Sometimes A Fantasy

Album: Glass Houses (1980)
Charted: 36

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about phone sex, which in the days before the Internet was a popular outlet for sexually frustrated men like the narrator of this song. The subject matter is fairly obvious considering the sound of the phone at the beginning of the song, but Joel was careful to leave the lyrics ambiguous enough to make sure the song received airplay. The video was another matter, as it shows Joel engaging in phone sex.
  • As indicated by the dialing tones of the phone in the beginning of the song, the number dialed is 516-673-1112. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Annabelle - Eugene, OR
  • When introducing this song in concert, Joel has told a story about it being inspired by a girl named Debbie, who he was into, but the farthest he got with her was talking on the phone.

Comments: 7

  • John from Long Island, NyIn the 1980's the 516 area code covered Long Island, and the 673 exchange was for the town of Huntington, where Billy Joel lived.
  • Aimee from PhiladelphiaJust saw Billy in concert tonight and he said this song was about a girl he met in Philly and really liked but they only talked on the phone.
  • Dan from New York, Ny(516) - Nassau County, Long Island. Though, back then, everything east of Queens was (516)
  • Joe from Grande Prairie Alberta, Cape VerdeWhy would Joel write about phone sex, when at the time of this record he was married to super-hot Christie Brinkley? I guess the divorce thing was a foregone...
  • Tony from Chicago, IlI really like this song! I did not know that's about sex until i read that here!
  • Dale from Santa Fe, NmWikipedia says 516 is the area code on Long Island.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrI wonder if the phone number dialed is one of Billy Joel's friends. Also, is 516 the area code in New York City? Or is that Long Island?
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.

Ian Anderson of Jethro TullSongwriter Interviews

The flautist frontman talks about touring with Led Zeppelin, his contribution to "Hotel California", and how he may have done the first MTV Unplugged.

Director Mark Pellington ("Jeremy," "Best Of You")Song Writing

Director Mark Pellington on Pearl Jam's "Jeremy," and music videos he made for U2, Jon Bon Jovi and Imagine Dragons.

Dave MasonSongwriter Interviews

Dave reveals the inspiration for "Feelin' Alright" and explains how the first song he ever wrote became the biggest hit for his band Traffic.

Grammar In LyricsMusic Quiz

Lyrics don't always follow the rules of grammar. Can you spot the ones that don't?

Chris TomlinSongwriter Interviews

The king of Christian worship music explains talks about writing songs for troubled times.