Friday, April 08, 2011

Talking Heads Don't Worry About the Government (And Neither Should You)

With the US government on the brink of a shutdown, a soupcon of sardonic sarcasm is in order. What better than “Don’t Worry About the Government” from Takling Heads' genius debut LP ‘77?

“Don’t Worry About the Government” is not about games of budgetary Chicken per se; rather, it seems to be a comment on what people today refer to as the Nanny State, where the government caters to your every need to lull one into a false sense of security, not unlike an apartment building that has every convenience to keep your dishes clean and the air at just the right temperature and humidity level, and where relaxation is the most desirable state of man.

I see the states, across this big nation
I see the laws made in Washington, D.C.
I think of the ones I consider my favorites
I think of the people that are working for me

Some civil servants are just like my loved ones
They work so hard and they try to be strong
I'm a lucky guy to live in my building
They own the buildings to help them along

It's over there, it's over there
My building has every convenience
It's gonna make life easy for me
It's gonna be easy to get things done
I will relax along with my loved ones

Here are David, Tina, Chris & Jerry doing the tune on the Old Grey Whistle Test, a repository for many of the best filmed performances of late 70s/early 80s legends.

I am not going to get up on a soapbox to take sides but will point out that if the government does indeed shut down, all government employess, such as people who work in parks and municipal offices, will stop getting paid, as will the unemployed. But the paychecks of the members of Congress will continue to clear as always. So don't worry.

More importantly, Talking Heads ‘77 is one of the great debuts of all time. Get it on iTunes here.

1 comment:

Colorado Russ said...

I like this song as an ironic commentary on the possible utopia that today's progressive movement imagines--with people concentrated in high density living space, and most of the planet left in a 'natural' state.

The other Talking Heads song "Nothing But Flowers" is not so ironic, as the narrator decries that he misses the cars, fast food and other commodities of our demand-driven world, and that he "can't get used to this lifestyle"!