Keep Your Day Job

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

The version in the second edition of the Hunter lyric book is as follows (see below for the Dead's version):

Maybe you collect or maybe you pay
Still got to work that eight hour day
Whether you like that job or not
Keep it on ice while you're lining up your long shot (note 1)
Which is to say, hey-ey

Chorus
Keep your day job
Don't give it away
Keep your day job
Whatever they say

Ring that bell for whatever it's worth
When Monday comes, don't forget about work
By now you know that face on your dollar
Got a thumb to its nose and a hand on your collar
Which is to say, hey-ey

[chorus]

Punch that time card, check that clock
But when Monday comes gotta run, run, run - not walk

[chorus]

Steady boy, study that eight day hour
But don't underrate that pay-check power
If you ask me, which I know you don't
I'd tell you to do what I know you won't
Which is to say, hey-ey

[chorus]

Daddy may drive a V-8 'vet
Mama may bathe in champagne yet
God bless the child with his own stash
Nine to five and a place to crash

[chorus]
Keep your day job, until your night job pays
The Dead's versions vary. This is the 1983 version from DP6:
Maybe you collect or maybe you pay
Still got to work that eight hour day
Whether you like that job or not
You'd better keep it on ice while you're lining up your long shot
Which is to say, hey hey

Chorus (note 2)
Keep your day job
Don't give it away
Keep your day job
Whatever they say
Keep your day job
Till your night job pays

[Ring that bell for whatever it's worth] (note 3)
Sunday comes forget about work
By now you know that the face on your dollar
Got a thumb on its nose and a hand on your collar
Which is to say, hey hey

[chorus]

Sunday comes forget about work
Ring that bell for whatever it's worth
If you ask me like I know you won't
I'll tell you what to do what I know that you won't
Which is to say, hey hey

[chorus]
[chorus]
[chorus]
This is the 1985 version from DP21:
Maybe you collect or maybe you pay (note 4)
Still got to work that eight hour day
Whether you like that job or not
You'd better keep it on ice while you're lining up your long shot
Which is to say, hey hey

Chorus
Keep your day job
Whatever they say
Keep your day job
Don't give it away
Keep your day job
Till your night job pays

Steady boys study that eight day hour
Never underrate that paycheck power
By now you know that the face on your dollar
Got a thumb to its nose and a hand on your collar
Which is to say, hey hey

[chorus]

Daddy may drive a V-8 'vet (note 5)
Mama may bathe in champagne yet
God bless the child that's got his own stash
Nine to five and a place to crash
Which is to say, hey hey

[chorus]
[chorus]
[chorus]
Notes
(1) the first edition of the Hunter book had this line as "Gotta do your work while you're lining up your long shot"
(2) Jerry varies the order of the lines "Don't give it away" and "Whatever they say"
(3) Jerry forgets the first line and mumbles the second - which may be a mistake for the couplet "Steady boys, study that eight day hour/Never underrate that paycheck power"
(4) Jerry seems to sing "Maybe you collect or whether you pay"
(5) Todd Prusin tells me that on occasions (eg 14 July 1985 at Ventura) Jerry seemed to sing "Stingray 'vet" rather than "V8 'vet"

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     14 Oct 1983 Dick's Picks Vol 6
      1 Nov 1985 Dick's Picks Vol 21

Recordings from dead.net Tapers Section


Futher Information
For an online discussion of the lyrics to this song see the deadsongs.vue conference on The Well.
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography
For information on references in the lyrics see David Dodd's Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
For online chords and TAB see www.rukind.com
For sheet music, see:
          Garcia/Hunter Songbook (vocal line and chords/TAB)

 


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