"Welcome To The Working Week" as written by and Elvis Costello....
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


Lyrics submitted by sbaker2

"Welcome to the Working Week" as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Welcome To The Working Week song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentWell, the first line's about masturbation. The rest is about how tough working-class life is. These things are presumably related.
    chaordicon April 08, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI dunno, but I put this on a mixtape for a girl I had a fling who was climbing "the ladder" at the time. It was very thoughtful of me to do that.
    Matty Dubson December 19, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWHY DO PEOPLE ALWAYS THINK ITS ABOUT A GIRL? this is very straight forward- its about hating work but doing it Anyways because you have to
    isearchtobeloston April 24, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentobviously people are gonna think it's to do with a girl somewhere along the line as the first line is "now that your picture's in the paper/ being rhythmically admired"
    hoitsmithon December 25, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe best opener for an album ever!! It's absolutely about hating your job but having to do it anyway. it seems (at least to me) that he may be talking to himself, but that's just me
    uncomplicatedon February 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI used to think it was just about being dissatisfied at work in general, but after looking up the lyrics, I think it's specifically about a prostitute/porn star/page 3 girl! Either way, a girl doing some sort of sex-work. The line about your picture in the paper being "rythmically admired", as someone above pointed out, is surely about masturbation (when else is admiration ever "rythmic"?! Especially over newspapers?? I'm thinking The Sun...), and the song is addressed to the person who is being admired, who clearly doesn't like their job very much. It could be a guy, but speaking very generally, the people whose pictures are "rythmically admired" in our society are usually women, so that's why I imagine it being about a girl.

    The 2nd and 3rd verses are about hating your job and having to do it anyway. This could apply to any job, but there are a couple of other things that make me think it's about sex-work. The lines

    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

    Sounds like it's about a split between the dream city that you read about in books that people with money can afford to pretend they live in, and the grim reality of the city and the way some people have to live. Prostitution could be part of this grim reality; it's often understood as a class/poverty issue.

    The line "I know it don't thrill you" could be another clue- the word thrill is often used to mean sexual excitement (maybe a little dated now but yeah, this song is kind of old...) so it could be an acknowledgement that even though a porn star/prostitute's job is to LOOK turned on, it is only an act, so ironically, her job don't thrill her...in any sense of the word.

    I admit the song from verse 2 onwards could be about ANY job, but that bit about your picture in the paper being rythmically admired... what else could that be about??! Please feel free to enlighten me if there is a totally innocent non-porn/prostitution explanation that I'm just not getting...
    Schmosieon June 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat is the actual meaning of this song? Theres a debate going on between my friends. Any idea's?
    sbaker2on June 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe song is about a girl that i think he was involved with and she became famous or something and now she doesn't have any time for him. or maybe he doesn't have enough time for her.. i don't know. that's what i get out of it at least.
    blogspotsuckson July 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhy do people always talk about songs like they're actual experiences of the musician?

    This song is about how busy life is. family had to kill to survive. the singer doesn't feel like any of it is worth it. I hope it don't kill you. everything is read about in books. He's too busy for relationships even, and we all know how much that blows the big donkey dick.

    why why why is this corporate ladder so far-reaching? I wish I was a millionaire...I don't really want to work...DAMN IT. someone donate money to me. Candesvara.
    Candesvaraon October 05, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI hope this don't kill Candesvara, but...

    EC worked as a computer programmer, and recorded my aim is true by taking sick days off from that job. He wrote a lot of his songs on the way home from work on the train.
    --
    Welcome to the workin' week.
    You gotta do it till you're through it so you better get to it.
    --
    could be indicative of how EC knew that the songs he had written were good enough for sucess, and that he had to keep up with work long enough to be able to record the album.
    I'd say that this song was derived from EC's experiences, but altered with artistic license to suit the story.
    green viion June 02, 2005   Link

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