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The Get a Job song

The year was 1986. Twenty year old me was very much attuned to the music of the day: from Heart to Huey Lewis and the News, Stevie Nicks to Little Stevie Windwood. I was down with Peter Gabriel, INXS, The Dire Straights, Van Halen, Human League, ZZ Top, Sade, Bon Jovi, Level 42, Madonna, Prince and yes–even Scritti Politti. I’ve always had a rather diverse taste in music. Still do.

Whenever someone would ask “Have you heard that new song by so-and-so?” Typically, I had. If it was on the radio, MTV or VH1, it was a pretty safe bet I’d heard it. (Remember when they actually played videos on MTV and VH1? Ah, good times…) Even if you didn’t know who the artist was or the name of the song, all I really needed was for you to sing a few bars, and I would know which song you were talking about and who sang it.

Which is why I was completely perplexed by my friend Kim one day. We were sitting in her apartment talking when she asked me if I’d heard this new song. “I know you’ve heard it”, she said. “They play it on the radio all the time.”

“How does it go?” I asked her.

Get a job…”, she sings.


“That’s all I can remember, but I KNOW you know this song. Get a job…”

At this point, I’ve move past being perplexed. I’m simply laughing at her.

“Are you sure those are the words? Get a job?” I ask her.

“Yes! You’ve heard it! I know you have! Get a job…”

“Um…yeah. Have you been drinking? I don’t know the Get a Job song.”

The funny thing is, I did know the Get a Job song. And when the Get a Job song came on my car radio while driving home from her place, I had to pull over because I was laughing so hard.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Get a Job Song:

Also known in some circles as “The Way It Is”, it was the first hit for Bruce Hornsby and the Range.

I found it funny that Kim would remember that one line in the song, because it only appears in the first verse. Not in the chorus, not in the bridge. Just the last line of the first verse. Had she sung, “That’s just the way it is”, I would have known what she was talking about immediately, because duh, that’s the name of the song and the first line of the chorus. It’s part of the central message of the song:

That’s just the way it is
Some things’ll never change
That’s just the way it is
Ha, but don’t you believe them

Why would she remember that one line? Who knows? Maybe she had been drinking. Maybe she remembered it because in the context of the song, the line was pretty outrageous: “The man in a silk suit hurries by, as he catches the poor old lady’s eye, just for fun he says Get a job.” I won’t argue that the line is a powerful one. It helps set up the central message of the song, even though when I heard it out of context it made absolutely no sense at all.

Is there a point to this walk down memory lane? Actually, yes.

If you’re going to argue what the central message of a song is, it’s probably best you know the song yourself in the first place, instead of hearing it second hand and assuming your source of information is correct.

And if you don’t know the entire song, you should at least know the chorus.

A final charge to Timothy from the Apostle Paul:

You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. ~ 2 Timothy 3:10-17

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Crave – Wanting so much more of God (review & giveaway)

Excerpts from Crave: Wanting so much more of God by Chris Tomlinson:

“I hate to floss.”

“I don’t like people all that much.”

Not exactly declarations you might expect to read from a book in the “Spiritual Growth” section of your local bookstore.

But what if I told you “I hate to floss” begins a chapter about developing spiritual disciplines, or that Tomlinson’s admission of “I don’t like people all that much”, begins a monologue about putting aside our need to “do big things for God” and embracing the concept that the Story of Jesus is the only one that truly matters?

With no hint of false humility I’ve sometimes sensed in other so called “spiritual growth” books, Chris Tomlinson takes his readers through his own spiritual journey; one which he openly admits he is still struggling through. In one of my favorite, and for me, one of the most relatable passages in the book, he shares one of his prayers, filtered through his rambling thoughts:

God, You are so amazing and majestic. The heavens declare Your glory, and there’s nothing quite like a sunset to show off Your artistry. I love to watch the sun setting over the ocean, God. You know, I love the ocean. In fact, my favorite place to be is sitting on a surfboard in the water at El Porto, gazing over the mountains behind Malibu. Actually, that view is always ruined by the smokestacks at the oil refinery. Who would put a refinery on the beach? I wonder how they actually make gasoline? You know, it cost me $60 the other day to fill up my truck. Why are gas prices so high right now?

I shook it off.

God, I’m sorry I wandered off there. Thank You for Your mercy and for always being there for me.You are such a loving Father, and You are always so incredibly patient with me, even when I’m off doing my own thing or I’m stuck in a rut. You know, Anna was in a bad mood the other night; I said what I said to her to try and help, but it only made things worse. I don’t think she was actually listening to me at all, and it was really hard to be patient with her. But I was. I’m a pretty patient guy; no, I’m am really patient guy. Don’t You agree, God?

If you’re looking for a Sunday School type guide book on how to become a better Christian, this book is probably not for you. However, if you’re looking for a frank, honest and open account of one man’s ongoing journey (and chances are, many of yours) to make less of himself and much more of Jesus, I would highly recommend Crave.

Chris Tomlinson is a businessman and writer. He grew up in Memphis, TN, went to college in Colorado Springs, spent 9 years in Los Angeles, and now lives in Northern Virginia. For more information about Chris Tomlinson and his writing, and for a free download of the first three chapters of Crave, visit him at his website, Crave Something More.

Harvest House Publishing has generously provided me two copies of the book. If you would like to win a free copy, please leave me a comment letting me know. I will choose a winner at random a week from today.