"This Devil's Workday" as written by and Isaac Brock....
All those people that you know.
All those people that you know.
All those people that you know,
Floatin' in the river are logs.

I could buy myself a reason.
I could sell myself a job.
I could hang myself on treason.
All the folks I know are gone.

All the people that you know.
All the people that you know.
All the people that you know
Floatin' in the river are logs.

So I ate the wedding cake
'til the whole damn thing was gone.
And I'm gonna drown the ocean.
Now ain't none o' that so wrong?

All the people that you know.
All those people that you know.
All those people that you know
Floatin' in the river are gone.

Gonna take this sack of puppies.
Gonna set it out to freeze.
Gonna climb around on all fours
'til all the blood falls out my knees.

All the people that you know.
All the people that you know.
All those people that you know
Floatin' in the river are logs.
Well let's take this potted plant
To the woods and set it free.
I'm gonna tell the owners
Just how nice that was of me.

I could buy myself a reason.
I could sell myself a job.
I could hang myself on treason.
Oh I am my own damn god.
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha


Lyrics submitted by nuclearjesus

"This Devil's Workday" as written by Isaac Brock

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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This Devil's Workday song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentThis sounds a whole hell of a lot like a Tom Waits song.
    Ends In Failureon May 01, 2004   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationI agree that this song is about nihilism, and the rejection of the community's god in favor of putting oneself up as god. However, I would add that there seems to be an underlying element of loneliness in that rejection.

    All those people that you know are both 'logs' and 'gone.' If they were just useless, they would only be logs. But they're not just logs floating in the river, they're /gone,/ they're dead. To me, this conjures the picture of a wash of bodies floating lazily down a river, face down, like logs... all those folks you know were your community. Now they're bodies.

    The speaker (singer?) starts out by telling you how all the folks you know - YOU, the one he's talking to - are only logs. He is telling you that they are meaningless as he tells you that they are dead. In trying to glorify his philosophy, he will repeat this over and over, the folks you know are logs, the folks you know are gone, so as to convince you that your community can't save you, that his way is the right way.

    He then explains how his way has value without people:
    "I can buy myself a reason, I can sell myself a job" - he doesn't need to invest in someone else's reason for living or grand cause, he can buy his own on his own. He doesn't need to sell himself to anybody in order to get a job, because he can work for himself. "I can hang myself for treason" - he can even be his own judge, jury, and executioner if he decides he's done any evil in the world.

    It becomes apparent in the rest of the song, however, that he will never do this except to benefit himself.

    "So I ate the wedding cake til the whole damn thing was gone" - Wedding cakes are specifically made for a community, and they celebrate the birth of a new family unit, which is the cornerstone of a community. By eating all that cake himself, the speaker is scorning that community by taking more than his "fair share." There is no "fair share" to him because nothing is "fair" unless he says it is.

    "And I'm gonna drown the ocean" - I can only guess that this means that he's going to drown the whole ocean of people. It's ironic to drown water. Perhaps he is doing something ironic to people - taking advantage of the community the way he feels they have taken advantage of him. "Now ain't none of that so wrong" because he judges it not to be so wrong, of course. Purely subjective of him, and the only subject he cares about is himself.

    "Going to take this sack of puppies
    Going to set it out to freeze
    Going to climb around on all fours
    Until all the blood falls out my knees"
    He doesn't value cute animals, and it isn't because he thinks of himself as a higher animal - he, himself, climbs around on all fours like a dog. He just doesn't care - freezing is a particularly apathetic way to kill something. He doesn't care if his animalistic lifestyle hurts him, he can damn well bleed to death out his knees from scraping them against the ground, he knows it and is practically bragging about how he doesn't care if he hurts himself.

    "Well, let's take this potted plant
    To the woods and set it free
    I'm going to tell the owners
    Just how nice that was of me"
    This is a proposition, unlike the puppies stanza, which was a statement of intent. It's a hypothetical proposition - he probably doesn't actually care about the freedom of the potted plant. He's just pointing out that people don't actually care about other's freedom. They judge what should be free and what should be locked up, and if you tell them different, they'll say you're crazy. Possibly the speaker feels that he was, (or that you are), a potted plant, and breaking him (or you) away from society's rules makes him (or you) 'free.'

    After this, he repeats his mantra again - "I am my own damn god." And he laughs. But it's bitter. He knows he's lost something, and he doesn't know what or why, because it's become this strange ache which warps him, ever present. He can't see it any more than a fish can see water. He has become an average devil.
    Mookahon April 12, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI interpret this as a declaration of independency.
    "All those people that you know
    Floating in the river are logs"
    People with freedom of choice are just going with the flow and not bothering to think for themselves.

    I can't in any way believe this song is related to satan in any way, but i do agree that this sounds a lot like Tom Jones.
    blenderheadon May 23, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentit sounds like a song a bad guy in an old cartoon would sing with the old jazzy horn they use
    SWYon September 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSeems to be a very nihilistic message. Essentially, I can do whatever I want because "I am my own damn god". None of it really mattes what we do and we're just logs floatin' in the river. Whatever it's saying... I dig 'dis.
    kingleroythompsonon April 20, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is one of those fuck-you-I-don't-need-anyone-else-and-you-can-all-go-fuck-yourselves songs. It's like a tantrum set to music. Great and I love it.
    thatredhotsongon December 17, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"I can't in any way believe this song is related to satan"

    Why NOT? It's called The Devil's Workday.

    I think you're right, moochersminion. Good News for People Who Love Bad News has this whole heaven/hell thing going on, and that's awesome. He's singing it from satan's POV, obviously. Day in the life....

    The "hang myself for treason" line is pretty damn awesome in my opinion. I think it refers to Judas Iscariot.

    God I love Modest Mouse for their symbolism and allusions. It's almost like literature.
    Kristybelleon January 23, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe dumbfuck who uploaded these lyrics forgot the brilliant "AH HA HA HA HA" at the end.
    blahblah123123on September 13, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJust signed up to put my 2 cents in on this song, since it doesn't seem like anyone else sees this song the way I do.

    I think it’s making fun of egotists and the song is a bunch of threats that someone who thinks they are better than everyone would make, metaphorically.

    “so I ate the wedding cake until the whole damn thing was gone” and “crawl around on all fours until the blood falls out my knees” is like saying “I’m doing something I am not supposed to do, even if it hurts me, and you can’t stop me”

    “and I’m gonna drown the ocean” Even though it’s impossible, he’s going to do it.

    “gonna take this sack of puppies, gonna set it out to freeze” Even though it’s cruel, he is going to do it

    “Let’s take this potted plant to the woods and set it free, and I’m gonna tell the owner just how nice that was of me” making fun of those who force their belief on you, and then feel all high and mighty about doing the right thing, even if you loved that plant- its better off in the wild.

    "all those people that you know, floating in the river are logs"- it’s like saying "yeah, I just turned everyone you know into an inanimate object, what are you gonna do about it? Nothing, that’s what I thought!”

    “buy myself a reason, sell myself a job, hang myself on treason for I am my own damn god” I can do whatever I want, even something that makes no sense, because I am so great. Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    Mable3691214on August 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's "This Devil's Workday". And I love the vocals in this song.
    modest-mouseon April 17, 2004   Link

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