Song of the Day: “Found a Job” – Talking Heads

Perhaps no musician is more adept at satirizing the slack-jawed consumer than David Byrne. His everyman protagonist is a defenseless creature, a small and wounded thing that is drowned out by the endless sea of ambient machine noise. “Found a Job,” from Talking Heads‘ 1977 record More Songs About Buildings and Food presents a rare instance where his human characters control their own fate, if only for a little while. Essentially, the song tells the story of Bob and Judy, a married couple dissatisfied with the offerings on television. As a solution, they decide to film their own show, and it becomes an instant hit. As for the content of the show, I think the lyrics “Judy’s in the bedroom, inventing situations” are fairly straight-forward. On one hand, this song could be seen as an ode to expressing oneself creatively. However, they take things a bit too far.

By the end of the song, Bob and Judy refuse to ever watch television again, preferring to create their own shows instead. The fact that the characters won’t even entertain the idea of watching television…you know….sometimes… is indicative of the closed-mindedness that sometimes accompanies truly afraid people. Bob and Judy’s black or white mentality is ultimately proof that they’re no different from any of Byrne’s other characters. They’re lonely, they’re stifled, and they feel utterly insignificant. It’s not a great way to live one’s life, but it makes for some pretty compelling music.

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