Taking What They’re Giving


“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” ~ Colossians 3:17

Some days won’t ever end and some days pass on by,
I’ll be working here forever, at least until I die.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t
I’m supposed to get a raise next week, you know damn well I won’t.

I know, I know…Labor Day was last weekend, but hey, better late than never! And speaking of working – I’ve had to take a bit of a break from my UTRS writings this summer and focus in on some deadline work that had to be done in my “real” job. But I’m happy to be back and posting here, as this is truly a “labor of love” for me.

Workin’ for a livin’ (workin’)
Workin’ for a livin’ (workin’)
Workin’ for a livin’, livin’ and workin’
I’m taking what they giving ’cause I’m working for a livin’.

It’s great that I’ve been able to combine a couple of my favorite pursuits – music and writing, along with being a follower of Christ – to create this little hobby that gives me such great joy. But the truth is, we ALL need to be joyous in our everyday working lives.  And the Bible gives us this key to keep us on the right path: “Whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.”  That’s right, your hard, honest work pleases God, especially when we dedicate our efforts to Him.

Hey I’m not complaining ’cause I really need the work
Hitting up my buddy’s got me feeling like a jerk
Hundred dollar car note, two hundred rent.
I get a check on Friday, but it’s already spent.

They called James Brown the “hardest working man in show biz”,  but Huey Lewis’ (born Hugh Anthony Cregg III) path to success was surely a hard and rocky road.  Ringo Starr once sang “If you want to sing the blues, then you’ve got pay your dues”.  And paying your dues is exactly what Huey had to do.

Workin’ for a livin’ (workin’)
Workin’ for a livin’ (workin’)
Workin’ for a livin’, livin’ and workin’
I’m taking what they giving ’cause I’m working for a livin’.


Huey’s first real break in the biz came in 1971 when he joined a local San Francisco Bay area band called Clover. Yup – the Nick Lowe/Elvis Costello backup band! Upon joining Clover, he changed his stage name to Hughie Louis and, after being discovered by Nick Lowe, the band was soon invited to tour Great Britain. The band adopted the early pub rock-folk sound that was just being replaced by punk rock. Huey was primarily a harmonica player and occasional vocalist during the tour.

Bus boy, bartender, ladies of the night
Grease monkey, ex-junky, winner of the fight
Walking on the streets, its really all the same
Selling souls, rock n’ roll, any other day

Clover’s first two records bombed, the punk rock scene took over and that was the end of the road for the band, at that time. Huey returned to San Francisco, re-enrolled in college to pursue an engineering degree and started playing around at local bars to make a little side money.  It was while playing at a Corte Madera bar, Uncle Charlie’s, that he met the guys that ultimately became The News. They recorded a little song (written by the one and only Robert John “Mutt” Lange)  called “Do You Believe In Love” and the rest is history. “Do You Believe In Love” reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 list in 1982.

Workin’ for a livin’ (workin’)
Workin’ for a livin’ (workin’)
Workin’ for a livin’, livin’ and workin’
I’m taking what they giving ’cause I’m working for a livin’

A few interesting notes about HL&TN:

  • Huey learned to play harmonica while hitchhiking across the country as a way to pass the time while waiting for rides.
  • The band’s original name was Huey Lewis and The American Express but their manager made them change it so they wouldn’t get sued.
  • Huey played harmonica on Thin Lizzy’s 1978 album Live And Dangerous; he’s credited under the name “Huey Harp”.
  • He produced Bruce Hornsby’s smash hit album, The Way It Is, in 1986.

So, I’m hoping everyone enjoyed their Labor Day holiday and got a little rest and relaxation in before heading back in to work this week. And while you’re working, here’s a little hard workin’ music to help you through the day.

Check out Huey and the boys from the Bay here:

Sources for this post included:





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