Labor Day was created as “a tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” As hardcore music fans who love to rock while we work, we wanted to take the opportunity to pay tribute to some of the greatest songs about working!
Here are some of our favorites (ranked in order of ratings from our users):
Many songwriters have taken inspiration from the people they encounter as they travel across the country. After miles and miles of identical telephone poles, Jimmy Webb saw a lone lineman working at the top of one such pole, and described it as “the picture of loneliness.” This inspiration led him to write “Wichita Lineman” for Glen Campbell, even though this inspiration didn’t happen in Wichita.
When Donna Summer stepped into the ladies room in a L.A. restaurant, startling the bathroom attendant who had been napping, little did she know it would lead to one of her most memorable songs. As the attendant explained that she was exhausted after working her full-time day job, Summer thought to herself that “She works hard for the money,” proving again that inspiration can come from anywhere.
Mark Knopfler was visiting an appliance store when he noticed “some bonehead who worked for the store, a great big macho guy” talking about the music on MTV. Knopfler asked for a pen and notes as he wanted to use the actual language that this man was using. Money for Nothing soon became one of the iconic songs of the 90’s
Knopfler’s aplliance store man was clearly a bit jealous of rockers like Bachman-Turner Overdrive who seem to want to tell everyone else how good they’ve got it. The unflattering descriptions of working life in the first verse of ”Takin’ Care of Business” makes it clear that they’re happier where they are – self-employed and loving it!
For Loverboy’s Paul Dean, it was a weekday walk on an empty beach that made gave him the idea for our top song. He realized that while he was enjoying the day, every one else was at work, punching the clock and just waiting for the chance to cut loose on the weekends. Earlier this year, Dean appeared in a commercial that showed him changing his tune and extolling the virtues of work (for a jobs-listing website.) We’re not sure we believe him, though.
Whether you’re working at a desk or a diner, a discount store or a drawing board, it’s been shown that music can make you more productive. Celebrate yourself and the workers of the world by listening to these songs and more on Labor Day Workout, and enjoy your weekend. You earned it!
What are your plans for the weekend? How do you intend to celebrate? And what are your favorite songs about work? Let us know in the comments!