Many people have work off on Monday. Thanks, America.
Enjoy your weekend away from the office by listening to some songs about work — that thing you will happily ignore all weekend. Relax, you have three whole days off.
All of these songs are upbeat songs about working (and not working). Even if the subject matter is the daily drudge, their beats feel like vacation.
"Working on the Highway" by Bruce Springsteen.
Nothing sounds more like the beginning of a long weekend than the clapping at the beginning of this deep cut from Springsteen's mega-hit Born in the USA.
Friday night's pay night, guys fresh out of work
Talking about the weekend, scrubbing off the dirt
Too true, Bruce. Too true.
"Devolution Working Man Blues" by The Alarm.
The Alarm is sometimes called a "poor man's U2," which is incredibly unfair to a band with punk roots and couple of great rock hits. Lead singer Mike Peters's voice sheds its Welsh accent for a deep country twang in the midst of a full-rock acoustic song.
"Grindstone" by Uncle Tupelo
Uncle Tupelo is sometimes credited with leading the alt-country rock movement, and their sound here is solidly on the line between rock and county. Enjoy singing along with lines like "no thanks to the treadmill/ no thanks to the grindstone/ there's plenty of dissent from/ these rungs below."
"Maggie's Farm" by Bob Dylan
"Maggie's Farm" follows a perfect electric blues structure, which means that Dylan starts every verse with "I ain't gonna work..." That's aptly appropriate for a weekend with an extra day. Plus, Dylan's harmonica adds a healthy kick.
"9 to 5" by Dolly Parton
"9 to 5" won Dolly Parton a pair of Grammys and is a brilliant country song. Dolly, of course is right. Working 9 to 5 is "enough to drive you crazy if you let it."
"Workin for a Living" by Huey Lewis & The News
The lyrics on this one are enough:
"Some days won't end ever and some days pass on by,
I'll be working here forever, at least until I die.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't
I'm supposed to get a raise next week; you know damn well I won't."
"Working Man" by Rush
"Working Man" is from Rush's debut album. It's groovy, and all about working in a small town. This song also has a pair of killer guitar solos, both from Alex Lifeson
"White Collar Boy" by Belle & Sebastian
"White Collar Boy" was the first Belle & Sebastian single that did not chart in the Top 40. The song tells the story of a white collar boy who gets arrested for stealing at work and falls in love with a girl.
"Caught Up" by John Legend
Legend released "Caught Up" in 2013. Kanye West wrote the song, and it shows in lyrics like "I'm tired of my job/ I'm tired of my boss/ I'm taking you out/ You taking it off/ Only thing on my mind is how we 'bout to get it on"
"I Never Picked Cotton" by Johnny Cash
"I Never Picked Cotton" isn't a Johnny Cash song. It was written and first recorded by Roy Clark in 1970, but Cash's gravely voice is a better complement to Legend's perfectly smooth vocals.
"One's On the Way" by Loretta Lynn
"One's On the Way" follows Loretta Lynn's anthemic "The Pill" and "Don't Come Home a Drinkin'." The Song chronicles life for women who got married, pregnant, and stuck in the drudgery of life.
"Chain Gang" by Sam Cooke
Maybe the happiest song ever written about manual forced labor, "Chain Gang" by Sam Cooke has the repetitive sound and lyrics of the "men working on the chain gang." It's a great slow jam to close out this playlist of working songs.
Listen to this week's playlist here: