I am a workin' man
But I ain't worked for a while
Like some old tin can
From the bottom of the pile
From the bottom of the pile

I have lost my way
But I hear tell
About a heaven in Alberta
Where they've got all hell for a basement

My words are like a rope
That's wrapped around my throat
Wash my mouth with soap
For words unfit to quote

I have lost my way
But I hear tell
About a heaven in Alberta
Where they've got all hell for a basement

I have lost my way
But I hear tell
About a heaven in Alberta
Where they've got all hell for a basement

And now I'm free to go
But time cannot remove
The only life I know
Now only time will prove
Yes only time will prove

If I have lost my way
'Cause I hear tell
About a heaven in Alberta
Where they've got all hell for a basement

Yeah I lost my way
But I hear tell
About a heaven in Alberta
Where they've got all hell for a basement


Lyrics submitted by TwistedB, edited by lachiffre

All Hell For A Basement song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI just found out from wikipedia that "all hell for a basement" is a quote from Rudyard Kipling referring to the vast underground oil reserves under Medicine Hat, Alberta.

    Oh, and this is a great song. Big Sugar rocks!
    pk_boomeron June 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthank goodness for pk_boomer! lol.

    i first heard this song last year, and it caught my ear because i'm an albertan. it wasn't until months later, i caught the line 'all hell for a basement' on a commercial about the history of alberta. of course i didn't catch what was mentioned. i originally thought this song was about coal miners or something.

    i love anything that mentions alberta/canada, so now i rec this song to anyone who wants to hear something good!
    little_arsoniston August 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlittle_arsonist, you must like Four Strong Winds by Neil Young too then! Myself, I'm partial to "Running Back to Saskatoon" (that's where I'm from).

    And yes I know Ian Tyson wrote and performed that song first. But the Neil Young version is the only one you will hear on the radio these days :( Plus that's another reason for you to like it, Ian Tyson is a rancher in Alberta!
    pk_boomeron August 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI heard an interview with Gordie Johnson where he said this song is about a guy leaving Newfoundland becasue he couldn' find work, and traveling to Alberta where there is more work than people. Regarding the reference to Kipling, I'm pretty sure that oil hadn't been discovered at the time he was around and Medicine Hat sits on vast natural gas reserves, not oil. I don't think Kipling mad the trek to 'the Hat' as he was in India most of the time. So there.
    wetcoasteron March 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou're right wetcoaster, he was referring to natural gas reserves, not oil. But I'm still pretty sure Kipling made the comment about Medicine Hat, whether he was ever there or not. I believe everything I read in Wikipedia!

    So there! :P
    pk_boomeron April 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou're right wetcoaster, he was referring to natural gas reserves, not oil. But I'm still pretty sure Kipling made the comment about Medicine Hat, whether he was ever there or not. I believe everything I read in Wikipedia!

    So there! :P
    pk_boomeron April 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd about Kipling never leaving India:

    "From 1897 until his death, Kipling made England his base, although he continued to travel extensively. In particular, he spent his winters until 1909 in South Africa, toured Egypt, made trips to Europe before and after the Great War, and visited Canada twice."

    There is also a town in Saskatchewan called Kipling, that is purportedly named for Rudyard Kipling to honor his travels through Canada.

    So there
    pk_boomeron July 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe wikipedia article has it more or less correct. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… The line, used as BS's title, has been attributed to Rudyard Kipling.

    I grew up there.

    I remember September 1981 when, there was a new dude in the Crescent Heights High School band, playing a wicked bass. This guy was Gordie Johnson, just in from the Golden Horseshoe as I recall, two years older than me and set to graduate and disappear within a year.

    Although he only spent a year or so there as I know, it must have had some impact on him. The last time I saw him wasat that school's music instructor's retirement ceremony/concert in 2003.

    BTW

    1) I've been playing in bands ever since.

    2) Terri Clark went through that music program as well. Started when I was in Gr 12. I used to jam with her a lot. Gordie too.
    radiosondeon August 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe guy Kipling rode through Medicine Hat on a train and said although this place is quite pleasant it seems to have all hell for a basement. He was referring to the flares of flames shooting up from the natural gas reserves.
    johnnyRon September 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCan't believe this band broke up. This song has to go down as one of the best rock songs in Canadian history.
    jmo78on October 19, 2006   Link

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