Petrified for the millionth time
Slowly my soul evaporates
No parachutes no dismal clouds
Just this fucking space

I know what's coming, I'm not working
I know what's coming, I'm not working

I'm sweating out intelligence
Like I don't know what it is
Clinging to the microwaves
And singing with the sound waves

I know what's coming, I'm not working
I know what's coming, I'm not working

Delerium on helium
I am my own experience

Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah

I know what's coming, I'm not working
I know what's coming, I'm not working
I'm not working, I'm not working, I'm not working

Lyrics submitted by pumkinhed

I'm Not Working Lyrics as written by Nicholas Jones James Bradfield

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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I'm Not Working song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationIt's been fairly well documented that a lot of the lyrics on this album centre around the depression Nicky Wire was suffering from at the time that only exasperated his solitude that he found beauty in.
    "I know what's coming"
    "I'm not working"
    Possible references to both the cliched belief of the treatment of people with mental health issues, plus the idea that he believes he "is not working"
    pickefooon February 21, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentListening to 'This is My Truth Tell Me Yours' again this evening. What a brave album - I remember having a bit of an argument with my NME-loving stepbrother about it, when NME slated the album and he said the Manics had fallen off. As far as I'm concerned he's a groupthink moron and this is their second-best album, with the large-scale politics put aside for a minute and the personal-is-political becoming the focus (the war veteran from La Tristessa reappearing in 'If you Tolerate This', the lyrical genius of My Little Empire). And some of the songs are not political at all - these songs are by far the best examples of Nicky Wire's writing before he got tired and cliched ('Autumnsong' from Send Away the Tigers being a particularly cringeworthy example). But here, 'Born a Girl', 'Be Natural' and 'I'm not Working' are lyrically incisive, scathingly honest and emotionally undiluted. James and Sean's instrumentation is lilting, aching and sympathetic - totally different to anything prior to this record, save perhaps 'Little Black Flowers' from EMG. The reverb/echo in 'I'm not working' emphasises the emptiness felt in the lyric 'just this fucking space', and this along with Pearl Jam's 'Unemployable' are the only songs I know that tackle this deep-set human fear. Beautiful.
    Liminal2on March 09, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is incredible. I really feel like the music is beautiful and well-arranged enough that people could study it in music classes. To me, it's about being at a really low ebb (of course), or perhaps feeling like you were about to have things go right, and then having life hand you a check that bounces. When I feel really alienated by the degree to which I'm worried about, say, tyranny occuring in the US, or the economy crashing or something, I just feel like not going to work (of course "work" doesn't need to be taken so literally here) and just waiting for things to go to shit to prove me right.
    Myrmidonon November 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe title could be "inspired" by the Conservative advert campaign during the late 1970s, the slogan was "Labour's Not Working" and showed a long dole queue. The song could be about being unemployed.
    clrrchrdon February 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentvery under-rated song by the Manics, I agree with the first poster, the music is brilliant.
    donniedarko28on July 18, 2007   Link

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