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Instant Messenger

from Items from 2008! by Brooke Abbey



Lyrics by me, to the tune of: Strange Messenger, by Michelle Dockrey & Tony Fabris.

I refuse to disclose whether I wrote this at work or not. But I did get permission from vixy & Tony to post this mp3 here via... instant messenger. (This song file is NOT creative commons as most of the files on this site are - I do not own their melody.)

If you are playing this on banjo, use C-tuning. The Em is a bit of a pain to fret, but the Cmaj7 sounds SO MUCH BETTER than in open G.


In the cubes of North America, the workforce sits in chairs Em Cmaj7
They do some work, within reason, between rounds of solitaire Em Cmaj7
With furtive glances bossward, hands caught in the cookie jar Am Em
They chat to one another undetected by HR Am B7 B7

It is said they passed up stressful jobs to live as simple clerks Em Cmaj7
And in their sheltered cubicles it's true they seldom work Em Cmaj7
But devote themselves to matters of ephemeral import Am Em
As long as IT hasn't found and blocked MSN's port Am B7 B7

So tell me, bored explorer, as you work while half-asleep C Em
With the sound-card disconnected to disguise the tell-tale beep C B7 B7
Is the content work-related, or a simple waste of time? Em C
Do the sentences you type compete in depth with nursery rhymes? Am B7
Was there said a word of interest? Do you struggle to recall? C Em
Do the words on instant messenger tell you anything at all? Am B7 B7 Em Cmaj7

There's an automatic chronicle, transcribing every word
Of the silent conversations that no boss has ever heard
And you'd do well to delete it if you would like to avoid
An awkward conversation where you end up unemployed

And can we slack-apologists whose paycheques go unearned
Master strange new job skills that our mothers never learned
Can you act like you are busy while exchanging idle gab?
Do your fingers linger nervously above both alt and tab?

So tell me, bored explorer...

If you value productivity, it seems a bitter curse
The slowly-rusting list of tasks whose progress is reversed
Past and future job reviews assailed with sudden guilt
Reflecting on the money that they've paid for time you've killed

If challenged to explain our motivation we can't say
What drives us to type messages for half our working day
Yet inanity entrances; we return as one compelled
To a world of aimless chatter, lowercase and poorly spelled

So tell me, bored explorer...


from Items from 2008!, released December 31, 2008


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Brooke Abbey Vancouver

Brooke Abbey (formerly Brooke Lunderville) is a banjo-playing pharmacist from Vancouver, BC.

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