Song Lyric Sunday — The Letter

The theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt from Helen Vahdati is “letters.” And the song that popped into my head was the 1967 Box Tops hit, “The Letter.” Somehow, I don’t think I will be the only participant in this prompt who chose this song.

“The Letter” was written by American country musician, songwriter, and record producer, Wayne Carson, and was first recorded by the American rock band, the Box Tops, in 1967. The song was the group’s first and biggest hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in September of that year.

“The Letter” is about a guy who gets a letter from his former lover telling him that she wants him back, and the guy wants to fly out and see her immediately.

In 1970, British rocker Joe Cocker released a cover of “The Letter,” which became Cocker’s first top ten single in the U.S. It reached number seven on Billboard’s Hot 100 in April 1970.

Here’s Cocker’s version.

Which do you like better, the original from the Box Tops or Joe Cocker’s cover?

Here are the song’s lyrics:

Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain’t got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone, I’m-a goin’ home
My baby, just-a wrote me a letter

I don’t care how much money I gotta spend
Got to get back to my baby again
Lonely days are gone, I’m-a goin’ home
My baby, just-a wrote me a letter

Well, she wrote me a letter
Said she couldn’t live without me no more
Listen, mister, can’t you see I got to get back
To my baby once-a more
Anyway, yeah!

Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain’t got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone, I’m-a goin’ home
My baby, just-a wrote me a letter

Well, she wrote me a letter
Said she couldn’t live without me no more
Listen, mister, can’t you see I got to get back
To my baby once-a more
Anyway, yeah!

Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain’t got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone, I’m-a goin’ home
My baby, just-a wrote me a letter

My baby, just-a wrote me a letter

18 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — The Letter

  1. Suze February 25, 2018 / 5:35 am

    joe cocker………love the gravel in his voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. newepicauthor February 25, 2018 / 7:34 am

    The piano and the horns sound so much better on the Joe Cocker version and he also puts his whole heart into every song that he sings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 25, 2018 / 7:43 am

      I agree. Before I listened to both, one after the other, I’d have said the Box Tops, But after hearing both, it’s definitely the Cocker version.

      Like

  3. Helen Vahdati February 25, 2018 / 11:20 am

    I like both versions, but I for sure like Cocker’s version more. It just had more soul. Great pick this week! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A.C. Melody February 25, 2018 / 1:45 pm

    Great pick, I completely forgot about this song! I would definitely choose the original by the Box Tops, maybe since that’s the version I’m the most familiar with, but also I think the flow of the sound and rhythm conveys the urgency of the lyrics better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 25, 2018 / 2:04 pm

      Thanks. I enjoy both versions, but like you, I’m more familiar with the Box Tops’ version. It wasn’t until I did some research on the song that I remembered that Joe Cocker did a cover.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ghostmmnc February 25, 2018 / 4:16 pm

    Joe Cocker is a favorite artist and I’ve heard this before, but I still prefer the Box Tops version. Great pick for today’s theme, and it’s one I had thought of, too, but went with something else. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. leigha66 February 25, 2018 / 11:12 pm

    I am more familiar with the Box Top’s song, but love the energy level in the Joe Cocker version. Great song either way!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Felicia Denise February 25, 2018 / 11:57 pm

    I’ve always preferred Cocker’s version. That hard edge in his voice just sells it! Thanks for sharing! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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