I've Gotta Get A Message To You

Album: Best of Bee Gees (1968)
Charted: 1 8
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  • Robin Gibb told The Mail On Sunday November 1, 2009 about this slice of pop melodrama sung from the perspective of a condemned prisoner: "This is about a prisoner on Death Row who only has a few hours to live. He wants the prison chaplain to pass on a final message to his wife. There's a certain urgency about it."
  • In the same interview, Gibb talked about writing this and other songs with his brother Barry: "Myself and Barry wrote it. It's a bit like writing a script. Sometimes you can sit there for three hours with your guitar and nothing will happen. Then in the last ten minutes something will spark."
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Comments: 14

  • Susan from Atlanta, GeorgiaNot only does "there's no time for the poor" not rhyme with the previous line of "Now for once in your life you're alone", but it doesn't even make any sense. "But you ain't got a dime, there's no time for the phone" makes much more sense. It was written when local phone calls were still a dime.

    Love this song and I always have. I was eleven when it came out, and I didn't half understand what it was about, but I loved it anyway.
  • Linus from KentuckyI admit that it sounds more like 'dirt' (or at least 'dir') than it does like 'hurt'

    "But you ain't got a dime, there's no time for the poor."

    The word is 'poor', not 'phone'.
  • Linus from KentuckyI think that line is:
    "and it's only her love that keeps me wearing this hurt."
    It makes as much sense as anything, and the combination of the "s" of 'this' and the word 'hurt' make it sound like 'shirt'.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 22nd 1973, the Bee Gees performed "I've Gotta Get A Message To You" on the NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special', and the trio were also the show's hosts...
    Five years earlier on August 11th, 1968 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #99; and on September 22nd, 1968 it peaked at #8 (for 4 weeks) and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 6 of those 13 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    It was the trio's first Top 10 record in the U.S.A.
    And on September 7th, 1968 it reached #1 (for 1 week) on the United Kingdom's Singles chart...
    R.I.P. Maurice (1949 - 2003), Robin (1949 - 2012), and Barry will celebrated his 68th birthday in three months on September 1st, 2014.
  • Tom from Freiburg, GermanyI love the way the brothers share the vocals on this song. When I saw them perform it in concert somewhere in the 60's or so, I was wondering how Barry would play his guitar chords with only one finger straight across the fretboard. It almost looked like he was only faking it! I later found out that he always uses an open D tuning. God bless him.
  • John from Chicago, IlThis song is about a love triangle that went bad. A jealous man who couldn't win the love of his girl friend and killed the man that his girl friend really loves. In the line "Well I did it to him now it's my turn to die." Also, in the line, "If I broke her heart, then won't you tell her I'm sorry." It is her love, that's why I 'm wearing this dirt. Before I thought it was shirt, but it is dirt. Dirt in this sense simply means a negative past with one's action. Again, here, he is saying because I can not win your love then I don't want anyone to win over you. In the final moment before he is about to be executed, he wanted to sent a message to his GF, how remorse he was.
  • Michael from Kissimmee, FlNope. Cancel my last comment; the last word is "dirt." There is a video of the Bee Gees performing this song on You Tube. He clearly sings the word "dirt." Must mean the singer is not responsible for the actions he has been condemned for. My bad...LOL!
  • Michael from Kissimmee, FlAs far as the last line goes I believe the correct word is "shirt;" as in "it's only her love that keeps me wearing this shirt." The condemned man has chosen to stay and take his punishment because to escape his fate would hurt her more than what is about to happen. At least that's my idea.
  • Jorge from Mexico, MexicoOne of the preferred songs by the Gibb brothers to start their concerts.
  • Chris from Los Angeles, CaDoes anybody have any idea what the published lyrics are for the final verse of this song? I have seen many different lyrics and none of them make sense. The majority of the lyrics sites have as "Well, I laughed but that didn't hurt.
    And it's only her love that keeps me wearing this dirt" Huh?
  • Chris from Los Angeles, CaDoes anybody have any idea what the published lyrics are for the final verse of this song? I have seen many different lyrics and none of them make sense. The majority of the lyrics sites have as "Well, I laughed but that didn't hurt.
    And it's only her love that keeps me wearing this dirt" Huh?
  • Don from Kinnelon, Nj"I told him I'm in no hurry" is one of the best lines ever,pure deadpan irony.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnI remember this Bee Gees hit from the late 60s and to me it's one of the most depressing songs of that era. Granted, a song about someone on the verge of death sounds depressing. For years, I always though that the line "I told him I'm in no hurry" was "I told my mama 'no hurry'".
  • Drew from B\'ham, AlI suspect the urgency has a lot to do w/ the repentant renegade's name plastered/not plastered in abhorrence. No telling what a wife can do w/ the reputation of her husband! LOL. It only makes sense that he'd want to be remembered for his change of heart, not his infamous past.
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