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Welcome To The Working Week
Elvis Costello Lyrics


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Now that your picture's in the paper being rhythmically admired
And you can have anyone that you have ever desired
All you gotta tell me now is why, why, why, why?

Welcome to the working week
Oh, I know it don't thrill you, I hope it don't kill you
Welcome to the working week
You gotta do it till you're through it, so you better get to it

All of your family had to kill to survive
And they're still waitin' for their big day to arrive
But if they knew how I felt, they'd bury me alive

Welcome to the working week
Oh, I know it don't thrill you, I hope it don't kill you
Welcome to the working week
You gotta do it till you're through it, so you better get to it

I hear you sayin', "Hey, the city's alright," when you only read about it in books
Spend all your money gettin' so convinced that you never even bother to look
Sometimes I wonder if we're livin' in the same land
Why d'you want to be my friend when I feel like a juggler running out of hands?

Welcome to the working week
Oh, welcome to the working week

Overall Meaning

The song Welcome To The Working Week by Elvis Costello comments on the monotony of daily life and the expectations that come with working-class society. The first two lines describe a successful individual who has achieved fame and has the ability to have anything they desire. The repeated question of "why" implies doubt and dissatisfaction. This highlights the message that even with success, life can still feel unfulfilled.


The chorus, "Welcome to the working week, you gotta do it till you're through it, so you better get to it," communicates the idea that we are all bound to our daily routines and must keep pushing through until we can finally rest. The third verse details the idea that societal pressure causes one to conform to the image that society imposes, such as the notion that success is everything. However, society fails to accommodate the individual, and ultimately, one still feels unfulfilled.


The song portrays the idea that it is difficult, but necessary, to live through the working week, to meet societal expectations and create value in one's life, even if we might not find instant gratification or passion in it. This message is universal and is still relevant today.


Line by Line Meaning

Now that your picture's in the paper being rhythmically admired
Now that you've achieved fame or notoriety and people are talking about you


And you can have anyone that you have ever desired
And you have the power to attract and be with whoever you want


All you gotta tell me now is why, why, why, why?
All you need to do is explain to me why you're not happy despite all these things


Welcome to the working week
Welcome to the world of work


Oh, I know it don't thrill you, I hope it don't kill you
I understand that work may not be exciting, but I hope it's not so bad that it destroys you


You gotta do it till you're through it, so you better get to it
You have to work until you're done, so you better start working now


All of your family had to kill to survive
Your family had to work hard and make sacrifices to stay alive


And they're still waitin' for their big day to arrive
And they're still hoping for a time when their hard work pays off


But if they knew how I felt, they'd bury me alive
But if they knew how unhappy I am, they would be shocked


I hear you sayin', "Hey, the city's alright," when you only read about it in books
I hear you talking about how great the city is, but you only know about it from reading books


Spend all your money gettin' so convinced that you never even bother to look
You spend so much money on experiences and things that you don't take the time to actually experience them


Sometimes I wonder if we're livin' in the same land
Sometimes I wonder if we're experiencing the same reality


Why d'you want to be my friend when I feel like a juggler running out of hands?
Why do you want to be friends with me when I feel overwhelmed and like I can't handle everything?


Welcome to the working week
Welcome to the world of work




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Elvis Costello

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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