Audio Recording, bittersweet, Songs

Song: “Working for the Record”

“Working for the Record”

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Behind the Song

I was thinking about how often I weigh my choices by the “death-bed” test.

You know how that goes: “Will you be happy on your death-bed that you spent so much time in the office?”

Granted, this kind of question can be helpful. If you know deep-down you’re hacking at the wrong tree, this question can be a little gut-punch to force you to look around for better harvest.

But, I thought, this way of measuring life can also back-fire. When everything becomes about something later, then all the stuff before then can feel a little hollow.

There’s that song “Working for the Weekend” by Loverboy. I think I had it in the back of my mind when I penned the lyric, “working for the record.”

That 80s song is sort of the opposite: working hard so that you mearesure up at the end of the day, rather than working hard so you can have fun. But both approaches are also the same in the way they treat today as the means to an end.

About half and half


I was told there is a mighty book
on the lap of God.
With a chisel for a pencil
he inscribes his sacred log.

Every moment He is watching,
always weighing every deed.
Marking when I'm worthy
and when I sink into my needs.

I've been working for the record
busy counting up my score
but when you're working for the record
your whole life is one long chore

So I traded in my hymnal
for the hottest self-help tome.
And I learned that these commandments
are made of clay instead of stone.

So now that I make my own rules
I should be done with all the shame.
But why do I hide my face
when I'm behind in this new game?

I'm still working for the record
still busy counting up my score
but when you're working for the record
your whole life is one long chore

Does this journey have an end?
And if I get there, how will I know?
Will I be met with feasting?
A hundred trumpets?
A splendid show?
If I die tomorrow, will I be proud of what I've done?
Can I take them with me
all these victories I've won?

I think I'll grow a garden
in this patch of ragged land.
I won't win any ribbons
but I like the dirt between my hands.

And if someone is watching,
and that someone's keeping score --
I hope that when they judge me
they look at what I'm living for.

'Cause I'm through working for the record
I'm done counting up my score
'cause when you're working for the record
your whole life is one long chore
and there's so much more
you could be living for

2 thoughts on “Song: “Working for the Record””

  1. Good one Scott thx n sincerely – good timing for me to read today ….. the ‘story read backwards’ is a tale told by eedjits … first we got to live forwards n tell it like it is – but not for a good tombstone. The dirt between my hands …. very dark. [Altho must admit being from England after ‘feasting’ I half-saw ‘a hundred crumpets’ haha]


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