I could never sleep my way to the top
'Cause my alarm clock always wakes me right up
And since my options had been whittled away
I struck a bargain with my radio DJ
I said I'd like this song to be number one
He said "I'd really really like to help you my son"
And then I knew that I would have him to thank
Because he asked me how much I had in the bank

He said to think long term investment and
That all the others had forgiven themselves
He said the net reward would justify
The colossal mess they'd made of their lives

He said the record wouldn't have to be hot
And no one ever seemed to care if it's not
It would depend on something else that I've got
And that the other ones who'd given it a shot
Had seen a modest sum grow geometrically
And then they had forgiven themselves
Because the net reward had justified
The colossal mess they'd made of their lives

Hey Mr. DJ, I thought you said we had a deal
I thought you said, "You scratch my back and I'll scratch your record"
And I thought you said we had a deal

Well, I told you about the world (its address)
I wonder when they're gonna clean up the mess
You know the rabid child is still tuning in
Chess piece face's patience must be wearing thin
Because they haven't played this song on the air
Not that anyone but me even cared
And the Disk Jockey has moved out of town
The district courthouse says he's nowhere to be found

He said to think long term investment and
That all the others had forgiven themselves
He said the net reward would justify
The colossal mess they'd made of their lives

Hey Mr. DJ, I thought you said we had a deal
I thought you said, "You scratch my back and I'll scratch your record"
And I thought you said we had a deal


Lyrics submitted by qshapadooy

Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had a Deal song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentIt's a song about payola. The DJ was bribed for airplay, then skipped town with the money.

    The last verse contains references to three songs from TMBG's first two albums: "The World's Address", "The Rabid Child", and "Chess Piece Face".
    DavidGrimmeron July 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. It's so witty. I wonder if it's a reference to something like this that really happened to the Johns . . .
    LittleBriddieon March 05, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne line in this song that slightly confuses some people is "you scratch my back and I'll scratch your record". Some people assume that the scratching of the record refers to the scratching method of turntablism that hip-hop DJs employ, but there's another possible interpretation. I learned when I worked at a high-school radio station that some DJs will put physical scratches deep into a record to cause a specific song to be impossible to play. This is usually done when there is a level of profanity in the song so bad that they don't even want anyone at the station to be tempted to play it just to be rebelious (or to play it by accident). So I think what's happening here is that, not only is the DJ scamming the poor sap by skipping town with his payola money, but before he took off he added insult to injury by damaging the record in question so it won't get played at all.
    UglinessManon January 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentuglinessman:

    he is recalling the deal they had. he is saying that the dj TOLD him if you scratch my back (pay me) i'll scratch (play) your record. obviously a play on you scratch my back i'll scratch yours. It clearly means in this case that the dj said he'd play the record, -not damage it
    JeffKaos71on February 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyou are all idiots, and for all the worst reasons too. It truly is a shame that people as stupid as you must take the air of us who are truly worthy of life :(
    awsomo3000on June 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhich is why you have come up with a much better explanation for the lyrics than the rest of us. . . . wait. . .

    You all have this one down pat.

    Hoo Hah! Nerdfighters!
    Crorseon September 12, 2008   Link

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