BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.


Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Music
Sold on Song. Classic songs, covers, songwriting and more. Listen Live.

 Full Schedule
-













Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 
YOUR VIEWS
SONG HOME
'Wichita Lineman'
Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell
Is “Wichita Lineman” the best love song of all time? Do you feel it evokes a particularly American mood?

Send us your comments








Disclaimer:The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.

It's one of those simple songs that appears to be about nothing at all, but in fact is about everything.

Jim

Vivian Reno, NV
It's an exceptional & haunting love song, bringing tears to the rim of my eyes each time I hear it.

Jason, London
My Mum used to play Glen Campbell over and over again when I was a child. I remember not disliking him even then - but of course was too young to appreciate the lyrics! A few weeks ago i woke up on the sofa at about 2am to one of those adverts on TV selling a compilation album of love songs. It was then that I heard Wichita Lineman again for the first time in years. It sounded amazing. Very haunting. I bought a copy of one of Glen Campbells albums and only this morning plyed Wichita Lineman for the first time. I played it over and over again and couldnt stop playing it. I now consider it as one of my favourite songs ever.

Breanna,Iowa
I love this song! I cry almost every time i hear it. It was played at my dad's funeral when i was 11.(I'm 12 now.)This is my favorite song!!!

Bobbie, Los Angeles
Lately I am absolutely bewitched by this song. My father listened to Glen in the 70's--I would hear it emanating from his shop as he worked and even then I remember it having a mysterious pull over me as a young child. I was reacquainted with the song in the wonderful documentary entitled "tarnation," where it was used very poignantly. I am a classical pianist and singer and am no stranger to gorgeous melodies and harmonic twists and turns and yet, for the life of me, I can't get over this song. I can't analyze what it is about it that is so powerful. Check out the wonderful alliteration in the lyrics 'and if it snows that stretch down south won't ever stand the strain'. I know of no other pop or country song that devastates me with sheer emotion like this one.

Dody Braun from Highlands Ranch, Colorado
I do think it is the best long song of all time, because you really have to listen to the words, and then it just hits you. It is totally a wonderful love song. "And I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time" Chilling!!!!!!!!!!

Phylis Pastor Rising Sun, Indiana
Wichita Lineman is one of the best if not the best love songs of all times, but only when sung by Glen Campbell. It is a very "American Mood" song. There is no other singer like Glen Campbell who is the best.

Wendy, Birmingham
I have been a Glen Campbell fan for 37 years and no matter how many times I listen to Wichita Lineman, I never get tired of it. "....and I need you more than want you and I want you for all time..." is probably the most evocotive, all-embracing line in any love song ever written....and yet, the song in it's entirity has an elusive quality...... haunting and beautiful.... familiar and brand new, all at the same time. Such is the talent of Jimmy Webb, in my opinion he is the most inspiring song writer ever to grace this earth.

Pete Fenelon, York
A wonderfully uneasy piece of easy listening; a piece of minimalist existential theatre set to a gorgeous tune.

Jamie, Leeds
First off, let me just say I've never listened to Glen Campbell, nor have I ever had the wish to (Being 31, he's not really my era), but I caught the 2nd part of a 3 part series on Radio 2 while travelling alone on a 200 mile journey to my girlfriends. When they played 'Wichita Lineman' it simply blew me away. Vaugely familiar yes, but I couldn't recall the last time I'd heard it. Maybe I was too young to appreciate the sentiment, the emotion and atmosphere this piece of brilliance creates. I'm still stunned a week later...

Paul T, Bury St Edmunds
For me, this is the best love song of all time. My only complaint is that it is so short! But perhaps that is part of the magic, it captures everything you could want from a love song in a perfect package. It is also interesting how many other artists quote this as an inspirational song. I heard Robbie Wiliams say if he had to choose one song as his favorite of all time, this would be it - and I agree!

Patrick/Bronx New York
This song is a reflective song, where you start out, where you are, and where you thought you'd never be. Its timeless and breath taking, makes me think of my childhood. I listen to this beautiful song, and I can feel God.

Paul C, Aberdeen
The Lyric's "and I need you more than want you" just says it all. Brilliant piece of music

emma, wood green, london
such an evocative song. even though the song is about a telephone repairman, there is a clear metaphor of long distance love that transcends boundaries.

Arianna, Birmingham
it is just a fantastic song... it makes me think about all things nice, warm and loving... like sunset in the garden in the winter, wrapped in my favourite sweater and in the arms of my loved one.

Don Golden, CO
It's a great song, I know you'll all hate me but I think Wade Hays' cover is better, possibly the most beutiful song ever.

Marlene Richards, Isle of Bute
This track drowns me in emotion... I remember my mother playing it, in the 70's... best line ever written.... "and I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time"

TJ, Derbyshire
Came across this song via an R.E.M. live cover version - both are beautiful.

Scott G. Sims Peoria, AZ.
Yes Wichita Lineman is the greatest American love song written. It's a song about love, about loneliness, about longing, about committment, about faithfulness. "And I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time." What more could you say about love?

KE West, Leighton Buzzard
A wonderful song with a beautiful arrangement.

Dave Gilmore, Ashton Under Lyne
I first heard this in the 70s when I was in my mid-teens and into heavy rock music . My dad had bought a Glen Campbell LP and as soon as I heard it I was completely knocked out by it. I remember secretly playing it at home when my Dad wasn't around. At that age you had your music and your Dad had his. It is a beautifully crafted song and is sung with such weariness and pathos that you can't help but being moved. I recently worked away from my family for 6 months and it made the song's resonance even more attractive,

ted norton key west fl usa
the lyric is equivalent to impressionism in painting, just a man's thoughts on the job sketched out roughly. that honesty gets under your skin. this is probably the record with the most "atmosphere" ever captured. it seems otherworldly, and haunted me as a child.

sharon/bristol
A great some from a master writer..... FANTASTIC

Kay/Leicester
I agree with Guy also from Leicester, its a classic which makes me feel sad sometimes but also it's a lovely song.....and if I ever fall truly in love then the guy that also gets this song gets my vote!

John Black / Silsbee, TEXAS / USA
The best American pop song ever.

Dave Cooke
Great song, but check out Jimmy's 'If You Must Leave My Life' or 'Didn't We'.

Roberta, london
Quite simply the most beautiful song ever. I get goose bumps every time I hear it!

Gail Z., Portland, Oregon, USA
I never get tired of this song. Slightly melancholy, beautiful.

Nicky Downes, Warrington
Love this song ... simply one of the best ever. Contains one of my all time favourite lyrics; 'I love you more than need you, and I need you for all time'. Just gorgeous and something I've always wanted someone to say to me! What more can I say?

Chris, Leeds
Dennis Brown did a superb version of 'Witchita Lineman' many years ago too. Luckily, performers who do this classic really understand the emotion & poignancy that's laying there within this song (reading that Busted are to do a version of The Jam's 'That's Entertainment' makes me very angry indeed because they will never have the same courtesy). 'Wittchita Lineman' is indeed a beautiful song, and I can only agree 100% with Jim and the other posters.

Steve Taplin
Ever noticed how the music halfway through the song sounds a bit like a morse code effect? Just like the sound one might expect pulsing through the telegraph lines in the state of Wichita in the Sixties? It's either a brilliant piece of music or my imagination!

Super Mono (in Croydon)
Even an old rocker like me would have this on my desert island (together with Southern Nights). Glorious stuff.

Guy Fothergill, Leicester
The more I hear this song the more there is to it. Plaintive, melancholic and upliftifting at the same time....timeless.

More songs.


Like this song? Try these...

Baker Street
Gerry Rafferty

 DON'T MISS
Doves Doves
Special guests on Dermot's show this week

What's on

Radio 2 Documentaries
Find out more about current and forthcoming documentaries on Radio 2.






About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy