“What Do You Want From Life?” by The Tubes – SteemitCentral Lyrics Challenge – Day 58 / 60

in music •  13 days ago

“What do you want from life? To try and be happy, While you do the nasty things you must?”

song ~ “What Do You Want From Life?”  
artist ~ The Tubes  

What do you want from life?
To kidnap an heiress
Or threaten her with a knife?
What do you want from life?
To get cable TV
And watch it every night?

There you sit, a lump in your chair
Where do you sleep, and what do you wear when you're sleeping?

What do you want from life?
An Indian guru
To show you the inner light?
What do you want from life?
A meaningless love affair
With a girl that you met tonight?

How can you tell when you're doin' alright?
Does your bank account swell
While you're dreaming at night?
How do you know when you're really in love?
Do violins play when you're touching the one that you're loving?

What do you want from life?  (What do you want from life?)
Someone to love, and somebody you can trust? 

What do you want from life?  (What do you want from life?)
To try and be happy, while you do the nasty things you must?

What do you want from life?  [repeat]

Well, you can't have that, but ...
If you're an American citizen, you are entitled to:
A heated, kidney-shaped pool
A microwave oven – don't watch the food cook
A Dyna-Gym – I'll personally demonstrate it in the privacy of your own home
A king-size, Titanic, unsinkable Molly Brown waterbed with polybendum
A foolproof plan and an airtight alibi
Real simulated Indian jewelry!
A Gucci shoetree!
A year's supply of antibiotics
A personally autographed picture of Randy Mantooth
And Bob Dylan's new unlisted phone number
A beautifully restored 3rd-Reich swizzle stick
Rosemary's baby!
A dream date in kneepads with Paul Williams
A new Matador
A new mastodon
A Maverick
A Mustang
A Montego
A Merc Montclair
A Mark IV
A Meteor
A Mercedes
Or a Malibu?
A Mort Moriarty
A Maserati
A Mac truck
A Mazda
A new Monza!
Or a moped
A Winnebago. Hell, a herd of Winnebago's – we're giving 'em away!
Or how about a McCulloch chainsaw?
A Las Vegas wedding
A Mexican divorce
A solid-gold Kama Sutra coffee pot
Or ... a baby's arm holding an apple?     (Image source)


The Tubes are a weird, wonderful, and bizarre pseudo-glam band who’ve been active since the 1970s. Through their art, they exaggerate and satirize the absurdity of life in America.  

Drugs, TV,  and Other Bad Habits

Like many of their early songs, “What Do You Want From Life?”  is about potentially nasty and harmful habits such as drugs, bondage, watching TV, and shopping. Much of this song was tongue in cheek, but their mockery of both consumerism and celebrity was real and sincere.  

A Tsunami of Shallow Trash

After forming in 1972, The Tubes had become notorious for their wild, aggressive, and raunchy shows, which sometimes evoked extreme reactions.

After one show in Mexico, they were even chased out of town by the local police. And apparently more than one record-company executive ushered The Tubes out of the office, simply because their music and shows were too risqué for the popular tastes of the time.    

Before being allowed to release their first album in 1975, they had to tone down their act a bit. Neverthelesss, the album still featured this song and several other anthems that ridiculed the tsunami of shallow consumerism and other travesties of that time and place.    (Image source)
The Tubes – "What Do You Want From Life?"  (Right-click to hear on YouTube)
Lyrics by Bill Spooner, Michael Evans, courtesy of – AZLyrics.com
References – Wikipedia
References – NightFlight.com

    A Compilation of My Previous Lyrics Posts 3~30

    This is my entry in the 60-Day Lyrics Challenge.
    Click here to learn about @SteemitCentral’s – Lyrics Challenge.

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"What do you want from life" is one of the deep questions that every person should dedicate considerable time to in order to properly contemplate upon and then materialize.

I am thrilled, to say the least, by the awesomeness of these lyrics. I like how it questions human desires and satirizes them. Most times, we don't even really know what we want in life. Yet, we fight and struggle for....for nothing.


Right. Or, if we're very unfortunate, manipulated, and deluded, we fight and struggle and work for ... a junkload of consumer products that we definitely do not need.

How pathetic. I think I'd prefer to kidnap an heiress, or maybe have a meaningless love affair. ☺


Hahaha that's quite a funny desire. Well, make sure you get a good ransom. Hehehe

Again you surprise me with your musical eclecticism.

I did not know this band, but with your review it caused me to know a little more.

As an inveterate music lover I will pass it to my collection of artists under review. Maybe I'll spend a couple of days listening it´s successes.

Thanks for sharing.

Yours, Juan.


My pleasure. I've been an unrepentant music lover since before this song came out. Over the years, my tastes have broadened and expanded, so, yes, my "collection" is quite eclectic.

I hope you enjoyed my other lyrics posts. I also plan to do a new series of MUSIC POSTS on Steemit, in which I will introduce much of the more obscure music that is not often heard by most people. Hopefully, I can begin it within a month or 2.

Thanks for the appreciation.


It's my pleasure dear friend.

The Tubes Were GREAT LIVE I saw them many times in the Early 80's at Smaller Venues...............


I can imagine. I heard them in the mid-70s, when the first album came out, but never had a chance to see them.

Still, my friends and I thought the were a great band with some great tunes .... especially great for teens to listen to! Just the kind of music / lyrics we needed to learn about the world.



Love it! This is, of course, my all-time favorite Tubes tune. Timely and timeless, not to mention .... Brilliant, relevant, and classic.

Thanks for this funny post. I follow you without boring.

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