Posted on February 27, 2013

Top 50 Songs About Jobs, Money and the Workplace

EDIT (April 2014): We have actually turned this list into a playlist on Google Music. Head over and have a listen!

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Well 45 workplace songs actually! We couldn’t quite make it to 50 in our list but this is where you as readers come in. Can you think of 5 more songs to make it to our epic top 50 songs about jobs, money and the workplace. When you’re working, do you ever think of a song, lyric or phrase that describes exactly how your feeling at the point? Or do you hear a song and it brings back some working memories, good or bad?

From each category, we have chosen the best song to represent the category have a read through and see if any of these classics will become a new working theme tune and maybe add some of your own tunes

Tweet us @WorkplaceDepot or comment on our Facebook page.

Job Descriptions

The Marvelettes – Please Mr Postman
Van Morrison – Cleaning Windows
Meri Wilson – Telephone Man
Benny Hill – Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)
Aqua – Dr Jones
Iron Maiden – Doctor Doctor
Elton John – Teacher I Need You
The View – The Superstar Tradesman

The Beatles – Taxman and Coldplay – The Scientist
We decided to put these two songs together as they have an interesting connection. George Harrison wrote the song “Taxman” and Chris Martin wrote “The Scientist” in Liverpool which was influenced by a song called “All Things Must Pass” written by…. you guessed it George Harrison.

“Taxman” was released as an opening track on The Beatles’ 1966 album Revolver. The lyrics attack the high levels of progressive tax taken by Harold Wilson’s British Labour government.

Harrison said that he wrote the “Taxman” when he first realised that when they started earning enough money, they were giving most of it away in taxes The Beatles were liable to a 95% super tax, which was introduced by Wilson’s labour government – hence the lyrics “Let me tell you how it will be, here’s one for you, nineteen for me”.

“The Scientist” is a piano-driven ballad containing lyrics about a man’s powerlessness in the face of love. Although the song is not talking about the traditional workplace, we chose this song because “The Scientist” is working towards answering questions that people want answering – as scientists do.

Martin said, “It’s weird that whatever else is on your mind, whether it’s the downfall of global economics or terrible environmental troubles, the thing that always gets you most is when you fancy someone.”

It’s a Rich Mans World… Or is it?

Placebo – Slave to the Wage
Donna Summer – She Works Hard for the Money
Jamie T – If You’ve Got the Money
Abba – Money, Money, Money
The Notorious B.I.G. – Mo Money, Mo Problems
The Steve Miller Band – Let’s Take the Money and Run
The Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)

The Flying Lizards – Money (That’s What I Want)
We all know the cliché phrases about money, “Another Day, Another Dollar”, “Money makes the world go round”, “Show me the money!” and thousands more. You would think as a society we were obsessed with the word as well as the object, but does money make the world go round?

“Money (That’s What I Want) was written by the founder of the music label “Tamla”, Berry Gordy. It was a hit single in 1959 by Barrett Strong and became the first hit record for Gordy’s Motown Enterprise in June 1960, making it to number 2 one the US R&B chart and number 23 on the US pop chart.

The song then went on to be covered by The Flying Lizards, The Beatles, The Sonics and The Kingsmen, who all reached higher chart positions with the song.

The song is all about wanting money and that is all they want, even over love – “Your love gives me such a thrill; But your love won’t pay my bills.” It seems that the protagonist of this song is completely obsessed with having money, as the chorus repeats the lyric “That’s All I Want.”

Cartoons

Bob the Builder – Can We Fix It?
Postman Pat – Postman Pat & His Black and White Cat
Fireman Sam – Fireman Sam

Seven Dwarfs – Heigh Ho
Do you remember watching this film and singing along to this song? Then, start whistling the tune because you love it so much? We have chosen this Disney classic because of its high popularity with everyone and anyone.

“Heigh-Ho” is from Walk Disney’s first full-length animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It is sung by the Seven Dwarfs as they dig dig dig dig their mine the whole day through. The term “Heigh-Ho” is used typically to express weariness or sometimes as a cry of encouragement. Not only has it been used in the film, but has been used by Donald Duck in “The Rivitier” and in World of Warcraft, as a male dwarf character makes a joke, saying “Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho… ugh, second verse, same as the first.”

Anti-Work Songs

The Sex Pistols – I’m a Lazy Sod
Lou Reed – Don’t Talk to Me About Work
They Might be Giants – Seven Days of the Week (I Never go to Work)

Johnny Paycheck – Take This Job and Shove It
I think we have all wanted to say this to someone at some point, the phrase has become very popular as a successful result of the song “Take This Job and Shove It”, first written and released by David Allan Coe in the late 1970’s. Since then, Johnny Paycheck has popularized the song and was a number 1 hit in the country charts.

The song is about the bitterness of a man who has worked long and hard, with no apparent reward – something that seems to be felt by most workers these days.

The phrase “Take This Job and Shove It”, then developed into the most notable title of dozens of books: “Take This Job and Love It” and became the leading title for most career counselling books

Work Classics

Waysted – Handbags and Gladrags (Office Theme Tune)
Dolly Parton – 9 to 5
The Clash – Career Opportunities
The Boomtown Rats – I Don’t Like Mondays
John Lennon – Working Class Hero
Rush – Working Man
The Rolling Stones – Salt of the Earth
Kid Rock – God Bless Saturday
Bruce Springsteen – Working on the Highway
Skid Row – Slave to the Grind
Mick Jagger – Let’s Work
The Bangles – Just Another Manic Monday
David Bowie – Space Oddity
Kasabian – Lost Souls Forever
Kings of Leon – The Call
The Lightning Seeds – Life of Riley
Annie VS Jay-z – Hard Knock Life
Queen – It’s a Hard Life
Bob Dylan – Maggie’s Farm

The Beatles – A Hard Days Night
We have come to the conclusion that since The Beatles have been mentioned in 3 of the categories, they are incredibly attracted to singing about working and money – who can blame them! To finish off our list of Top 45 Songs About Jobs and the Workplace, we have chosen “A Hard Days Life” as our Number 1 song of the Work Classics category.

The title of song originated from something that Ringo Starr said. In a interview he said that they had worked all day and night on a job. “I came up still thinking it was day I suppose, and I said ‘It’s been a hard day… and I looked around and saw it was dark so I said, …night!” So we came to ‘A Hard Day’s Night’.” It was said that the song captured The Beatles at the peak of Beatlemania and was the most exciting time in pop culture up to that moment and probably ever since.

This is the perfect song about working to listen to after you have been working like a dog, earning money for your family that you return home to:

“You know I work all day
To get you money to buy you things
And it’s worth it just to hear you say
You’re going to give me everything
So why on earth should I moan.”

Can you think of 5 more songs to make it to our epic top 50 songs about jobs, money and the workplace. Tweet us @WorkplaceDepot or comment on our Facebook page.

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