What Is the Song "Wichita Lineman" About?


Quick Answer

The song “Wichita Lineman” is about a solitary lineman perched atop a telephone pole on a lonely highway in rural Oklahoma. American songwriter Jimmy Webb said he was inspired to write the song after seeing the man talking on the phone and wondering what was being said.

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Full Answer

Webb was driving on a straight road in southwest Oklahoma when he saw the silhouette of the lineman, which he described as the picture of loneliness. He says he tried to imagine being up on that telephone pole, and he wondered if the man was talking to his girlfriend.

Country music singer Glen Campbell, who released “Wichita Lineman” on his 1968 album of the same name, says Webb wrote the song about a love affair with a married woman. Some of the lyrics refer to longing for an absent lover.

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