As the musical accompaniment for the Work Symposium, the esteemed Burt Likko, Esq. suggested a post full of songs about work and working. Several OT contributors offered their picks, and here they are:
From Mike Schilling
The Kinks – “Shangri-la”
And from me, since we’re doing The Kinks:
The Kinks – “Well Respected Man”
Rose Royce – “Car Wash”
Dolly Parton = “9 to 5”
Can I just say that I love Dolly Parton? Yes, I can. I love Dolly Parton.
Sheryl Crow – “All I Wanna Do”
Rush – “Working Man”
Loverboy – “Workin’ For the Weekend”
From Professor James Hanley
Donna Summer – “She Works Hard for the Money”
From Glyph, non-slacker
Superchunk – “Slack Motherfucker
The Clash – “Clampdown”
Glyph included some lyrics from “Clampdown”:
The men at the factory are old and cunning
You don’t owe nothin’, boy get runnin’
It’s the best years of your life they want to steal.
And from me (no politics! even if this is obviously my politics):
Pete Seeger – “Solidarity”
Tennessee Ernie Ford – “Sixteen Tons”
Woodie Guthrie – “Union Burying Ground”
Billy Bragg – “There Is Power In a Union”
The Band – “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)”
Bob Dylan – “Maggie’s Farm
Leadbelly – “John Henry”
Woody Guthrie – “Farmer Labor Train”
Woody Guthrie – “1913 Massacre”
Hazel Dickens – “Black Lung”
My great grandfather died of black lung from working in coal mines. Actually, he was dying from it, and hung himself. No politics, right?
Pete Seeger and the Almanac Singers – “Casey Jones (Union Scab)”
Harry Belafonte – “Banana Boat Song”
Talib Kweli – “Get By” (This has an n-word or two, and some other bad words, so beware.)
We sell, crack to our own out the back of our homes
We smell the musk of the dusk in the crack of the dawn
We go through episodes too, like Attack of the Clones
Work til we break our back and you hear the crack of the bone
To get by, just to get by.
So what working songs have you got?