Work like you don't need the money
Dance like no one is watching
Love like you've never been hurt

I first read this catchy saying in someone's e-mail signature. Where was it from? They didn't know. I asked around, but nobody else knew. I searched the net, but was unable to find the source of the poem anywhere.

The verse continued to follow me. I would be going about on my own business when suddenly I spotted:

Live your life to the fullest.
Dance as if no one were watching,
Sing as if no one were listening,
And live every day as if it were your last.

What the hey? This is the same saying... but it isn't. And it got worse!

May you...
Work like you don't need the money,
Love like you've never been hurt,
Dance like no-one is watching,
Screw like it's being filmed,
And drink like a true Irishman.

Much worse:

Kiss like your tongue's on fire
Fuck like you don't need the money
Sin like there's nobody watching

Evidently those lines just wouldn't leave me alone. I decided to get to the bottom of things. Soon I had a thousand webpages where at least one of the above phrases occurred.

Work like you don't need the money,
Love like you've never been hurt,
Dance like nobody's watching,
Sing like nobody's listening,
Live like it's heaven on earth. (Given by dutchess)

I discovered that a lot of people had a problem similar to mine. On most quote servers, the saying would be attributed to anon., or not at all, which is just as well. But I did find some traces.

If a name was connected to the words, it was that of Mark Twain or Satchel Paige. If a nationality was mentioned, it was Irish (especially the one about drinking). I never came to a complete conclusion - and if anyone has it, I would be very grateful for a /msg. However, the saying with the simple concept has taken on its own life and wanders the minds, adding or losing a sentence or two, always reminding us to live life while we have it.

What this flittering little poem says to me is this: Yes, you do need the money. You are being watched. You have been hurt. In order to cope with this you can become bitter and cynical. But please don't, the poem says. Please don't.

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