorite — the girl “in a passing Buick, when you’ve been pulled over by a traffic cop.” I’m not sure how he’d even know she existed if he hadn’t been pulled over by the cop. And also: Rupert, you might want to focus on that sobriety test instead of the girl driving by.
Go to the Amazon site and take a listen to a few tracks because I know I’m not giving them justice here. They are incredibly catchy songs with some seriously cheesy lyrics (“So I stepped out to buy some dog food for the cat…”), but I can’t hear a single note now without breaking into a smile. You hear just one song and you’re like, “No.” You hear them all and then you’re charmed. Because Rupert’s kidding around; he knows he’s making you laugh. While he calls himself “nobody’s poet,” he also knows you know what he’s talking about. How do you find time to eat? He’s making fun of you, but he’s really making fun of himself.
See, Rupert wants a simple love: boozy girlie drinks, standing in a rainstorm, making love at midnight, having half a brain. He’s not into anything technology (or yoga) has to offer, as it causes nothing but communication problems. Imagine poor Rupert trying to operate a Blackberry. If he knew then how easy it is to misconstrue tone through email, there’d be a song called “Send” that might sound like:
I don’t know if I should give my lady a call.
I told her I loved her, but I’d hit “Reply All.”
I wish she’d send me just one text.
Because I don’t know what to say to her next.
Send! Send! Send!
When will my heartache end?
Does she want to just be my friend?
Why won’t she ping me? Me! Me!
I already sent her my website’s IP!
Why won’t she electronically love me?
I’m gonna log off.
Rupert, baby. I know you’re busy being super successful, but give this lady a call. Brently, Chip and I would love to help you out with the sequel to Partners In Crime.