Songs about Vocation

As I mentioned, I’ve been doing a series of interviews on Issues, Etc., about the new edition of my book Spirituality of the Cross Revised Edition. When we were talking about my chapter on Vocation, the producers were playing some music to go along with it.

One piece was Bob Dylan’s You’ve Got to Serve Somebody!

Another was even more to the point, Eric and Polly Rapp’s More Than Enough. What a good song! Click to the site and listen to it. Here are the lyrics:

More Than Enough
(© 2006 Eric Rapp. All rights reserved.)

Look around you–who is your neighbor?
Who do you see here in need of God’s love?
Look around you–because of the Savior
What you’re doing for them is more than enough

When you go to work, where a day seems a lifetime,
you’re asking is this what God wants you to do
Take comfort in this: your boss is your neighbor
you’re doing good works God prepared just for you

Look around you–who is your neighbor?
Who do you see here in need of God’s love?
Look around you–because of the Savior
What you’re doing for them is more than enough

A woman stays home feeding her baby,
changing the diapers and cleaning the clothes
She can do this with joy because of the Savior
God’s will for her now is in front of her nose

Look around you–who is your neighbor?
Who do you see here in need of God’s love?
Look around you–because of the Savior
What you’re doing for them is more than enough

When evening comes and your head hits the pillow
and you think that your life doesn’t seem up to snuff
Be glad in the Lord and all that he gave you
what he did on that cross was more than enough

Look around you–who is your neighbor?
Who do you see here in need of God’s love?
Look around you–because of the Savior
What you’re doing right now is more than enough
What you’re doing right now is more than enough

The Rapps are a folk duo who became Lutheran converts. Check out their website and buy their CDs.

What are some other songs about Vocation?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://wmarkwhitlock@comcast.net W. Mark Whitlock

    I’ve always loved this song of work ethic and joy.

    It’s My Job
    By: Mac McAnally
    recorded by Jimmy Buffett
    1970
    In the middle of late last night I was sittin’ on a curb
    I didn’t know what about, but I was feelin’ quite disturbed
    A street sweeper came whistlin’ by, he was bouncin’ every step
    It seemed strange how good he felt, so I asked him while he swept

    Chorus:
    He said, “It’s my job to be cleaning up this mess
    And that’s enough reason to go for me
    It’s my job to be better than the rest
    And that makes a day for me.”

    I got an uncle who owns a bank, he’s a self-made millionaire
    He never had anyone to love, never had no one to care
    He always seemed kinda sad to me and I asked him why that was
    And he told me it’s because in my contract there’s this clause

    Chorus:
    That says, “It’s my job to be worried half to death
    And that’s the thing people respect in me
    It’s my job but without it I’d be less
    Than what I expect from me.”

    Now I’ve been lazy most all my life writin’ songs and sleepin’ late
    And any manual labor I’ve done was purely by mistake
    If street sweepers can smile then I’ve got no right to feel upset
    But sometimes I still forget
    ‘Til the lights go on and the stage is set
    And the song hits home and you feel that sweat

    Chorus:
    It’s my job to be different than the rest
    And that’s enough reason to go for me
    It’s my job to be better than the rest
    And that’s a rough break for me

    Chorus:
    It’s my job to be cleaning up this mess
    And that’s enough reason to go for me
    It’s my job to be better than the rest
    And that makes the day for me

    - Notes:
    Background Vocals: Mac McAnally, J.D. Souther

  • http://wmarkwhitlock@comcast.net W. Mark Whitlock

    I’ve always loved this song of work ethic and joy.

    It’s My Job
    By: Mac McAnally
    recorded by Jimmy Buffett
    1970
    In the middle of late last night I was sittin’ on a curb
    I didn’t know what about, but I was feelin’ quite disturbed
    A street sweeper came whistlin’ by, he was bouncin’ every step
    It seemed strange how good he felt, so I asked him while he swept

    Chorus:
    He said, “It’s my job to be cleaning up this mess
    And that’s enough reason to go for me
    It’s my job to be better than the rest
    And that makes a day for me.”

    I got an uncle who owns a bank, he’s a self-made millionaire
    He never had anyone to love, never had no one to care
    He always seemed kinda sad to me and I asked him why that was
    And he told me it’s because in my contract there’s this clause

    Chorus:
    That says, “It’s my job to be worried half to death
    And that’s the thing people respect in me
    It’s my job but without it I’d be less
    Than what I expect from me.”

    Now I’ve been lazy most all my life writin’ songs and sleepin’ late
    And any manual labor I’ve done was purely by mistake
    If street sweepers can smile then I’ve got no right to feel upset
    But sometimes I still forget
    ‘Til the lights go on and the stage is set
    And the song hits home and you feel that sweat

    Chorus:
    It’s my job to be different than the rest
    And that’s enough reason to go for me
    It’s my job to be better than the rest
    And that’s a rough break for me

    Chorus:
    It’s my job to be cleaning up this mess
    And that’s enough reason to go for me
    It’s my job to be better than the rest
    And that makes the day for me

    - Notes:
    Background Vocals: Mac McAnally, J.D. Souther

  • http://www.ericandpollyrapp.com P. Rapp

    Thanks very much for the kind words, Dr. Veith! Eric and I are quite flattered by the attention–after all, the song was, I believe, at least partly inspired by your own writings. We have a copy of the first edition of The Spirituality of the Cross, which I’m almost positive was in Eric’s hands before he wrote the song. This doctrine lifted a weight off Eric’s shoulders when he was laboring along at a job he really didn’t enjoy.

    May God richly bless the good work you do!

  • http://www.ericandpollyrapp.com P. Rapp

    Thanks very much for the kind words, Dr. Veith! Eric and I are quite flattered by the attention–after all, the song was, I believe, at least partly inspired by your own writings. We have a copy of the first edition of The Spirituality of the Cross, which I’m almost positive was in Eric’s hands before he wrote the song. This doctrine lifted a weight off Eric’s shoulders when he was laboring along at a job he really didn’t enjoy.

    May God richly bless the good work you do!

  • Booklover

    This is not a song about vocation, but it is a song for those who have the vocation of protecting unborn babies, or of at least drawing attention to their plight:

    sung to the mournful tune of “You Are My Hiding Place”:

    Where is her right to life
    Her right to liberty
    And her pursuit of happiness
    Oh, when are you gonna listen,
    America?
    A-mer-i-ca
    Deliver her from death
    A-mer-i-ca.

    I used to walk around the abortion clinic singing it when I was unknown; then I became known as a musician in the schools and in our city, and I don’t do that anymore. Either I no longer feel that that is my vocation, or I chickened out. (It helped to be pregnant while singing it, and I am far removed from that stage.) :-) Maybe there are others who want to carry that flame.

  • Booklover

    This is not a song about vocation, but it is a song for those who have the vocation of protecting unborn babies, or of at least drawing attention to their plight:

    sung to the mournful tune of “You Are My Hiding Place”:

    Where is her right to life
    Her right to liberty
    And her pursuit of happiness
    Oh, when are you gonna listen,
    America?
    A-mer-i-ca
    Deliver her from death
    A-mer-i-ca.

    I used to walk around the abortion clinic singing it when I was unknown; then I became known as a musician in the schools and in our city, and I don’t do that anymore. Either I no longer feel that that is my vocation, or I chickened out. (It helped to be pregnant while singing it, and I am far removed from that stage.) :-) Maybe there are others who want to carry that flame.

  • Kelly

    “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” by Billy Joel. A wry bit of commentary on those for whom working themselves to death is their way of keeping up with the Joneses. There’s a good example of vocation gone wrong.

  • Kelly

    “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” by Billy Joel. A wry bit of commentary on those for whom working themselves to death is their way of keeping up with the Joneses. There’s a good example of vocation gone wrong.

  • kerner

    On a darker note, there is The Worker Song by the Dropkick Murphys:

    This one’s for the workers, who toil night and day
    By hand and by brain, to earn your pay
    Who for centuries long past, for no more than your bread
    Have bled for your countries and counted your dead.

    In the factories and mills and the ship yards and mines
    We’ve often been told to keep up with the times
    For our skills are not needed, they’ve streamlined the job
    And with sliderule and stopwatch our pride they have robbed.

    And when the sky darkens and the prospect is war
    We’re given a gun and pushed up to the fore
    And expected to die for the land of our birth
    Though we’ve never owned one lousy handfull of earth.

    (Refrain)

    We’re the first ones to starve, we’re the first ones to die
    The first ones in line for that pie in the sky
    But we’re always the last when the cream is shared out
    For the worker is working when the fat cat’s about.

  • kerner

    On a darker note, there is The Worker Song by the Dropkick Murphys:

    This one’s for the workers, who toil night and day
    By hand and by brain, to earn your pay
    Who for centuries long past, for no more than your bread
    Have bled for your countries and counted your dead.

    In the factories and mills and the ship yards and mines
    We’ve often been told to keep up with the times
    For our skills are not needed, they’ve streamlined the job
    And with sliderule and stopwatch our pride they have robbed.

    And when the sky darkens and the prospect is war
    We’re given a gun and pushed up to the fore
    And expected to die for the land of our birth
    Though we’ve never owned one lousy handfull of earth.

    (Refrain)

    We’re the first ones to starve, we’re the first ones to die
    The first ones in line for that pie in the sky
    But we’re always the last when the cream is shared out
    For the worker is working when the fat cat’s about.

  • kerner

    Also, if you want a song about a young man passionate about his own vocation, may I suggest clicking here:

  • kerner

    Also, if you want a song about a young man passionate about his own vocation, may I suggest clicking here:

  • fws

    wow. more than enough is one of the best songs that gets mortification of the flesh, fruit of sanctification and law and gospel exactly right! I am so grateful you posted this! what a wonderful ending to my quaresma lenten season

  • fws

    wow. more than enough is one of the best songs that gets mortification of the flesh, fruit of sanctification and law and gospel exactly right! I am so grateful you posted this! what a wonderful ending to my quaresma lenten season

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Hey, Polly! Thanks for posting. I’ve got to get your music. And that means a lot to hear that my book had such an effect.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Hey, Polly! Thanks for posting. I’ve got to get your music. And that means a lot to hear that my book had such an effect.

  • http://www.lambert-blog.com Dave Lambert

    Polly failed to mention that her husband Eric is now attending Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN.

  • http://www.lambert-blog.com Dave Lambert

    Polly failed to mention that her husband Eric is now attending Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Thanks, Dave! That’s good to hear. Some church is going to get a pastor who can play music! Eric, if you are reading this, I’ll be there for the Call service to see where my son-in-law ends up. Look me up. I’d be glad to meet you. You are playing my kind of music.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Thanks, Dave! That’s good to hear. Some church is going to get a pastor who can play music! Eric, if you are reading this, I’ll be there for the Call service to see where my son-in-law ends up. Look me up. I’d be glad to meet you. You are playing my kind of music.

  • Rev. Bob

    The Superman Song by The Crash Test Dummies (not Five for Fighting!)

    Bus Driver by Caedmon’s Call

    Family Man by Andrew Peterson

  • Rev. Bob

    The Superman Song by The Crash Test Dummies (not Five for Fighting!)

    Bus Driver by Caedmon’s Call

    Family Man by Andrew Peterson

  • http://www.ericandpollyrapp.com Eric Rapp

    Dr. Veith-

    I’ll be there. Looking forward to meeting you!

    Blessings,

  • http://www.ericandpollyrapp.com Eric Rapp

    Dr. Veith-

    I’ll be there. Looking forward to meeting you!

    Blessings,

  • Hannahn

    Someone already has Andrew Peterson’s Family Man… how about Let There Be Light (also from the Love and Thunder album.)

  • Hannahn

    Someone already has Andrew Peterson’s Family Man… how about Let There Be Light (also from the Love and Thunder album.)


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