"My Music At Work" as written by Robert Baker, Gordon Downie, Johnny Fay, Joseph Paul Langlois and Robert Gordon Sinclair....
Everything is bleak
It's the middle of the night
You're all alone and
The dummies might be right
You feel like a jerk
My music at work
My music at work

Avoid trends and cliches
Don't try to be up to date
And when the sunlight gets the olive oil
Don't hesitate
The night's so long it hurts
My music at work
In a symbol to near or far
Or the anatomy of a stain
To determine where you are
In a sink full of ganges, I'd remain
No matter what you heard
My music at work
My music at work
My music at work

I call it Olga Waits
The cloud that entertains
The dim possibility of
Showing some restraint
The rain came down berserk
My music at work
My music at work

On a star beyond the chart
Or the dark side of a drop of rain
Determining where you are
In a sink full of ganges, I remain
No matter what you heard
My music at work
My music at work
My music at work

Everything is bleak
It's the middle of the night
You're all alone and
The dummies might be right
Outside, the darkness lurks
My music at work
My music at work

Hey fallen hummingbird
My music at work
From the middle of the earth
My music at work
Bound for bed without dessert
My music at work
My music at work
My music at work


Lyrics submitted by black_cow_of_death

"My Music at Work" as written by Johnny Fay Gordon Downie

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

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My Music At Work song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI have always thought that this song has two meanings. One- Gord's music influencing and/or making us think about things we wouldn't without it, as well as his words being in our thoughts as we go through our work-a-day lives. Two- Music is the band's work, and this could also be a recipe of sorts for how they develop their songs, "avoiding trends and cliches", like so much pop culture, and making music that inspires, makes us think, or simply leaves us wondering the deeper meanings.
    hipstresson August 22, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGord Downie - the wise - stole the title from a radio station's tag line - then used it brilliantly to provide so many deeper meanings - each more complex than the previous, only GD himslef knows them for sure
    canadianJAYon June 07, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI haven't interpreted all of this yet. But he seems to be speaking of writing music, and how his songs are useful to others.. as well as the fact that writing songs is his job. The first verse, referring to people who turn to one of his songs to get them through a rough patch. The second verse being about the act of songwriting.. and the "sunlight" hitting the olive oil, seems to be a metaphor for inspiration, and that you have to act on that immediately, no matter what time it is, or what other things you're doing.

    The third verse seems to be referring to a cloud trying not to be a cloud, it doesn't work. Songwriting is something he has to do, and answering the call of inspiration, he has no choice. Olga can't wait, and neither can Gord :)

    etc etc... i think it all refers to the main them in some way. My favorite verse is the Olga Waits verse.. "The cloud that entertains the dim possibility of showing some restraint." Haha, what a great phrase, and well placed rhythmically in the tune.
    oxejinon February 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love trying to figure out what Gord is trying to say in all the hip's songs. its a bit of a challenge. I think you hit the nail right on the head CanadianJAY.
    BigHeadJedon April 30, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's about being alone, either at work working overtime or whatever, music is your only friend, getting you through the tough times. "outside the darkness lurks" is a great line.
    alloowishuson May 08, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI feel that it means, that the music he listens to work is so much different than the music he would listen to at home. He's stuck at work and is forced to listen to something he normally would not, so he puts up with it, and sings along to it.
    cheesebaccaon February 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis song is about the process of recording in the studio, late at night (in the rain) and the lonely feeling of trying to create something meaningful while feeling rather small. It is work1
    alex310194on August 26, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it is about what Gord thinks the purpose of his music is. It seems to be about a guy working the night shift and his only companion is his music, specifically The Hip's music. It seems like a kind of janitorial job. "You're all alone and dummies might be right." The person is thinking about his life decisions and maybe not taking some advice throughout his life. "The anatomy of a stain"."In a sink full of ganges, I'd remain". The latter is basically saying sink full of crap (The Ganges river in India is notoriously pollluted). The person is basically day dreaming about all sorts of think, the rain failling outside, the "star beyond the chart" etc.
    alloowishuson August 29, 2016   Link

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