Monday, November 17, 2008

Songs for the Working Class

“The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.”
Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900), writer

Times are bad, people need to hold onto their jobs for dear life, but when high profits start heading for the exit management sends workers out the door too. If one is fortunate enough to keep their 9-5 positions can look forward to those on the higher rungs of the corporate ladder urinating on those below. To start of the work week I have complied a list of working songs from my collection, please list titles I may have overlooked or do not own.

  • Blue Monday -- Randy Newman (this really sums up the work week)
  • Nine to Five -- The Kinks (Ray Davies once again captures most of our lives Monday through Friday)
  • Working Poor -- Horse Feathers (I just discovered them this weekend from a Paste Magazine CD sampler, I haven’t figured out the lyrics yet, but the sound is perfect for the title)
  • Work Song -- Nellie McKay (Every day's another loss/Need the pay so please the boss/Through the sludge they mingle by the mile/Every worker looks ahead/Ah the kiddies must be fed/So they trudge along in single file –the lyrics say it all)
  • Working Class Hero [#] -- John Lennon (Lennon didn’t pull any punches and tells us what we really are)
  • Welcome to the Working Week -- Elvis Costello (A punchy tune that is apropos to a Monday)
  • Rush Hour Blues --The Kinks (What life would be like for a celebrity to if they had to work nine to five)
  • Just Us Kids -- James McMurtry (Reminded me of conversations when I was a teenager)
  • It’s Just Work for Me -- Ry Cooder (Captures the hopelessness of making a buck doing things you really don’t want to do)
  • We Can't Make It Here -- James McMurtry (What outsourcing has done for all of us)
  • I Can't Wait to Get off Work -- Tom Waits (A working palooka who is looking forward to punching out)
  • When Work Is Over -- The Kinks (Drinking helps us to forget/a double scotch helps us to forget who we are)
  • Tired -- Willie Nelson (What we have to look forward to)
  • Salt Of The Earth -- The Rolling Stones (Raise a glass and feel proud you are enriching backstabbers, political pigs who are all nicely dressed and who disguise their contempt for you)
  • God's Away on Business -- Tom Waits (The only explanation why the world is the way it is)
  • Hard Work -- John Handy (A classic jazz song)
  • Mr. Pinstripe Suit -- Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (I like the title)


B2 said...

Billy Bragg, "To Have And To Have Not":

The factories are closing and the army's full,
I don't know what I'm going to do.
But I've come to see in the Land of the Free,
There's only a future for the Chosen Few.

Just because you're better than me,
Doesn't mean I'm lazy;
Just because you're going forwards,
Doesn't mean I'm going backwards.

The Misanthrope said...

B2, thank you. I know have added that song to my Working Stiffs play list.

Anonymous said...

I know this is entirely off subject, but I've been reading your blog for a year and just now figured out that the name of your blog is an anagram for your signature name. I hope that you can remember me fondly after deleting me from your reader and block me from commenting here due to your overriding horror at my stupidity.

Anonymous said...

I meant "blocking"

The Misanthrope said...

Fee, you are too hard on yourself, I am not sure anyone figured it out without us telling them.

nancygal said...

How about Frankly Mr Shankly by The Smiths:

But sometimes I'd feel more fulfilled
Making Christmas cards with the mentally ill
I want to live and I want to love
I want to catch something that I might be ashamed of

Frankly, Mr. Shankly, this position I've held
It pays my way and it corrodes my soul
Oh, I didn't realise that you wrote poetry
I didn't realise you wrote such bloody awful poetry, Mr. Shankly