Song Lyric Sunday — Don’t Lose That Number

This week’s Song Lyric Sunday from Helen Vahdati is about “phone calls/calling.”

That to immediately brought to mind one of my favorite songs, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” from one of my favorite rock/pop/jazz fusion groups, Steely Dan.

“Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” was a single released in 1974 and was also the opening track of Steely Dan’s third album Pretzel Logic. Written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, it was the group’s most successful single, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1974. It was .

Rikki of the title is supposed to have been Rikki Ducornet, a New York writer and artist. Donald Fagen met her while both were attending Bard College, a small liberal arts school located in upstate New York. Ducornet said they met at a college party, and even though she was both pregnant and married at the time, he gave her his number, although not in the same context as the song. Ducornet was intrigued by Fagen and was tempted to call him, but she decided against it.

Here are the song’s lyrics.

We hear you’re leaving, that’s okay
I thought our little wild time had just begun
I guess you kind of scared yourself, you turn and run
But if you have a change of heart

Rikki don’t lose that number
You don’t want to call nobody else
Send it off in a letter to yourself
Rikki don’t lose that number
It’s the only one you own
You might use it if you feel better
When you get home

I have a friend in town, he’s heard your name
We can go out driving on Slow Hand Row
We could stay inside and play games, I don’t know
And you could have a change of heart

Rikki don’t lose that number
You don’t want to call nobody else
Send it off in a letter to yourself
Rikki don’t lose that number
It’s the only one you own
You might use it if you feel better
When you get home

You tell yourself you’re not my kind
But you don’t even know your mind
And you could have a change of heart

Rikki don’t lose that number
You don’t want to call nobody else
Send it off in a letter to yourself
Rikki don’t lose that number
It’s the only one you own
You might use it if you feel better
When you get home

13 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Don’t Lose That Number

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