According to Bob Dylan, Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell is the greatest song ever written.
It was Campbell’s greatest success when it was released as a single in 1968 and peaked at number two on the US pop chart and third on the US country chart. The song is about a lineman for a telephone company who is working alone in a rural Kansas town.
Bob Dylan is regarded as one of the greatest lyricists of all time because of both his poetic lyricism and unique writing style. Some of the most recognizable tracks in popular music, including “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Blowin’ in the Wind,” were written by Dylan. His songs are frequently praised for their social commentary and ability to perfectly capture the mood of the time in which they were composed.
Its place in culture genuinely causes a lot of conflicts. The most important statement seems to be Dylan’s. No other artist during the period in which it was written was extolling virtues with as much vivacious truth as Dylan was, so the poignancy of the praise does not reside in the fact that it came from a revered figure of the arts. However, the shining prayer of a lowly craftsman captured his attention with its shining poetic sincerity.
Dylan’s muse was searching for that exact feeling. When he first began dispensing these wise teachings to the populace, he was just a young boy. However, these fable-like facts were misinterpreted as the rally cries of a firebrand vying to be society’s moral judgment. Dylan withdrew when a politically motivated mob picketed his home and urged him to participate in direct action. He let go of the aging burden of responsibility and merely pretended to be young again.
Glenn also talked about the song himself and revealed to BBC Radio 4 that he cried when he heard it. He said, “It made me cry because I was homesick. When I was on the way home, I saw all these electrical wires and the telephone poles, it made me cry.” The idea for the song came to him when he was driving along the Kansas-Oklahoma border when he saw a lonesome telephone lineman working atop a telephone pole. These telephone lines serve as a symbol for both the unnoticed struggles of the average person in general and a unique story about a lone worker on the highways in “Wichita Lineman.”
The writer of the song, Jimmy Webb explained. “Glen gave me a call from the studio and said, ‘Can you write me another song like ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix’, and I said, ‘no’, but he kind of mentioned the geographical genre and I took a swing at it and I called him back that afternoon and I said, ‘I don’t think this song is finished, but I’m going send it to you’. And the next time I heard it; it was on the record.”
Jimmy also said, “By the Kansas border the terrain absolutely flattens out… It goes on that way for about fifty miles, In the heat of summer, the heat rises off the road in this shimmering mirage, the telephone poles gradually materialise out of this far distant perspective and they become large and rush towards you.”
“As it happened, I suddenly looked up at one of these telephone poles and there was a man on top talking on the telephone and he was gone very quickly and I had another 25 miles of solitude to meditate on this apparition. It was a splendidly vivid cinematic image that I lifted out of my memory when I was writing this song about an ordinary guy, a working-class type of dude.”
Dylan referred to it as “the greatest song ever composed” because of its mystical depth. Furthermore, it was never even completed in Webb’s opinion. Unfinished is how it was always intended to be, according to Dylan.