9 to 5 by Dolly Parton Lyrics Meaning – Unpacking the Anthem of the Overworked


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

Tumble outta bed and I stumble to the kitchen
Pour myself a cup of ambition
And yawn and stretch and try to come to life
Jump in the shower and the blood starts pumping
Out on the street the traffic starts jumping
With folks like me on the job from 9 to 5

Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living
Barely getting by, it’s all taking and no giving
They just use your mind and they never give you credit
It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it
9 to 5, for service and devotion
You would think that I would deserve a fat promotion
Want to move ahead but the boss won’t seem to let me
I swear sometimes that man is out to get me

They let you dream just to watch ’em shatter
You’re just a step on the boss man’s ladder
But you got dreams he’ll never take away
You’re in the same boat with a lotta your friends
Waiting for the day your ship’ll come in
And the tide’s gonna turn and it’s all gonna roll your way

Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living
Barely getting by, it’s all taking and no giving
They just use your mind and you never get the credit
It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it
9 to 5, yeah they got you where they want you
There’s a better life, and you think about it, don’t you?
It’s a rich man’s game no matter what they call it
And you spend your life putting money in his wallet

9 to 5, whoa what a way to make a living
Barely getting by, it’s all taking and no giving
They just use your mind and they never give you credit
It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it

9 to 5, yeah they got you where they want you
There’s a better life, and you dream about it, don’t you?
It’s a rich man’s game no matter what they call it
And you spend your life putting money in his wallet

Full Lyrics

In an ode to the working-class hustle, Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5’ strikes a chord that resonates well beyond its bubbly melody and jaunty rhythms. Serving as both a lament and a battle cry, the song masterfully encapsulates the grind of the everyman and everywoman toiling under the bright fluorescents of corporate America.

Parton’s peppy tune, laced with poignant lyrics, isn’t just another catchy country hit. It’s a powerful social commentary on the inequities of the labor system, a call to arms for fairer treatment, and a beacon of solidarity for those whose dreams extend beyond the confines of their cubicles.

The Daily Grind Set to Melody

Starting with the clatter of an alarm clock, Parton immerses us in the daily ritual of the working class. Her opening lines aren’t just about morning grogginess; they’re about summoning the will to face another day of systematic exploitation, ‘pouring a cup of ambition’ as the only fuel against the dreariness that awaits.

‘Jump in the shower and the blood starts pumping’ isn’t just about getting physically ready; it’s symbolic of the emotional armor workers don to combat the apathy and dehumanization felt within the corporate machinery.

The Chorus That Became a Clarion Call

The chorus of ‘9 to 5’ is a microcosm of worker dissatisfaction, hitting hard with the reality of ‘barely getting by, it’s all taking and no giving.’ It’s this hook that people chant like a mantra, finding commiseration in its melody while voicing their own discontent.

As much as it makes one tap their feet, it also raises fists in frustration and unity. Parton’s upbeat delivery is the sugar that helps the bitter pill of the song’s truth go down.

The Hidden Meaning Behind the Smile

Beneath the catchy veneer of ‘9 to 5’ lies a hidden meaning, one that addresses the glass ceilings and the often-invisible barriers erected by those in power. Parton sings not only of the physical struggle but of the systemic injustice, intellectual theft, and lack of recognition plaguing the workforce.

‘They just use your mind and they never give you credit’ reveals the deeper frustration of employees whose contributions are exploited but not acknowledged. It’s a subtle nod to the intellectual labor that is often undervalued and ignored.

Vision of Equality in a Verse

Parton takes us on a journey from the humdrum to the heart with her verses. She sings, ‘You would think that I would deserve a fat promotion’ and ‘They let you dream just to watch ’em shatter,’ eloquently highlighting the broken promises and unfulfilled aspirations of millions.

Through these lines, she encapsulates the common yearning for a merit-based world where hard work translates to success, and dreams aren’t derailed by the whims of those at the top.

Memorable Lines That Echo in the Halls of Time

There’s a certain timeless quality to Parton’s ‘9 to 5,’ with lines that have become embedded in the collective consciousness. Who hasn’t felt the sting of ‘It’s a rich man’s game no matter what they call it,’ addressing the lopsided distribution of wealth and power?

‘And you spend your life putting money in his wallet’ indicts the capitalistic cycle that the working class can’t seem to escape, further fueling the fire in the hearts of those who long for a more equitable system.

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