This Tuesday, I’m enjoying a snow day off thanks to Winter Storm Octavia. I’m also enjoying some music from Sloan, a favorite band of mine. Hailing from Canada, Sloan is known for their unchanged lineup throughout their 20+ year career and their unique approach to making music – each member shares songwriting duties. “The Life of a Working Girl,” written by bassist Chris Murphy, appears on the band’s 2001 album, Pretty Together.
The song describes a woman who begins a new job later in life. From the lyrics, one can infer that the woman’s job has long hours, is mundane, and underpaying. It’s enough to put food on the table, but it doesn’t bring fulfillment. Some of the lines run together, making it hard to determine where one line of the song ends and a new one begins. I think that structure works very well here, as it’s symbolic of the way days run together for someone who has a job they dread. There’s also a sense of longing, as though the narrator longs for the days when he used to see the working girl frequently.
It’s like a ballad for the working class citizen.
She’s young at heart, but no teenager / Early thirties I would wager / I came along a little later / So I can merely carbon date her age