Playlist for the Unemployed & Downtrodden

Earlier this week when I was writing a story (I use this term loosely these days) about Jon Gosselin attempting to turn the beat around (literally) by embarking on a new career as a "celebrity disc jockey," (every bit of that sentence is true, btw) I couldn't help but wonder what might be on the henpecked ex-husband's playlist. Certainly anyone who's had the misfortune of catching even the smallest snippets of Jon & Kate Plus 8 imagines Bob Marley's No Woman No Cry is probably a given.

When my boys were a bit younger and would attempt to swing from our chandelier or see if they could climb out a second story window onto our porch roof and shimmy down our holly tree as if it were a fire pole, I'd often hear the lyrics from Les Misérables' I Dreamed a Dream in my head. It was this line in particular: "I had a dream my life would be so different from this hell I'm living."

Surely that's not uncommon among Broadway-showtune-loving stay-at-home moms, right?

All this got me thinking about the lyrics that've been spinning around my brain in a continuous loop over the past year.  I've mentioned how Morrissey, my unexpected life coach, helped me come to the decision to not accept a job offer last February thanks to his plaintive cry, "I was looking for a job and then I found a job and heaven knows I'm miserable now." (A move I still question daily. Why, you ask? Read the first sentence of this again and enjoy the big Aha! moment that ensues.)

And, of course, there's the Take This Job & Shove It (Does that qualify as a lyric? A mandate? A directive, as my corporate cronies would say?) dedicated to those many employment applications that ask, "What's your personal theme song?"

So if I were to put together a set list of the tunes that seem to articulate the range of emotions I've felt over the past 14 months, it probably wouldn't include any upbeat, self-empowering anthems a la Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive. No, friends, these selections are dark and brooding. Not quite James Taylor-jump-off-a-bridge-in-the-pre-dawn-fog depressing, but darn close. If you've just been rejected by the talent acquisition team from a company you don't even recall contacting, by all means, give 'em a listen:

(For reasons I can't understand but probably explain why I'll never get a job in IT, these videos don't seem to appear on mobile devices. Got any insight? Drop me a line.)

Good Times -- Matt Costa

Everything is Falling Apart -- Lifeguard Nights (Tune in at the 3:07 mark or enjoy both songs)

I want go where no one dreams of fame 
and the ocean is turquoise and clear
Somewhere so low where I won't feel disgraced 
and I can slowly disappear

All Shook Down -- The Replacements 

They're throwing us trunks as we're starting to drown...

Feel the Pain -- Dinosaur Jr.  (No explanation required.)

31 Today -- Aimee Mann 

I thought my life would be different somehow
I thought my life would be better by now

Western Union Desperate -- Mary Lou Lord

Just give me a beer and give me a bed
Chase the demons out of my head
Play me a song and sing me to sleep
And meet me in the middle of my dreams

Things Have Changed -- Bob Dylan 

People are crazy and times are strange
I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range
I used to care, but things have changed

Welcome to the Working Week -- Elvis Costello

Oh, I know it don't thrill you, 
I hope it don't kill you 

Atlantic City -- Bruce Springsteen 

Now, I been lookin for a job, but it's hard to find
Down here it's just winners and losers and don't
Get caught on the wrong side of that line

Truckin' -- Grateful Dead  

Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me
What a long, strange trip it's been 

So perhaps if DJ Jon Gosselin (yes, that's his totally creative stage name) will have me, maybe together we can "get the party started" at unemployment offices, career fairs, and job seeker support groups all over the Tri-State area. I'll bring two turntables and a microphone and promise to limit myself to 30 percent of his ex, Kate's, trademark eye rolling.


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