Music

Country Rewind: 'It's Me Again, Margaret' Is Still Funny in a World Without Pay Phones

Society's changed a good bit since Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Stevens found success in 1984 with "It's Me Again, Margaret," a hilarious tale of a prank caller and his hapless victim. Pay telephone booths are hardly a thing, and Willard McVane doesn't strike us as someone who'd be smart enough in the 21st century to work around caller ID.

Yet as backed up by a recent music video made with Pistol Annies member Angaleena Presley, "It's Me Again, Margaret" still brings the laughs whenever it's performed at Stevens' Nashville-area dinner theater, the CabaRay.

The song's a decade older than Stevens' 1984 album He Thinks He's Ray Stevens. Songwriter Paul Craft debuted his own work in 1974 for the Truth label, with his recording reaching No. 55 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. Craft, who passed away in 2014, was the Nashville songwriter behind Mark Chesnutt's "Brother Jukebox," The Eagles' "Midnight Flyer," Bobby Bare's "Dropkick Me, Jesus" and the Seldom Scene's often-covered "Keep Me From Blowing Away."

He Thinks He's Ray Stevens also debuted an even bigger hit, "The Mississippi Squirrel Revival." Other selections include the Johnny Cash parody "Ned Nostril (And His South Seas Paradise, Puts Your Blues on Ice, Cheap at Twice the Price Band -- Ikky-Ikky, Ukky-Ukky)" and a version of The Monkees' theme that still drives parents up the wall on road trips.

Read More: "Santa Claus is Watching You" + 9 More All-Time Great Ray Stevens Songs

Overall, "It's Me Again, Margaret" is still funny in the age of cell phones, and it should rank up there with "Ahab the Arab," "The Streak" and "Shriner's Convention" if you're putting together a Stevens playlist.

"It's Me Again, Margaret" Lyrics

Well, there once was a feller named Willard McVane
And he only had just one thought on his brain
Every evening about midnight he'd sneak off alone
And call the same lady on a pay telephone

"It's me again, Margaret.
Hello, is this Margaret?
You don't know me, Margaret
But I know you."

Well, this upset the lady and it gave her the blues
So she called up the police, said "What shall I do?"
The chief of detectives came round to her home
And eavesdropped upon them on her upstairs phone

"It's me again, Margaret.
Hello, is this Margaret?
Margaret...I know it's you, Margaret!
Are you naked?"

Well, they called up Ma Bell and they traced him on down
To a funky old phone booth on the outskirts of town
It was there that the vice squad with their field glasses read
The lips of that amorous man as he said

"It's me again, Margaret...
Hello? Is this...is this Margaret?
I know it's you, Margaret!
I bet you can't guess what I'm doing..."

Well, they cuffed him and dragged him to the station downtown
And they allowed him one phone call 'fore the jailer came round
He wet his chapped lips and he cleared his young throat
Then he dialed the telephone and softly he spoke...

"It's me again, Margaret...
They got me, Margaret
You ain't going to miss me, Margaret, I know that
But I'll miss you

And when I get out, Margaret
I'm going to come over there with an egg beater
And a live chicken, and some peach preserves!
We'll have a good old time, Margaret!"

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Country Rewind: 'It's Me Again, Margaret' Is Still Funny in a World Without Pay Phones