Shift-Work

Lyrics

(1)

She's ten to five
But I'm shift work
And my woman alive
Shift work (2)

Shift work

I thought shift work would work
But it's good as broken us apart

Lights flash over me 
Twenty-four hour bulb
I'm just home for tea 
But she's in work mode

Shift work

Shift work

And they will shake you by the hands 
For shift work 
But being abandoned by your woman 
Is the price for shift work

Shift work

Shift work

Shift work

Shift work, you let me down 
Gave me a hard heart 
You just cracked my mind 
You split us apart 
Shift work

Shift work

Shift work

Raise your wages per year one grand
By shift work 
But I can see me go, go, going from this land
Because of shift work

Shift work

I don't give her a chance 
She gets the the morning rant
Gets in at eleven
Doing overtime 
I'm going out at the time 
Just to hang out with a woman who was my...

Shift work

She was ten to five 
But I'm shift work 
And that woman that once was mine 
It's just shift work

Shift work

Shift work

Now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now 
Shift work 
Now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now 
Shift work 
Now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now 
Shift work 
Now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now 
Shift work 
Now, now, now, now 

Where are you going?
This work has not yet reached
Cessation.

Notes

1. Shift work has been shown to have many negative health consequences, both physical and psychological, and there have indeed been studies conducted that show it being detrimental to marital and other long-term relationships.  

From Select:

"Shift-Work [the album] is personal...

'Yeah, it is very personal,' [MES] admits. 'A bit too personal, actually. The title track's about a bloke who's on shiftwork and he splits up with his wife, like.' He must see the look of inquiry, because he adds, quickly, 'It's not about me or owt. There's other songs on the LP are about me and the wife.'"

^

2. "Ten to Five" also makes an appearance in the Fall's cover of "Lost in Music" from The Infortainment Scan; oddly, MES changes it from the original version's more usual "nine to five." The significance of this is unclear; ten to five is not a particularly common shift length.   

The lyrics borrow from R. Dean Taylor's "Woman Alive," which runs:

"9 to 5, your mind's dead but your body's alive/ 6 to 10, it's the same old bar again" (thanks to Connell, who also points out the fact that MES sings "woman alive" in the same cadence as Taylor).

^

Comments (2)

Connell
  • 1. Connell | 08/07/2014

"Woman Alive" is the name of a song by R. Dean Taylor. It is a tale of regret and woe. Sample lyric:

9 to 5
You're mind's dead but your body's alive
6 to 10
It's the same old bar again


MES' phrasing of the words "woman alive" is the same as R. Dean's, too.

dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 13/07/2014

Good spot!

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