Music@Work (2000) Lyrics And Backing Vocals
  Music@Work (2000) Lyrics And Backing Vocals
Museum Entrance

Lyrics &
Backing Vocals

Hip Directory

One Stop
Reference Shop

Unreleased
Song Info

Exhibit Hall

Hipstories

My Music At Work
Reference Window

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 hits the olive-oil, don't hesitate.
The night's so long it hurts
My music at work.

In a symbol too far or the anatomy of a stain;
To determine where you are, in a sink full of Ganges, I'd remain (To determine where you are, in a sink full of Ganges, I'd remain)

No matter what you heard
In my music at work. (My music at work)
My music at work. (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 Dim Possibility of Showing Some Restraint)
The rain came down berserk.
My music at work.
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 (Determining where you are, in a sink full of Ganges, I remain)

No matter what you heard. (No matter what you heard)
My music at work. (My music at work)
My music at work. (My music at work)
My music at work. (My music at work)

La-la-la-la-la-la.
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la.
La-la-la-la-la-la.
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la.

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

Hey fallen hummingbird, my music at work. (My music at work)
From the middle of the earth, my music at work. (My music at work)
Bound for bed without dessert, my music at work. (My music at work)
My music at work. (My music at work)
My music at work. (My music at work)

Tiger The Lion
Reference Window

This is Tiger the Lion, gimme the Knuckles of Frisco
If there's danger in the language, gentlemen,
I suggest no further use of the two-way radio.

'John Cage had come to feel that art in our time
was far less important than our daily lives,
to which so many'd become more or less inclined. (To which so many'd become more or less inclined)
The purpose of it's not unique. Not to build masterpieces (The purpose of it's not unique. Not to build masterpieces)
for a delectative elite, but simply to wake to your life.'* (For a delectative elite, but simply to wake to your life)

You'll be serving the song (Song)
When you find out you won't change (Change)
Serving the song (Serving the song)
Walking the range.

'John Cage had come to feel art in our time (Art in our time)
was much less important than our daily life (was much less important than our daily life)
If there's a perpetual plan for discovery days (was much less important than our daily life)
where everyone can take part in what he called (part in what he called)
purposeless play. (purposeless play)

And there's a sign of life in this play (And there's a sign of life in this play)
not to get order from chaos tell you how to create (not to get order from chaos tell you how to create)
but simply to wake to your life.' (but simply to wake to your life)

You'll be serving the song (Serving the song)
When we find out you won't change (Won't change)
Serving the song (Serving the song)
Bombing the range

This is Tiger the Lion
get me Into the Pillows
If you're painted by radar, gentlemen,
there'll be no further use of
the two-way radio

*The John Cage verse is paraphrased from "Off The Wall" by Calvin Tompkins, 1980

The Italicized text is paraphrased from a John Cage lecture at Wesleyan University, 1961.

Lake Fever
Reference Window
Full Lake Fever Exhibit

We can take a bit of a breather.
We can skip to the practical part.
We can skip to the Time of Neither,
when we're together and even
when we're apart.
I'll tell you a story about the lake fever or
we can skip to the coital fury.
You didn't say yes or no, neither.
You whispered, hurry. (Hurry)
Hurry (Hurry)
Hurry (Hurry)
Hurry (Hurry)

We can take it a little bit further.
We can stick to the after-effects part.
'Not trying to make you a believer,
don't wanna a lil' piece of your heart.
Just telling you a story about the lake fever (Lake fever)
or we can skip to a neutral fury. (Neutral fury)
You didn't say yes or no neither. (Yes or no)
You whispered, hurry.

Want to be a nobody without peer.  (Hurry)
Want to be a thought that's never done  (Hurry)
Want to shake your faith in human nature  (Hurry)
Want to break the hearts of everyone.
Want to be your wheezing screen door. (Wanna be)
Want to be your stars of Algonquin. (Wanna be)
Want to be your roaring floorboard. (Wanna be)
Want to break the hearts of everyone. (Wanna break)

And cause discontent until They,
ceasing their investigation,
bring back the days events, (Ah-ah)
good citizens and time well spent, (Ah-ah)
til we're talking in whispers again. (You whispered hurry)
Until we're talking in whispers again. (You whispered hurry)

Until we're talking in whispers again (Hurry)
(You whispered hurry)
Until we're talking in whispers again (Hurry)
(You whispered hurry)
Until we're talking in whispers again

Putting Down
Reference Window

Held a bird's egg between her breasts
There's reasons for the road, I guess
To document the indigenous,
To paint and sketch
Paint and sketch
I'm starting to fail to be impressed.

United state of ricochet
From the boardwalk to the Appian way (To the Appian way)
The diamond files, the corporate raves
You'd practically kill not to be afraid
And I'm starting to choke on the things I say. (And I'm starting to choke on the things I say)

I'm putting down. I'm putting down. (I'm putting down. I'm putting down)
I'm putting down. (I'm putting down)
I'm putting down. I'm putting down. (I'm putting down. I'm putting down)
I'm putting down. (I'm putting down)
I'm putting down. I'm putting down. (I'm putting down. I'm putting down)
I'm putting down.
Down (Down)

Browbeaten out from underneath your dress (Browbeaten out from underneath your dress)
The documented indigenous (The documented indigenous)
Civilization flipped its desk
You know the rest, there is no rest (You know the rest, there is no rest)
And I'm starting to fail to know what's best. (And I'm starting to fail to know what's best)

Stay

You did the best that you could do.
You were a great crew,
who tried to nurture and preserve your faith in you.
And with the bureau chiefs and the shrugging spies
You could stay, but why.

You see a light and then another
and everything you fought for naught's uncovered.
You're not a fighter, you're a lover.
You got no business in here, brother
so... stay.
Stay.

Is it the worst that you could do?
You were a great you,
who tried to nurture and preserve your
faith in you and with the bureau chiefs
and the shrugging spies you could stay and why.

Cause you see a light and then another.
Everything you thought you sought's uncovered.
You're a fighter and a lover
and there's no one up above her
so ...stay.
Stay.

All things being balanced,
it's balanced and called balancing
somewhere beyond everything it's being
balanced not for the
sake of balance but balancing between
the throes of learning
and the entire thing
entirely
balancing.

The Bastard
Reference Window

If you ask me how I knew, I saw you.
I had a bird's-eye view of a bird's-eye
view when I saw you.
I saw you not as you think,
simply just as you. I saw you

And all of this augers well
even though it's presaging pell-mell.
All of it augers well.

This is the bastard (Of it being having to choose)
We've got the bastard (Of it being having to choose)
This is the bastard

Then you turned all Billy Sunday, shoutin'
"Philadelphia for Christ and Christ for
Philadelphia,"

As the sun groomed the plane with crepuscular rays.
When I saw you

And all of this augers well.
Even so, it's presaging pell-mell.
And all of it augers well.

This is the bastard (Of it being having to choose)
This is the bastard (Of it being having to choose)
This is the bastard

Being, having to choose
between a flickering fuse and power
beyond what you use

Never mind us purple Italians,
never mind that pool in the mountains
Victory came and went
on winged elephants. I saw you.

And all of this augers well
Even though, even so it's
presaging pell-mell.
All of it augers well

This is the bastard (Of it being having to choose)
This is the bastard (Of it being having to choose)
This is the bastard (Of it being having to choose)
(Of it being having to choose)
(Of it being having to choose)
This is the bastard (Of it being having to choose)
This is the bastard
This is the bastard

The Completists

You lured me with your diamond flower
You lured me with talk of still more talk
You lured me with caramelizing power
You lured me a lot

Clearly lifeless barefeet
and dogs just trained to sniff
You saw him struggle
Then you saw him cease his struggling
You said, we're halfway come and meet us (Halfway come and meet us)
We're the completists (Completists)

You lured me with your bad intentions (Lured me with your bad intentions)
You lured me with your Mexican pot (Lured me with your Mexican pot)
You lured me with desert dimensions (Lured me with desert dimensions)
You lured me a lot. (Lured me a lot)

You loaded up your gear so well (Loaded up your gear so well)
You can pack so tight (You can pack so tight)
but I can still hear your tambourine (I can still hear your tambourine)
Demeaning you through the night (Demeaning you through the night)

Don't wanna sound defeatist (Don't wanna sound defeatist)
but we're the 'complete-est'. (Completists)

Intimate, inaccurate, a family, in a way, (Intimate, inaccurate, a family, in a way)
made the trip to Vulnerable and back (Made the trip to Vulnerable and back)
on the same day.
Don' t wanna sound defeated.

You lured me into repetition (Lured me into repetition)
You lured me to wanna go to sleep (Lured me to wanna go to sleep)
You lured me into open spaces (Lured me into open spaces)
You lure me (Lure me)

Clearly lifeless barefeet (Clearly lifeless barefeet)
and dogs just trained to sniff (And dogs just trained to sniff)
You showed him struggle (You showed him struggle)
then you showed him cease his struggling (Then you showed him cease his struggling)
You said, we're halfway, come, and meet us (Halfway, come, and meet us)
we're the completists. (Completists)
Halfway come and meet us (Halfway come and meet us)
The 'complete-est' (Completists)

Freak Turbulence
Reference Window

You're older, you're haunted,
you're ahead of your time.
In corners of acres of blocks of
straight lines.

Blurringly, hourly we cross some
great divides
Some heritage moments and some
melodious minds...

A voice above the engine and the (A voice above the engine and the)
Jet stream combined (Jet stream combined)
'It's time..sir...The time sir... (It's time sir the time sir)
Do you have the time?' (Do you have the time?)
As the moon groomed the airplane in a (As the moon groomed the airplane in a)
Benevolent way (Benevolent way)

Again with the myth that's neither here,
Neither there
Again with the myth from up
Up high in the air
Above it all, I love you all
Oh how could this be the end
Satan backhands our nose and our chin
The wings tell the tailfins (The wings tell the tailfins)
'It's freak turbulence' (It's freak turbulence)

Just then the Captain assures us (Just then the Captain assures us)
We will land (We will land)
'I'll have you on the ground
In 25 minutes or less."
'Or less', did he say 'less'? Unless what? (Or less)
We're not on time?
Or less he said 'or less Jet stream (Or less)
And engine combine
Unless he said 'Or less' as if a joke might (Or less)
Just keep us flying (Keep us)

As the moon groomed the airplane in a (As the moon groomed the airplane in a)
Benevolent way (Benevolent way)

As the moon groomed the airplane with its (As the moon groomed the airplane with its)
Benevolent rays (Benevolent rays)

Sharks
Reference Window

Sharks don't attack the Irish, it's mostly Australians.
There's nothing accomplished by these splashing citizens.
From the Moon down to the surface of the Mariana's Trench. (From the Moon down to the surface of the Mariana's Trench)
I won't send you in a cab when (I won't send you in a cab when)
I can take you there myself then steal a look (I can take you there myself then steal a look)
Over your shoulder at the distant lights of your firmament. (Over your shoulder)

When the sharks finished the Irish and those people from Berlin.
We left our look of the landed with one of rescue's imminent
From the Moon down to the surface of the Mariana's Trench (From the Moon down to the surface of the Mariana's Trench)
I won't send you in a cab when (I won't send you in a cab when)
I can take you there myself then steal a look (I can take you there myself then steal a look)
Over your shoulder at the chandeliers of your firmament. (Over your shoulder)
It's your firmament, baby.

Toronto #4
Reference Window

Did you know you were the rock plug for all of us
Did you know in the conduit of Vesuvius
You were far more unifying than you know
I'm not a judge of suitable
But, you almost had it all. (Had it all)
Now you'll have to tell me when (Now you'll have to tell me when)
Tell me when it's imminent (Tell me when it's imminent)
So you won't have to rise and fall alone (So you won't have to rise and fall alone)
Or endure the wonder of survival (Endure the wonder of survival)
The wipe-out loss, the elation of free fall (The wipe-out loss, the elation of free fall)
The rock bottom, the sweet betrayal (The rock bottom, the sweet betrayal)
Alone (Alone)
Alone (Alone)
Alone (Alone)
Alone (Alone)
Alone (Alone)

Wild Mountain Honey

I don't wanna put another thought in my head.

The hummingbird is cleared for maintenance,
evacuating long after it made no sense.
It's not so much a load and stay any more
as a gotta-get-down-the-road-before-the-
temperature-soars.

I don't wanna put a little thought in your head.

Diplomacy goes even better with drinks
(until the big city trees began to shrink.)
It's not so much a load out and stay anymore
It's gotta get down the road before the
snarling traffic roars.

I don't wanna ask you,
'What you got in your head?'
I'm not gonna ask you
a whole bunch of questions.

OK, we agree to disagree....
Giving up....Giving Up the Embassy
is a whole lot better than,
The Embassy's Surrendering.

Flying home under the approval of the stars,
I couldn't be more at home with the way
things are so hard.
It's not so much a load-out and stay anymore
its a gotta get down the road before
the confetti cannon blows with litigious force.

I don't wanna ask you,
'What you got in your head?'
I don't wanna ask you,
'Whatcha been thinking?'

I don't wanna put another
thought in my head.

I don't wanna put another
thought in my head.

Train Overnight
Reference Window

I loaded the variables like masterpieces
from under the germ-led advance.
I saw your compass on a sea of frayed cable
And aspects of vision afloat (Aspects of vision afloat)
In a glance. (In a glance)

And outside the train overnight floodlights on inexorable sights. (And outside the train overnight floodlights on inexorable sights)

You loaded the variables like acquisitions (Like acquisitions)
From under the noses entranced (From under the noses entranced)
You heard some trumpets you thought were
Turntables and inklings to listen dispersed in a glance. (Inklings to listen dispersed in a glance)

Outside the train overnight contrite the whistle wails goodnight apologizing like an ol' dictator might. (And outside the train overnight floodlights on inexorable sights)

Of course we're now traveling by plane (Traveling by plane)
If it's not a Canada of a pain
We'll entertain the idea of train (Idea of train)

Outside the train overnight bloodlines wheel-burnished in moonlight a great candescent white skeleton of flight.  (And outside the train overnight floodlights on inexorable sights)

The Bear
Reference Window

I was first attracted by your scent
Your heart must be a caramelized onion
By the time I saw your flame
it was all over for you and whashisname.

I think it was Algonquin Park
It was so cold and winter-dark
A promised hibernation high
took me across the great black plate of ice.

Now I'm the Islander.
I found a place to call my den
and dreamt of the Ferry and
the Enormous Man
Huge as were his children
following around after him

I'm the Islander
woke up in the furtive Spring
more capable of anything

I waited for more men to come (I waited for more men to come)
They docked their boats and cocked their guns (They docked their boats and cocked their guns)
The time for truth and reconciliation's gone (The time for truth and reconciliation's gone)
But with my belly full I intended to get (But with my belly full I intended to get)
Something done (Something done)

I'm the Islander
woke up in the dead of spring
more hungry than anything
Islander

As I Wind Down The Pines

As I wind down the pines
It's the lines on your face
Playing on your face

Without thinking so much
As abandoning thought
I went through open country
Over water meadows streams
Lakes and wires and roosts in reeds
To a nest in the hole of
This dead tree.

To play without stopping or pause (Pause)
Not for silence not for applause (Not for silence not for applause)
Not without thinking (Thinking)
And thinking's abandoning thought (Thought)

As I wind down the pines (As I wind down the pines)
It's the lines on your face (Lines on your face)
Playing on your face





All non-lyric content and Hip photographs 2010 Stephen Dame
Lyrics are the property and copyright of The Tragically Hip, Gordon Downie and Stripper's Union respectively.
Lyrics are provided for reference, education and personal use only.