Sometimes A Fantasy

Album: Glass Houses (1980)
Charted: 36


  • 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

Hawksley Workman

Hawksley WorkmanSongwriter Interviews

One of Canada's most popular and eclectic performers, Hawksley tells stories about his oldest songs, his plentiful side projects, and the ways that he keeps his songwriting fresh.

Def Leppard Quiz

Def Leppard QuizMusic Quiz

Can you name Def Leppard's only #1 hit in America? Get rocked with this adrenalized quiz.

Loudon Wainwright III

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.

Stephen Christian of Anberlin

Stephen Christian of AnberlinSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer/lyricist for Anberlin breaks down "Impossible" and covers some tracks from their 2012 album Vital.

Barney Hoskyns Explores The Forgotten History Of Woodstock, New York

Barney Hoskyns Explores The Forgotten History Of Woodstock, New YorkSong Writing

Our chat with Barney Hoskyns, who covers the wild years of Woodstock - the town, not the festival - in his book Small Town Talk.

Tom Keifer of Cinderella

Tom Keifer of CinderellaSongwriter Interviews

Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.