|Elvis Costello – Welcome To The Working Week Lyrics||10 years ago|
I 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...
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