Six Great Songs for Labor Day 2012 (Music for Mondays) UPDATED

“No amount of piety in leisure hours can compensate for slipshod labor on the job. But any honest task, well done, can be turned into a prayer.” —Archbishop Fulton Sheen

In the United States, the first Monday of September is a federal holiday celebrating the contributions and dignity of workers. Nothing gets done without them! But on this day we stretch the weekend out a little longer, wrap up our summers, and have one last barbecue. And here, since its a Monday, I get to throw together some songs celebrating us working stiffs too!

We have good company in this department, because lest we forget, Jesus was a man of work. Unless you are on call, or on duty (military, police, fire, ambulance, doctors and nurses) I hope you can take advantage of this day off and enjoy yourself. Here’s some songs I hope you’ll enjoy too.

Canned Heat, Let’s Work Together. The song that started it all. A one hit wonder for the ages. Vintage 1970.

Rush, The Working Man. I’m borrowing this one from our Canadian brethren. Only three guys but with some of the biggest, hardest working-ist sounds going. Check out Neil Peart’s drum kit here. Gulp!

The Pretenders, Back on the Chain Gang. There are waay too many folks still out of work these days. Back breaking work for an honest days pay sounds pretty good in this 80’s flash back hit. Sing it Chrissy!

Murray McLaughlin, Farmer’s Song. Want some hard work that’s critical and life affirming? Try farming.

Johnny Cash, Workin’ Man’s Blues. The Man in Black covers Merle Haggard’s classic. This was one of the greatest shows on television back in the day, and one of the greatest performers too.

Elvis Presley, Workin’ on the Building. What’s that? You forgot our priests and religious work hard too? Let me let Elvis remind you.

Enjoy the holiday folks!

UPDATE: Father Christian Mathis of Blessed is the Kingdom sent me a request. It’s my pleasure to spin it for him, and I’ll include a bonus song that it inspired for me too.

Lee Dorsey, Working in a Coal Mine. Can’t forget the men and woman who work in the coal mines. Electricity is neat, and we wouldn’t have much of it with their hard work.

Tennessee Ernie Ford, Sixteen Tons. Father Christian’s request reminded me of a song by one of my fellow Tennesseans. Debt is in the news quite often these days. A heavy yoke indeed.


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