About The Song

History

  • “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)” is a 1972 song written by Jim Croce.
  • Croce’s record was released on August 23, 1972.
  • It was the second single released from Croce’s album You Don’t Mess Around with Jim.
  • It reached a peak of number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1972, spending twelve weeks on the chart.

Story behind the song

  • The story was inspired during Croce’s military service, during which time he saw lines of soldiers waiting to use the outdoor phone on base, many of them calling their wives or girlfriends to see if their Dear John letter was true.

Lyrics

  • The lyrics tell the story of a man who is trying to call his ex-girlfriend.
  • He is put on hold by the operator, and while he is waiting, he reminisces about his relationship with his ex-girlfriend.
  • When he finally gets through to her, he realizes that she has moved on and that he should too.
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Meaning of the song

  • The song is about the pain of heartbreak and the difficulty of letting go of a past love.
  • It is also about the hope of finding love again.

Listen to the song

  • You can listen to “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)” on YouTube by Jim Croce.

Other interesting facts about the song

  • The song was covered by Cher in 1973.
  • It was also featured in the 1994 film Forrest Gump.

Video

Lyrics

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“Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels)”

Operator, well could you help me place this call
See, the number on the match book is old and faded
She’s living in L.A
With my best old ex-friend Ray
A guy she said she knew well and sometimes hated

But isn’t that the way they say it goes
Well let’s forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it
So I can call just to tell ’em I’m fine, and to show
I’ve overcome the blow
I’ve learned to take it well
I only wish my words
Could just convince myself
That it just wasn’t real
But that’s not the way it feels

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Operator, well could you help me place this call
‘Cause I can’t read the number that you just gave me
There’s something in my eyes
You know it happens every time
I think about the love that I thought would save me

But isn’t that the way they say it goes
Well let’s forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it
So I can call just to tell ’em I’m fine, and to show
I’ve overcome the blow
I’ve learned to take it well
I only wish my words
Could just convince myself
That it just wasn’t real
But that’s not the way it feels
No, no, no, no
That’s not the way it feels

Operator, well let’s forget about this call
There’s no one there I really wanted to talk to
Thank you for your time
Ah, you’ve been so much more than kind
You can keep the dime

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But isn’t that the way they say it goes
Well let’s forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it
So I can call just to tell ’em I’m fine, and to show
I’ve overcome the blow
I’ve learned to take it well
I only wish my words
Could just convince myself
That it just wasn’t real
But that’s not the way it feels

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