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You just gotta love this song and the way the Vogues belted each note out. This is another song that signifies the ’60s and I hold near and dear to my heart. There’s just something to be said about the song writers of that era and the amazing groups of people who had the opportunity to bring these songs to life through their strong vocals, plus this is just a fun song to listen to because so many people can relate to the lyrics!
The Drew Carey show aired on ABC from September 13, 1195 to September 08, 2004. What a great idea it was to use this song as the shows opening theme song. I can look at the old videos and still laugh to no end at Drew Carey screaming because it’s time to get up and go to work!
“Five O’clock World (also known as “5 O’clock World“) is a song written by Allen Reynolds and recorded by American vocal group The Vogues. It reached # 1 on WLS on 17 December 1965 and 7 January 1966, # 1 in Canada on the RPM singles chart on 10 January 1966 (their first of two chart-toppers there that year, followed by “Magic Town” in April), and number 4 in the U.S. on the Hot 100 on 15–22 January 1966 and is one of The Vogues’ best-known hits, along with “You’re The One”.


The Vogues recording begins with a repeating modal figure on 12-string acoustic guitar (the sound reminiscent of medieval chanson, or contemporaries The Byrds), and swings into stride with a low brass drone, and work-song shouts drenched in reverb. The baritone lead vocal by Bill Burkette is punctuated by counter-melodies and harmonies from the group and rises to a lilting yodel after the chorus, with crescendoing string instruments throughout, in anticipation of the after-work freedom promised in the lyric. The sound of a piano is heard, descending the scale, during the yodel. The sound of the other members of the Vogues can be heard repeating the word “hey!”. The instrumental track was a demo brought in by producer Tony Moon, cut at RCA Studio B in Nashville. The vocal was then overdubbed in Pittsburgh at Co & Ce studios, with label co-head Nick Cenci. Cenci and the group were unhappy with the drum track, and it was re-recorded using a local band’s (The Grains of Sand) drummer, Rich Engler (later to become half of Di Cesare-Engler Productions, local concert promoters in Pittsburgh). by arranger Ernie Freeman) overdubbed onto the original Co & Ce master.


Lyrics –

Up every morning just to keep a job (up!)
I gotta fight my way through the hustling mob (up!)
Sounds of the city pounding in my brain (up!)
While another day goes down the drain (up!)
(Yeah, yeah, yeah) but it’s a five o’clock world when the whistle blows
No-one owns a piece of my time
And there’s a five o’clock me inside my clothes
Thinking that the world looks fine, yeah
A-da-lay-ee-ee (up, up, up!)
Trading my time for the pay I get (up!)
Living on money that I ain’t made yet (up!)
Gotta keep goin’ gotta make my way (up!)
But I live for the end of the day (up!)
(Yeah, yeah, yeah) ’cause it’s a five o’clock world when the whistle blows
No-one owns a piece of my time
And there’s a long-haired girl who waits, I know
To ease my troubled mind, yeah!
A-da-lay-ee-ee (up, up, up!)
In the shelter of her arms everything’s okay (yeah-yeah) (up!)
She talks and the world goes slipping away (it slips away) (up!)
And I know the reason I can still go on
When every other reason is gone
(Yeah, yeah, yeah) in my five o’clock world she waits for me
Nothing else matters at all
‘Cause every time my baby smiles at me
I know that it’s all worthwhile, yeah
A-da-lay-ee-ee (up, up, up!)
A-da-lay-ee-ee (up, up, up!)

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Allen Reynolds
Five O’Clock World lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
song credit:

6 thoughts on “THE VOGUES – “FIVE O’CLOCK WORLD!”

  1. They had a good sound. They were more successful than I thought. They kept having songs in the charts in the late sixties…not huge hits like their early ones but songs in the top 100 all the same.

      1. What a great time that must have been listening to the radio…I was born in 67 and missed it new. I should have been born 10 years earlier!

        1. I was born in 63, so I was only four in 67, but it had to be exciting to hear these great songs on the radio back then and anxiously await and hope to see your favorite sixties group on one of the popular tv shows. Thank goodness for my sisters and brother who were always playing music. The Ed Sullivan Show was a huge asset back then.

          1. My sister was born in 59 but has terrible taste in music so thankfully I had a cousin who liked things that I ended up liking… Oh the Sullivan Show was it….it was the pinnacle for bands and artists.

            1. That’s too funny! I hope your sister’s taste in music has gotten some better by now. Thank goodness you had a cousin with a taste in music that you liked and could relate to. My family would gather around our black and white television and watch the Ed Sullivan Show. It was a great show!