Definitions

pull a job

Why Don't You Get a Job?

"Why Don't You Get a Job?" is a song by The Offspring, released as the second single from their album Americana. The song's melody is based on The Beatles' "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", with possible influence from Simon & Garfunkel's "Cecilia". This rather upbeat and jovial ska music meshes with the resentful and angry lyrics to create a mocking tone of false friendliness.

Track Listings

Part 1

  1. "Why Don't You Get a Job?" - 2:52
  2. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" - Lowriders Remix - 3:01
  3. "Beheaded" - 2:38
  4. CD ROM Track Containing "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" Video

Part 2

  1. "Why Don't You Get a Job?" (Album Version) - 2:52
  2. "Why Don't You Get a Job?" (The Baka Boyz Remix) - 4:22
  3. "Beheaded" (1999) - 2:38
  4. "I Wanna Be Sedated" (Ramones Cover) - 2:19

Another Version

  1. "Why Don't You Get a Job?" - 4:22
  2. "Beheaded" (1999) - 2:38
  3. "I Wanna Be Sedated" - 2:19

Song Meaning

The song tells the story of two similar mooch (one of either gender) who are driving their significant others crazy because they enjoy spending money recklessly ("I guess all his money, well, it isn't enough, 'cause that girl's got expensive taste"), but refuse to get a job themselves to pay the bills ("she sits on her ass, he works his hands to the bone/to give her money every pay day/but she wants more dinero just to stay at home").

Music Video

The music video, directed by McG, was shot on the backlot of Universal Studios Hollywood, and as such many notable TV and movie scenes can be seen throughout the video, including Colonial Street (currently famous as Wisteria Lane in Desperate Housewives) and Courthouse Square from the Back to the Future trilogy. At the beginning of the video, when Dexter Holland is flying in, a set worker guiding the hang glider is visible.

The music video features the four members of the band walking through these locations while a steadily growing crowd follows them. Throughout the video, images of self-destruction appear, such as a man throwing himself through a window or a biker falling off a roof. Towards the end, Holland creates an explosion to scatter his followers so only the band is left, but interestingly the drummer Ron Welty leaves the scene moments before.

In the Newlywed Game parody sequence, Bob Eubanks, the host of the real Newlywed Game, makes a cameo appearance.

Also near the end of the video the wigger from "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)", played by Guy Cohen, makes a short appearance (although there is an edit of the video where he doesn't appear). Chris "X-13" Higgins also appears shortly in the video as a lazy boyfriend. Wearing a wifebeater, he pours mustard on his chest for no apparent reason, an homage to John Belushi, who does the same thing in Animal House.

Reaction

The song was a worldwide hit, thanks not only to “Pretty Fly”’s success but also to its deliberate mainstream appeal. It reached the top 10 in many countries' charts and remains to be played live in the band's shows today. Some of The Offspring's older fans are not fond of this song however, as it is not the typical trademark punk rock from the band and some believe it was made deliberately for radio play.

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