"If you ask me, which I know you don't..."

The Annotated "Keep Your Day Job"

An installment in The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics.
By David Dodd
Library, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (The opinions expressed are those of the author, not of the University of Colorado.) Copyright notice; © 1995,1996, David Dodd
"Keep Your Day Job"
Words by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia
Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.

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
Which is to say

[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 the face on your dollar
Got a thumb to its nose and a
Hand on your collar
Which is to say, hey-ey


Punch that time card
Check that clock
When Monday comes
You gotta run, run, run
Not walk


Steady, boy, study that eight-day hour
But don't underrate that paycheck 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


Daddy may drive a V-8 'Vette
Mamma may bathe in champagne yet
God bless the child with his own stash
Nine to five and a place to crash
which is to say...

[Chorus, with added lines at end:] Keep you day job
Until your night job pays

"Day Job"

Recorded on

First performance: August 28, 1982 at the Oregon Country Fair Site, Veneta, Oregon. "Day Job" appeared as the second set opener, preceding "Man Smart, Woman Smarter." "West L.A. Fadeaway" also appeared for the first time at this show.

Hunter, in his Box of Rain, notes that

"This song was dropped from the Grateful Dead repertoire at the request of fans. Seriously."

Keywords: @work
DeadBase code: [DJOB]
First posted: November 27, 1996
Last revised: