Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Labour Day: Work Hard For The Money Folks!

A few songs come to mind when Labour Day strikes. Here's a few personal selection for the many found on the internet:

Nine To Five (Dolly Parton)

Yes, it's a 1980 song but the song became something of an anthem for office workers in the U.S., and owe its title to an organization founded in 1973 with the aim of bringing about better treatment for women in the workplace:

Nine to five, what a way to make a living;
Barely getting by, it's all taking and no giving.
They just use your mind, and they never give you credit.

Nine to five, for service and devotion;
you would think that I would deserve a fair promotion;
want to move ahead, but the boss won't seem to let me.

Chain Gang (Sam Cooke)

Inspired with an actual chain-gang of prisoners Sam Cooke saw on a highway while on tour. He felt sorry for the men and gave them cartons of cigarettes.

Well don't you know
That's the sound of the men                                                 
Workin' on the chain gangAll day long they work so hard
'Till the sun is going down, down
Workin' on the highways and byways and wearing
Wearing a frown
You hear them moaning

She Works Hard For The Money (Donna Summer)

It was based on an actual encounter that Donna Summer had with an exhausted bathroom attendant:

It's a sacrifice working day to day
For little money just tips for pay
But it's worth it all
Just to hear them say that they care

She works hard for the money
So hard for it honey
She works hard for the money

Maggie's Farm:

This theme of capitalist exploitation came to be seen by some as the major theme of the song. Lots of interpretation this song has:

Well, he hands you a nickel
He hands you a dime
He asks you with a grin
If you're havin' a good time
Then he fines you every time you slam the door
I ain't gonna work for Maggie's brother more.

There are 22 more songs if you can be bothered. But here's the twist at the end. Written by: | List Of The Day – Thu, Aug 28, 2008 8:15 PM EDT titled, The 25 Best Work Songs For Labor Day, he said:

"But we here at List Of The Day never stop working. We're always thinking of new lists that need to be compiled. When we saw Labour Day coming up on the calendar, we knew it was time to wheel out the work songs. Not the old, smelly work songs that musicologists once discovered in the hands of the workingman, but the ones written and performed by rich rock stars who've never done any real work. Rich rock stars, you see, complain better than anyone. So who better to give voice to than the oppressed?"

Hey wait a minute, I thought pop singers work hard too?  Happy Labour Day holiday folks. I retired long ago...
Images: Google



aliensamuraipirate said...

Me too, especially since my own mother was a waitress. They're just people like us making an honest living.

bluelatin98 said...

Donna Summer is a blessing that God has placed on Earth. She really put her talent to work for the benefit of human kind not just her benefit.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

I have taken morsels of comments and remarks of my song choices from You Tube and other information stations on the Net to substantiate the stories. If I am in 'Copyrights Reserved' territory please write in and they will be deleted.

Dr. Lee said...

Labour day does reminds me of one of my favourite Roy Orbison song "Working For The Man". Ha!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Doc for comment. Glad to know you're back in circulation.