Workin' For MCA
Lynyrd Skynyrd Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Seven years of hard luck, comin' down on me
From the Florida border, yes, up to Nashville, Tennessee
I worked in every joint you can name, mister, every honky tonk
Along come Mr. Yankee slicker, sayin' "Maybe you're what I want"

Want you to sign your contract
Want you to sign today
Gonna give you lots of money
Workin' for MCA

Oh, nine thousand dollars, that's all we could win
But we smiled at the Yankee slicker with a big ol' Southern grin
They're gonna take me out to California, gonna make me a superstar
Just pay me all of my money, mister, maybe you won't get a scar

Want you to sign your contract
Want you to sign today
Gonna give you lots of money
Workin' for MCA

Oh, suckers took my money since I was seventeen
If it ain't no pencil pusher, then it got to be a honky tonk queen
But I'll sign my contract, baby, and I want you people to know
That every penny that I make, I'm gonna see where my money goes

Want you to sign your contract
Want you to sign today




Gonna give you lots of money
Workin' for MCA

Overall Meaning

Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Workin' for MCA" is a song that tells the story of the band's early struggles, in which they were forced to play in small-time honky tonk bars and clubs before being discovered by MCA Records. The song's opening lines, "Seven years of hard luck, comin' down on me/ From the Florida border, yes up to Nashville, Tennessee," suggests a difficult journey filled with setbacks and struggles. The singer of the song, who is likely the band's frontman and lead vocalist, witnessed this first hand by working in every honky tonk in the region while dreaming of something bigger.


The song takes a turn when a "Mr. Yankee slicker" comes along and offers the band a recording contract. The singer is excited about the prospect of getting paid for their music after years of struggling, as evidenced by the lyrics "Gonna give you lots of money/ Workin' for MCA." But they are also aware of the music industry's notorious reputation for exploiting artists out of their hard-earned money, and are careful to state that they will keep a close eye on where their earnings go.


In summary, "Workin' for MCA" is a tribute to southern rock when it was just getting started. It highlights the realities of a struggling musician's life and the temptation of selling out to the highest bidder who could offer the possibility of getting their music out there. However, despite the potential pitfalls of the music industry, the song's narrator signs the contract and remains determined to keep an eye on their earnings and make their dreams come true.


Line by Line Meaning

Seven years of hard luck, comin' down on me
I have been struggling for seven years from Florida to Nashville.


From the Florida border, yes up to Nashville, Tennessee
I have faced hardships along my journey from Florida to Tennessee.


I worked in every joint you can name, mister, every honky tonk
I have worked in every bar and club there is.


Along come Mr. Yankee slicker, sayin' maybe you're what I want
One day a man approached me saying he could give me what I wanted.


Want you to sign your contract
He wants me to sign a contract.


Want you to sign today
He wants me to sign the contract today.


Gonna give you lots of money
He promises to pay me a lot of money.


Workin' for MCA
I will be working for MCA.


Oh nine thousand dollars, that's all we could win
The only offer I received was for $9,000.


But we smiled at the Yankee slicker with a big ol' Southern grin
Even though the offer was low, we accepted it with a smile.


They're gonna take me out to California, gonna make me a superstar
They promised to take me to California and make me famous.


Just pay me all of my money, mister, maybe you won't get a scar
As long as they pay me what they owe me, there won't be any problems.


Suckers took my money since I was seventeen
I have been ripped off since I was a teenager.


If it ain't no pencil pusher, it got to be a honky tonk queen
Everyone who has taken my money has either been a businessman or a woman in a bar.


But I'll sign my contract baby and I want you people to know
I will still sign the contract, but I want everyone to know my terms.


That every penny that I make, I'm gonna see where my money goes
I will make sure to keep track of all my earnings.


Want you to sign your contract
The man still wants me to sign the contract.


Want you to sign today
He still wants me to sign the contract today.


Gonna give you lots of money
He promises to pay me a lot of money.


Workin' for MCA
I will be working for MCA.




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Edward C. King, Ronnie Van Zant

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Genre not found
Artist not found
Album not found
Song not found
Most interesting comment from YouTube:

MonkeyStank

Hi Chad, I'm from Jax as well who was their age, but went to a different school than them on the Westside.

I didn't know any of them personally, but my cousin did who was a guitarist, and he would take me with him to watch them practice off Plymouth St.

This guy had an incredible garage with full sounding equipment in it. I say sounding equipment because I don't know the stuff, but they had a huge sound board with all the slide and push buttons on it.

I joked a few times with the guys, but I was 17 then myself, but never really knew any of them.

One day in 77, I went to New York to compete in a kick boxing tournament, and saw flyer that Skynyrd was playing in Asbury Park New Jersey. It was on the way home after my loss, lol.

It was cool to see them unfurl a huge confederate flag and the crowd roared with their approval. I thought that was odd. It would have them kicked off stage today.

Ended up being a month or two later was their plane crash. I was devastated.



All comments from YouTube:

Zeb Johnson

Most underrated Skynyrd song IMO non stop banger from start to finish 🤘💞

kevin smith

man the guitar solo is too epic😮

kevin osborne

Great song! Really should been played more on radio

Duke Hooten

In your face song from the first note. I wear headphones so I don't know how loud I'm singing along until my son bangs on the jamb of my office and gives me "the look". My singing is terrible, but I can't NOT sing along. The piano/guitar solo is killer.

Kim Blackwell

I wish I could hear this song on the radio today. Ain't never going to be nothing like this again ever

BoomerSwag

For real Kim

Zachary Peery

Call ur local rock station and request it played!

RE: fresh

Heard it the other day. Middays with moody 105.5 up north mn style

Will Chaney

Just discovered it on the radio today! Don't lose hope just yet

Pat Disaster

On our way from Laredo to Houston to see the Supersuckers .....they jammed this and before that they played Rainbow long live rock n roll .....sipping a road beer and a key bump or two....

9 More Replies...
More Comments

More Versions