Orbison, Roy - 1962 Working For The Man
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
from Rolling Stone - Roy Orbison's Triumphs and Tragedies - By Steve Pond January 26, 1989
Were you a macho stud or a football player?
I tried till I was a freshman in high school. Just never was big enough. I played football until I was a freshman, and then I just started singing, and that turned out to be okay too.
I got my group together when I was about thirteen. We had a local radio show, and then we started touring for the principal of the high school — he was in the Lions Club, and so we were the entertainment. We were in this West Texas town once, and a fellow came up and said, "We'd like for you to come and play a dance for us," and I was about to say, "We only know ten songs," when he said, "And we'll give you $400." So we showed up and made $80 apiece for doing what we had been doing for nothing. It was amazing, because I'd worked for the county for two weeks and made $80 shoveling tar. I didn't know what the stumbling blocks were or how likely you were to succeed at singing [laughs], but it didn't matter.
But you stayed in school and did other work, too.
Yeah. After high school I still had my band, and we played for dances in the evening. I was working for El Paso Natural Gas in the daytime, cutting up steel and loading it onto trucks and chopping weeds and painting water towers. That's where I came up with the idea for "Working for the Man." Our straw boss was Mr. Rose, and he wouldn't cut me any slack. I worked in the blazing heat, hard, hard labor, and then I'd play at night, come home and some nights be too tired to eat or even to undress. I'd lay down, and I wouldn't even turn over. I'd wake up in the same spot and hit the oil patch again.
"Working For The Man"
Hey now you better listen to me everyone of you
We got a lotta lotta lotta lotta work to do
Forget about your woman and that water can
Today were working for the man
well pick up your feet
we've got a deadline to meet
I'm gonna see you make it on time
I want elbows and backs
I wanna see everybody from behind
'Cause your working for the man working for the man
you gotta make him a hand when you're working for the man
Oh well I'm pickin' 'em up and I'm laying 'em down
I believe he's gonna work me into the ground
I pull to the left I heave to the right
I wanna kill him but it wouldn't be right
'Cause I,m working for the man working for the man
gotta make him a hand when you're working for the man
Well the boss man's daughter sneaks me water
everytime her daddy's down the line
she says meet me tonight love a me right
and everything is gonna be fine
So I slave all day without much pay
'cause I'm just abiding my time
'cause the company and the daughter you see
Their both gonna be all mine
Yah I'm gonna be the man gonna be the man
Gotta make him a hand if I'm gonna be the man
working for the man working for the man
gonna be the man gonna be the man
Gotta make him a hand working for the man