From the recording Romance and Melodrama
"Whatever Works" came together quite quickly from what I remember. I wanted something simple musically, and in the verses I think I was trying to do something that would work in a busking context.
Then with the chorus I stumbled upon a little rundown that I really like. I still don't know what the chords are called, but I don't think that matters too much.
The lyric deals with a sense of resignation that I felt with the relationship I was in at the time.
Thankfully I'm much happier now though.