Earlier today Sarah said she was excited for the weekend (it is hump-day, after all) and I, being the Wildean Wit that I am, commented, "everybody's workin' for the weekend" (which, though intended as a "party" anthem comment could be read in a somewhat dismissive way as "you and the rest of the world of working schmucks"--says vocationless man).
Now, you will note re: the title of this post that I must have a serious point to make about this impulse as "read" through that early-80s hit by Loverboy "Workin' for the Weekend". And I do! Huzzah!
So on to the poetry of Rock. I'm going to offer you the lyrics so please take the briefest of moments to read them.
Everyone's watching, to see what you will do
Everyone's looking at you, oh
Everyone's wondering, will you come out tonight
Everyone's trying to get it right, get it right
Everybody's working for the weekend
Everybody wants a new romance
Everybody's goin' off the deep end
Everybody needs a second chance, oh
You want a piece of my heart
You better start from start
You wanna be in the show
Come on baby lets go
Everyone's looking to see if it was you
Everyone wants you to come through
Everyone's hoping it'll all work out
Everyone's waiting they're holding out
So, two simple verses and a chorus repeated. Why I find this uncanny is that it captures so perfectly our fear of insignificance in a world in which we clearly don't matter via our major activity WORK. We are constantly "guessing" at significance.
We (listeners) are "Everybody" or "Everyone" and the persona of the song is either the "I" or the "you" or both. But really, "all of us" are represented here and we can take a stance outside (as everybody) or inside (as I or You) depending on our momentary perspective.
Nothing happens in this and we are given "blanks" after each line.
Line 1: what will you do?
Line 2: why are they looking?
Line 3: will you come out?
Line 4: Get what right? (work? life? knowing what you will do?)
Line 1: workin' for NOT working (which is the weekend)...freedom from work--work sucks and so is not a "vocation" or calling that is fulfilling in a human or spiritual way.
Line 2: NEW romance--the need for love; excitement; centered in the self and constantly refreshed. Work decidedly cannot fit this bill and sadly neither can your current romance!
Line 3: goin' off the deep end--lost, confused, no "home" that is a fixed belief in the self that a "vocation" might offer (and one should be aware that the new romance will not help you find your "center" either--it's just more deep end).
Line 4: second chances...for all of life? Life is currently a mistake--with work and romance...you are in shitsville with your choices presumably--a modern malaise or a Xtian proposition?
Lines 5-8: nonsensical? OR to win the heart we must begin at the beginning and understand how to proceed correctly (this is why we want the second chance)--if you want to be loved (in the show) or "saved" by the second chance.
Line 1: "it" denotes something Happened or something of significance--were YOU "it"--were you of significance? Did you DO something?
Line 2: come through: the "it" must have been you--you DID something and "we" want you to have achieved and to have gotten or earned significance.
Line 3: "hope" it'll work out: we take it on faith (weak faith it seems) that "it" will work out--life? Our first, second, third chances? What?
Line 4: what are we holding out for? why are we waiting?
this is our failure finally, yes? We are waiting, holding out, expecting...
This is a song that casts our lives as WORK that is unrewarding and our future (weekend) as one of hopeful significance. So our living is somewhat useless except as it gets us to the weekend. Doleful. I think this is a dirge.
Also, I do see this as a song of Xtian philosophy as well. We are living now for the life to come. In this way, our today's are empty of significances in the NOW of time and only become significant in the eternal wish of a "future" elsewhere. In other words, never.