Music Monday: Job Songs

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! It's mid-July, which means everyone has made their decision. Some people are well into vacation, and some people have at last locked down that summer job. This week we've got five songs that celebrate the working week. Don't worry, grown-ups, they cover your nine to five lifestyle too.

Sam Cooke - Chain Gang


The magic of this song is how, like all real songs, it's handed down from generation to generation. The old guy who never got a promotion sings it while stacking boxes, and the new kid picks it up as a cheeky protest the first time he doesn't get a raise. One day, the roles flip, and there's a newer new kid to learn the tune. Also, it doesn't hurt that Sam Cooke has a great voice.

Clock in and we'll see you after the jump. And don't dawdle! There's work to do!

The job isn't always a negative thing though. Sometimes working hard can pay off big.

Bachman-Turner Overdrive - Taking Care Of Business


Yeah, you knew it was coming. This 1970s working-class classic brings you 100% of your daily requirement of rock. Fuzzy guitar, a beat you can stomp to, and vaguely sexual metaphor regarding a nine-to-fiver. Bob Seger wishes this was one of his.

Rush - Working Man


Hey, working class rock isn't just an American thing, either. The roots of pop-metal brush against Rush over and over again, and this tribute to an average Joe who gets off work just wanting a cold beer and a cool jukebox proves that our neighbors to the North aren't much different than we are, really. And also, they can sometimes rock much harder.

DEVO - Working In A Coal Mine


We here at Woot have a deep love for DEVO but don't think that influenced our decision here today. The truth is, this cover captures just the right feeling of professionally mandated joy in the face of hard labor. Sometimes being a professional means you just have to smile and do what you're told. It's either that, or quit, right?

Bob Dylan - Maggie's Farm


Hey, the employee might not have many options, but there's always one big one. If the owner's mean, the co-workers are jerks, the chickens are rude and the brother of the cashier keeps showing up to borrow from the till… just quit! But maybe make sure you have a second job lined up before you leave the first. It's only common sense.

Of course you're all welcome to go and work itin our room and the regular Music Monday enjoyment. Also, let us just remind you: some images come from the corresponding Wikipedia page and are here under fair use.