Do We? We Do [Version (a)]:
Do we ever want to take the low road?
Do we ever just want to say we're through?
Do we want to lock the door and throw away the key?
Do we? We do
Do we want to just look on the dark side?
Do we want to wallow in the mire?
Do we want to feel the world's against us?
Do we? Yes we do
Do we think it's sometimes just a nuisance
And other times a travesty to all
Who've tried but only fallen to ruins
With their broken backs up against the wall
Do we want to say it's just a fool's game
That no one but the wickedest can win?
And do we want to play it with our last dime?
Oh do we? We do
Do we wanna say that things are changing?
And they're only changing for the worse?
And do we want to drink while the ship's sinking?
Singing our lord's praises like a curse
Do we want the enemy's misfortunes
To rain down like a million rotten eggs?
Down upon the crown of creation?
Do we? We do
"Do We? We Do" is one of the main songs available in Beck's Song Reader sheet music book.
It has been one of the more popular songs for musicians to cover from the book, showcasing a wide range of styles. Still, the core of the song does seem to have a carnivalesque old-time feel to it.
The first verse is about giving up, and feeling like you have no choice. The second verse is about feeling negative sometimes. These dark feelings turn on the last verse where you might realize that life is "just a fool's game," but maybe, just maybe, it's worth playing.
Beck has talked about how, to a certain extent, he stripped his Song Reader songs down to make them more relatable and adaptable. I feel like "Do We? We Do" is very much a good example of that. It's not that there is not any cleverness to it, but many of the lines are very straightforward, almost cliched phrases: "take the low road," "lock the door and throw away the key," "wallow in the mire." They help make a very relatable song about how tough life can be.
That said, not a lot of songwriters could end a song with "Do we want the enemy's misfortunes to rain down like a million rotten eggs, down upon the crown of creation?"
"Do We? We Do" is a really well-written song, and embodies a lot of what Beck was trying to do with Song Reader.
Played live 2 times:
Earliest known live version: July 4, 2013
Latest known live version: November 24, 2013
Beck has performed "Do We? We Do" live twice, though both were at his official Song Reader concerts (of which there have been 3 so far). The song has not made it to his own setlists.
The first time Beck did it was at the Song Reader concert in London. He did it as a singalong with Joan Wasser (aka Joan As Policewoman) and Conor O'Brien.
The next Song Reader concert was in Los Angeles, and Beck used "Do We?" to close the entire show as another singalong with a big cast of singers. Beck and Jon Brion played acoustic guitar, and Roger Joseph Manning Jr. added piano. Beck sang the first few lines, and then John C. Reilly, Merry Clayton, Jack Black, Childish Gambino, Jon Brion, Anne Hathaway, Jenny Lewis, Jarvis Cocker and Tom Brousseau all took turns singing a line or two until the end of the song.