There’s something about the sound of a guitar and the lyrics of a good song that can make you feel all the emotions related to work. Whether you’re feeling happy or frustrated, these 20 songs will speak to you. They cover everything from the excitement of starting a new job to the stress of dealing with a difficult boss. So put on your headphones, crank up the volume, and let these tunes take you on a journey through the world of work.
Work – Rihanna
Work is a song recorded by Barbadian singer Rihanna for her eighth studio album, Anti (2016). The song was released as the lead single from the album on January 27, 2016. Work was written by Rihanna, Travis Scott, Boi-1da, Allen Ritter, Montell Jordan and Sean Paul Henriques, and produced by Boi-1da, Allen Ritter and Jordan. A dancehall and pop song containing elements of R&B, “Work” is built over a bounce rhythm and accompanied by a horn section.
Work From Home – Fifth Harmony
Fifth Harmony’s “Work From Home” is a song about, well, working from home. The lyrics describe the various activities that can be done while working from home, from cooking and cleaning to getting dressed for a video call. The song also touches on the challenges of working from home, such as fighting distractions and staying motivated. Ultimately, though, the message of the song is that working from home can be just as productive as working in an office – if not more so. With its catchy tune and relatable lyrics, “Work From Home” is sure to be a hit with anyone who has ever worked from home.
Shiftwork – Kenny Chesney And George Strait
“Shiftwork” is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artists Kenny Chesney and George Strait. It was released in March 2007 as the lead single from Chesney’s album Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates. Chesney wrote the song with Scooter Carusoe and Bobby Pinson. “Shiftwork” is an up-tempo song whose lyrics refer to various types of work done during the day and night. The song’s chorus features the line “We do it all on shiftwork”, which refers to the fact that many jobs are done on a rotating schedule.
Takin’ Care Of Business – Bachman Turner Overdrive
Takin’ Care of Business is a song written by Canadian rock musician Randy Bachman. The song was originally recorded by Bachman–Turner Overdrive (BTOV) for their 1974 album Not Fragile. The song became a worldwide hit, reaching the top ten in several countries. The song is often used as an anthem for the working class, and its lyrics celebrate the value of hard work.
Heigh Ho – The Seven Dwarfs
The song “Heigh Ho” is sung by the Seven Dwarfs in the 1937 Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The song is about the dwarves work in the diamond mine, and it reflects their positive attitude towards their labor. The lyrics express the dwarves’ contentment with their simple lives and their satisfaction with a hard day’s work. The catchy melody and upbeat tempo are also indicative of the dwarves’ good cheer. “Heigh Ho” is one of the most iconic songs in Disney’s history, and it continues to be popular among fans of all ages. It is a reminder that even the most challenging tasks can be completed with a positive outlook and a little hard work.
Workin’ For A Livin’ – Huey Lewis & The News
Workin’ For A Livin’ is a song by Huey Lewis & The News, released in 1982. The song is about the grind of working life, and the trials and tribulations that come with it. The lyrics paint a picture of someone who is struggling to make ends meet, but who is still determined to keep going. The song has a catchy hook and an up tempo beat, making it an instant classic. Workin’ For A Livin’ speaks to the universal experience of working hard to support oneself and one’s family. It is a relatable song for anyone who has ever had to work for a living. The song is a reminder that even when times are tough, we all have to keep on working.
She Works Hard For The Money – Donna Summer
The song “She Works Hard for the Money” by Donna Summer is a song about a woman who is working hard to earn money. The lyrics of the song describe the woman’s hard work and dedication to her job. The song also speaks to the struggles that many women face in the workforce, including discrimination and unequal pay. Despite the challenges, the woman in the song continues to work hard and ultimately prevails. The song is an anthem for working women everywhere and is a reminder that hard work pays off.
Manic Monday – The Bangles
“Manic Monday” is a song by The Bangles, released in 1986. The song was written by Prince under the pseudonym “Christopher”, and was originally intended for his group Apollonia 6. When that group disbanded, Prince gave the song to The Bangles. “Manic Monday” became a huge hit, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song is about the stresses of working life, and how Mondays can be especially difficult. In the chorus, the narrator asks if it’s “just a manic Monday”, or if she’s just “stuck in a moment that she can’t get out of”.
Money For Nothing – Dire Straits
Money for Nothing is a song by Dire Straits that was released in 1985. The song is about the materialistic nature of the music industry, and how those who work in the industry are often overpaid for their work. The song features a number of sound effects that are meant to represent the working man, including the sound of hammering and sawing. The lyrics also make a number of references to popular culture, including movies and television shows. The song was a huge success, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. It was also nominated for three Grammy Awards, winning two.
Take This Job And Shove It – Johnny Paycheck
Work is a necessary part of life for most people, but it’s not always easy. In fact, sometimes work can be downright difficult and unpleasant. That’s why the song “Take This Job and Shove It” by Johnny Paycheck resonates with so many people. The song is all about standing up to a boss or company that is mistreating its employees. It’s about saying “enough is enough” and standing up for yourself. The song has been covered by many other artists over the years, but Paycheck’s version is undoubtedly the most famous. It’s a working man’s anthem that will continue to resonate with people for generations to come.
A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles
“A Hard Day’s Night” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. It was released on 26 June 1964 in the United Kingdom, with “I Should Have Known Better” as its B-side, and on 2 July of the same year in the United States, with “If I Fell” as its B-side. The song was written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was written in response to user requests for a song about work.
9 To 5 – Dolly Parton
9 to 5 was released in 1980 as the lead single from the soundtrack of the same name. The song was written by Dolly Parton and became one of her signature hits. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Country charts and also reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is an anthem for working women, celebrating their determination and resilience in the face of challenges. The lyrics paint a picture of women who are struggling to make ends meet, but who continue to show up for their jobs day after day.
Working Girl – Cher
The song “Working Girl” by Cher is a empowering anthem about working hard and being self-sufficient. The lyrics tell the story of a woman who is determined to make it on her own, despite the challenges she faces. The song celebrates the strength and resilience of working women, and its message of female empowerment is still relevant today. Despite the obstacles faced by many women in the workforce, the song remains an inspiration to all those who are fighting for gender equality. It is a reminder that even when the odds seem insurmountable, we must never give up on our dreams. Thanks to songs like “Working Girl”, we can continue to strive for a more just and equal world.
Hands Of A Workin’ Man – Zane Williams
Zane Williams’ song “Hands of a Workin’ Man” is a tribute to the hard-working men and women who make our world go round. The song celebrates the strength, determination, and resilience of workers everywhere, from the farmers who grow our food to the factory workers who build our cars. Williams’ own grandfather was a coal miner, and the song is based on his experiences working in the mines. The lyrics describe the back-breaking work that miners do every day, and the ways in which their work benefits society as a whole.
Working In The Coal Mine – Lee Dorsey
Working in the coal mine is no picnic, as Lee Dorsey so eloquently reminds us in his hit 1966 song. The track, which hit number one on the R&B charts, describes the back-breaking toil of coal miners laboring underground. “I can’t pays my bills / I can’t gets no rest,” sings Dorsey over a catchy New Orleans-style funk groove. Despite its light-hearted feel, the song highlights the difficult working conditions of coal miners, who faced long hours, dangerous conditions, and low pay.
Assembly Line – Randy Montana
“Assembly Line” is a song by Randy Montana that tells the story of a worker on an assembly line. The song paints a picture of the monotony and tedium of the job, as the worker repeats the same tasks over and over again. However, despite the boredom of the work, the singer emphasizes that it is an essential part of life. The working man is the backbone of America, and his labor is what keeps the country running. Without him, there would be no cars or TVs, or buildings.
Five O’Clock World – The Vogues
The Vogues are an iconic 60s pop group, renowned for their tight harmonies and polished vocal style. “Five O’Clock World” is one of their best-known songs, and it perfectly captures the frustration and monotony of work. The lyrics tell the story of a man who is tired of his dead-end job and longs for the freedom of the weekends. However, despite his dissatisfaction, he continues to go through the motions day after day. The song’s catchy chorus (“It’s five o’clock world/ When the whistle blows”) captures the feeling of being stuck in a rut, and its upbeat tempo masks the underlying message of frustration. “Five O’Clock World” is a classic example of the power of pop music to capture complex emotions in a simple, catchy way.
Workin’ Man Blues – Merle Haggard
Workin’ Man Blues is a song written and performed by American country music artist Merle Haggard. It was released in December 1971 as the lead single from the album Hag. The song was a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in early 1972. Workin’ Man Blues is a tribute to the working class of America. The lyrics talk about the hard work that people do every day to make ends meet. The song also includes slight political undertones, with Haggard talking about how the government doesn’t always do right by the working class. Despite these serious themes, the song has a light-hearted and catchy tune that has helped to make it one of Haggard’s most well-known songs.
Hard Way To Make An Easy Living – Toby Keith
Hard Way To Make An Easy Living is a song written and performed by Toby Keith. The song is about the difficulties of making a living, and how hard work is often necessary in order to achieve success. Keith begins the song by describing how he “started out mopping floors.” However, he quickly progressed to working in a factory and then driving trucks. Despite the long hours and tough conditions, Keith continued to work hard because he knew that it was the only way to make a better life for himself and his family. The chorus of the song emphasizes this point, with Keith singing that “the only way to make an easy living is to work like hell.”
Worker’s Song – Dropkick Murphys
One of the most well-known anthems for the working class is “Worker’s Song” by Dropkick Murphys. The song is a rallying cry for laborers everywhere, celebrating the dignity of work and the importance of standing together. The lyrics speak to the struggles and challenges that workers face day in and day out, but they also emphasize the strength that comes from unity. “Worker’s Song” has become an anthem for many unions and activist groups, serving as a reminder that even the most difficult jobs can be rewarding when seen as part of a larger effort. The song is a powerful reminder of the importance of fighting for fair treatment and justice for all workers.