Top 10 Labor Day Songs

Top 10 Labor Day Songs

In honor of Labor Day, here’s a stab at the impossible task of naming the best songs ever written about working people.

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In honor of Labor Day, I’ve revised a previous attempt at the impossible task of naming the best songs ever written about working people. The list is highly debatable; songs about work and working people cut across genres and generations. I know it’s a travesty to neglect “Which Side Are You On?” and Johnny Paycheck’s classic “Take This Job and Shove It.” It also seems impossible that I’ve excluded Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, Nina Simone, and John Mellencamp, and given such short shrift to the rich history of punk rock odes to the insanity of wage slavery. Hopefully, these songs will get people thinking about their own favorite musical celebrations of the working condition.

Top 10 Labor Day Songs

1. Pete Seeger, Solidarity Forever

2. Sweet Honey in the Rock, More Than a Paycheck

3. The Clash, Career Opportunities

4. Tennessee Ernie Ford, Sixteen Tons

5. Judy Collins, Bread and Roses

6. Dolly Parton, 9 to 5

7. Woody Guthrie, Union Burying Ground

8. Phil Ochs, The Ballad of Joe Hill

9. Hazel Dickens, Fire in the Hole

10. Gil Scott-Heron, Three Miles Down

Bonus Track #1: The Kinks, Get Back in Line

Bonus Track #2: Paul Robeson, Joe Hill

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