I’ve been meaning to write a post about work songs since I started this blog. (In fact, back in 2008, I noted that I would write about it in an upcoming post. Three years later…)
But it never felt important enough. Too frivolous. Just a simple post about songs.
I was thinking about that again tonight when I heard of Steve Jobs death. So sad. Such a loss to society. He was serious but didn’t take himself too seriously. And he also had some wonderful visions.
He once said that: “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
And so, I come back to the post that I have really just wanted to write and have fun with. What are the top “work” songs? Rather than wait another three years to do a blog post on this, now seems appropriate. “The problem is I’m older now, I’m 40 years old, and this stuff doesn’t change the world. It really doesn’t,” Jobs once said.
So I can look at my iPod or iPad, or just take a gander at my iTunes list to listen to my favorite work songs. Think how revolutionary that still is. My songs. At my fingertips. Right now. (And no, “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” isn’t making the cut.)
What “work” songs make the cut on my iPod?
- Workin’ For a Livin‘ — Huey Lewis & The News
- We Can Work It Out — The Beatles (Though the Stevie Wonder version is perhaps even better)
- This Woman’s Work — Kate Bush (Better than the Maxwell version)
- Working on a Dream – Bruce Springsteen
- Finest Worksong – R.E.M.
- Working My Way Back to You – The Spinners
- Senses Working Overtime – XTC
- We Work The Black Seam – Sting
- Work Hard – Robynn Ragland (a law school classmate of mine)
- Work Me, Lord – Janis Joplin
- Working for the Weekend – Loverboy (but really, the SNL version involving Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze is still a classic)
- Firework – Katy Perry …
Wait, you thought it was a list of songs just about the workplace? Well, that’s already been done by other employment law blogs out there (like the Manpower Employment Blawg, Workplace Prof Blog, and The Word on Employment Law (which sadly stopped updating its list early this year)). And probably better than I could.
A list of “work” songs seems new. And trying to create something new is hard.
“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” Jobs said.
And “One More Thing”. No list of work songs would be complete without these family classics:
- Whistle While You Work, from Snow White
- Happy Working Song, from Enchanted
Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.