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Success comes to those who work hard and are willing to go the distance for their dreams.
Today’s post features songs about working hard. This collection is a tribute to those who contribute their strength, knowledge, and skills to keep the economy afloat, their families provided for, and their dreams alive.
People who work hard can be found in all types of industries doing all sorts of jobs—manual labor, office work, services, health care, etc.
Wherever they work, they are assets to their employers.
They possess fierce independence and take pride in paying their own way through life, instead of relying on handouts.
What You Will Learn
- What Does It Mean to Work Hard?
- 1. A Hard Day's Night, The Beatles
- 2. Manic Monday, The Bangles
- 3. Hands of a Workin' Man, Zane Williams
- 4. Life of a Workin' Man, Creed Fisher
- 5. 9 to 5, Dolly Parton
- 6. Dear Mama, Tupac Shakur
- 7. Workin' Man Blues, Merle Haggard
- 8. 40 Hour Week, Alabama
- 9. Hard Hat and a Hammer, Alan Jackson
- 10. Working Girl, Cher
- 11. Working Man's Ph.D., Aaron Tippin
- 12. Five O'Clock World, The Vogues
- 13. She Works Hard for the Money, Donna Summer
- 14. Hey, Mister (I Need This Job), Shenandoah
- 15. Beer on the Table, Josh Thompson
- 16. Busy Man, Billy Ray Cyrus
- 17. Cleaning Windows, Van Morrison
- 18. Cats in the Cradle, Ugly Kid Joe
- 19. Hard Way to Make an Easy Living, Toby Keith
- 20. Smoke Break, Carrie Underwood
- 21. Assembly Line, Randy Montana
- 22. Epiphany, Taylor Swift
- 23. Worker's Song, Dropkick Murphys
- 24. Whistle While You Work, Adriana Caselotti
- 25. Heigh-Ho, Dwarf Chorus
- 26. Lord, Have Mercy on the Working Man, Travis Tritt
- 27. Hard Workin' Man, Brooks & Dunn
- Final Thoughts
What Does It Mean to Work Hard?
There are several indicators that someone is a hard-working person. Check to see if any of these descriptors apply to you:
Let’s check out the songs on our list!
1. A Hard Day's Night, The Beatles
via The Beatles
“It's been a hard day's night, and I've been working like a dog. It's been a hard day's night, I should be sleeping like a log.”
This single from The Beatles is considered one of the most iconic songs about working hard.
It was part of the soundtrack on the group’s first feature film of the same title. In this song, the quartet describe how someone works for the person they love, barely even sleeping to provide for their needs.
Many people resonate with this song because of the sacrifices they make for the people they love.
2. Manic Monday, The Bangles
“It's just another manic Monday. Wish it were Sunday, 'cause that's my fun day. My I don't have to run day. It's just another manic Monday.”
Do you dread Mondays? Many people do. In research done by Populus for UK-based Mind Organization, it was revealed that many working people perceive Monday as the most stressful day of the week.
This 1980s song from The Bangles reflects this aversion for Mondays, as the group sings about wishing it were still the weekend.
3. Hands of a Workin' Man, Zane Williams
“Workin' hard from sunup to the sundown. They can build it tall, they can tear it on down. They've got the know-how if you've got the money.”
This song is a tribute to the hardworking people who were the backbone of progress throughout the history of this country. It tells of how there are people with talent who can do what’s needed (tear down or build something).
4. Life of a Workin' Man, Creed Fisher
via Creed Fisher
“Don't tell me that you understand what it's like and who I am. If you ain't spend your day working hard for half your pay. Don't tell me 'bout the working class, 'til you're the one that busts you’re a**. When all you got is your pride and your two hands. You can't tell me 'bout the life of a workin' man.”
In this song, Creed Fisher urges those who want to tell the story of the working man to at least experience what it’s like to truly live as a working-class individual.
This means experiencing everything that goes with the job, including being underpaid and overworked. Only then, he says, will the story have credibility.
5. 9 to 5, Dolly Parton
via Dolly Parton
“Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living. Barely getting by, it's all taking and no giving. They just use your mind, and they never give you credit. It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it.”
The current work landscape is changing in major ways. Many people are now working from home due to global events such as the pandemic that hit in 2020.
Nevertheless, there are still people who work the 9-to-5 grind.” This song describes the hardships these people experience while working in an unfair work environment.
6. Dear Mama, Tupac Shakur
“You just workin' with the scraps you was given. And Mama made miracles every Thanksgivin'. But now the road got rough, you're alone. You're tryin' to raise two bad kids on your own. And there's no way I can pay you back. But my plan is to show you that I understand. You are appreciated.”
Compared with families where both parents are present, single parents work extra hard to ensure that the needs of their families are provided for.
This song is a tribute to those single parents who keep finding ways to overcome the challenges they face in order to take care of their families.
We appreciate you!
7. Workin' Man Blues, Merle Haggard
via Joe Jabon
“I keep my nose on the grindstone, I work hard every day. I might get a little tired on the weekend, after I draw my pay. Then I'll go back workin', come Monday morning I'm right back with the crew. I'll drink a little beer that evening. Sing a little bit of these working man blues.”
Some people work hard, but earn very little money.
In this song, we get to know one such working man.
We learn about his weekly routine, which seems to involve working hard all day and getting a little break in the evening, when he can relax with his friends over beer.
What’s your workday routine?
8. 40 Hour Week, Alabama
via Alabama Band
“This is for the one who swing the hammer, driving home the nail. Or the one behind the counter, ringing up the sale. Or the one who fights the fires, the one who brings the mail. For everyone who works behind the scenes.”
This song is another tribute to people who work in the service industries. They are the unsung heroes of progress. Hats off to them.
9. Hard Hat and a Hammer, Alan Jackson
via Alan Jackson
“All week long making a living. Life keeps takin', he keeps giving. Behind the scene, below the grade. Hardly noticed but part of everything.”
This song is Alan Jackson’s tribute to manual laborers.
Their work is backbreaking and often performed under suboptimal weather conditions. The fact that there are people willing to do this kind of work is admirable and humbling.
10. Working Girl, Cher
“Come Monday morning, you see her waitin' on the street for her ride. In an hour she'll be working in a tower made of steel in the sky. She's just a pawn in the struggle in a never-ending fight to survive…”
In this song, Cher sings about the trials and travails of working women.
Even today, there is still gender discrimination in the workplace. Perhaps we can do our part to help put a stop to it soon.
11. Working Man's Ph.D., Aaron Tippin
“With your heart and your hands and the sweat on your brow, you build the things that really make the world go 'round. If it works, if it runs, if it lasts for years, you can bet your bottom dollar it was made right here. With pride and honor and dignity from a man with a Working Man's Ph.D.”
This song was released in 1993 as the lead single from Tippin’s Call of the Wild album. The song gives listeners a picture of what life is like for people who do manual work.
12. Five O'Clock World, The Vogues
“Trading my time for the pay I get, living on the money that I ain't made yet. Gotta keep goin', gotta make my way. But I live for the end of the day!”
There are many people who work hard but don’t really love their jobs. Their prime motivation is making money to pay their bills and support their lifestyle.
This song describes these people, who always seem to be watching the clock.
13. She Works Hard for the Money, Donna Summer
via Donna Summer
“She works hard for the money, so hard for it, honey. She works hard for the money, so you better treat her right.”
People who work hard to earn their own money deserve respect. This song reminds listeners about the effort they put in, day after day.
14. Hey, Mister (I Need This Job), Shenandoah
“Hey, Mister, I can work all day. I don't care about the weather. Just take a look at these hands. I'm as strong as you. Hey, Mister, I need this job. ‘Cause I told her I'd get one. I know you know what I mean if you ever had someone depend on you.”
This song tells of a guy who’s willing to do anything to get a job and support that special someone in his life. It is a testament to the sacrifices hardworking people are willing to make for the ones they love.
15. Beer on the Table, Josh Thompson
“Well, I do what I gotta do to get through working that nine to five. It's killing me but then again it's keeping me alive. It puts the gas in my truck, butter on my biscuits, a couple of bucks when I'm itching for a scratch-off ticket…”
Here is another song that describes the life of a working man. He earns enough to buy the necessities, but not much for anything else.
Does it feel the same for you?
16. Busy Man, Billy Ray Cyrus
via Billy Ray Cyrus
“You got to go, got to run. Hit it hard and get it done. Everyone can see you're going far. You got responsibilities, a crazy schedule that you keep. And when you say that time's a-wasting, you don't know how right you are. Busy man.”
Many people make their careers a priority. Deeply immersed in their work, they tend to forget that there are other things that matter more than success in the workplace.
This song describes how a person almost forgot that family is more important than a career. Fortunately, he was able to remember before it was too late.
17. Cleaning Windows, Van Morrison
via Van Morrison
“What's my line? I'm happy cleanin' windows. Take my time. I'll see you when my love grows. Baby, don't let it slide. I'm a working man in my prime. Cleanin' windows.”
It’s rare to find songs that express joy and satisfaction about work. This song from Van Morrison is one of the rare ones whose message is about being happy with the work one does.
Being able to express gratitude for the work you have is a great way to achieve happiness.
18. Cats in the Cradle, Ugly Kid Joe
via Ugly Kid Joe
“And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon. Little Boy Blue and the Man in the Moon. “When you comin' home?” “Son, I don't know when. We'll get together then. You know we'll have a good time then.””
This single from Ugly Kid Joe has a similar theme to Billy Ray Cyrus’s Busy Man.
In this case, however, the outcome of the hardworking father’s busy-ness is more tragic. He learns too late that he should have prioritized his family over his career.
19. Hard Way to Make an Easy Living, Toby Keith
via Toby Keith
“It's a hard, hard way to make your way in a world that don't care what you pay, what you earn or what you take, or how much you're not giving. Life's a tough old row to hoe, trust in God with the seeds you sow. And always know it's a hard, hard way of making easy living.”
It is a common misconception that rich people no longer have to work hard.
In actually fact, they often have to work even harder in order to keep their businesses afloat and support the people in their employ.
This song describes that situation—where someone who is seen as being well off actually has more bills to pay and more things to look after.
20. Smoke Break, Carrie Underwood
via Carrie Underwood
“She's a small-town, hardworking woman just trying to make a living. Working three jobs, feeding four little mouths in a run-down kitchen. It's hard to be a good wife and a good mom and a good Christian.”
From Carrie Underwood's interview: “The song itself is one of those story songs I feel like everybody can relate to, about how life is so hectic. And it's so nice when–if and when–you actually get to step away for a second. We all need that, and we all need that time to ourselves and to get to take a break.”
21. Assembly Line, Randy Montana
“And it's all manufactured time when you're on the assembly line. Building products made to sell, moving on a conveyor belt. And it's a job for a diligent heart. And I'm just one of a thousand parts. You might think I've got it rough but I don't mind working on the assembly line.”
Here is a tribute to those who work on assembly lines. It takes tenacity and patience to stay at a job that has a set routine, day in and day out.
Kudos to those who are in this line of work.
22. Epiphany, Taylor Swift
via Taylor Swift
“Only 20 minutes to sleep but you dream of some epiphany. Just one single glimpse of relief to make sense of what you've seen. With you, I serve. With you, I fall down… Watch you breathe in. Watch you breathing out.”
The pandemic that engulfed the world in 2020 changed our perception of heroes. This song likens medical frontliners to soldiers.
Health care workers have become heroes in our eyes for all they have done during the ongoing the global health crisis. Now, as the world slowly returns to normal, let’s never forget their sacrifices.
23. Worker's Song, Dropkick Murphys
“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. And we're always the last when the cream is shared out. For the worker is working when the fat cat's about.”
This song describes the oppression experienced by members of the working class. In a way, it is a protest song against corporations, employers, and lawmakers who exploit workers.
Hopefully someone will finally step up and help hardworking people get what they truly deserve.
24. Whistle While You Work, Adriana Caselotti
“Just whistle while you work and cheerfully together we can tidy up the place. So hum a merry tune. It won't take long when there's a song to help you set the pace.”
This song from Disney’s Snow White is a reminder to remain cheerful while we work. Whistling and humming are indicators that we’re satisfied and happy in our work environment.
Do you whistle while you work?
25. Heigh-Ho, Dwarf Chorus
“Heigh-ho, heigh-ho. It's home from work we go.”
Here is another track from Disney’s Snow White, featuring the Dwarf Chorus. It is considered an iconic song about working.
Here’s some quick trivia: The use of the term “heigh-ho” was first recorded in the 16th century. It means disappointment, tiredness, or yawning—the way some people feel about their jobs.
Have you been feeling this way? You might want to check out this collection of positivity quotes to help build a positive attitude at work.
26. Lord, Have Mercy on the Working Man, Travis Tritt
via Travis Tritt
“Now won't you tell me if you can. ‘Cause life's so hard to understand. Why the rich man's dancing while the poor man pays the band. Oh they're billing me for killing me. Lord have mercy on the working man.”
For many people, working hard does not immediately bring the success they’re hoping for. This song is a plea for heavenly intervention to improve the plight of the working class.
27. Hard Workin' Man, Brooks & Dunn
via Brooks & Dunn
“I'm a hard workin' man, I wear a steel hard hat. I can ride, rope, hammer, and paint. Do things with my hands that most men can't.”
This final song celebrates the abilities of people who earn their way through their own efforts, skills, and talents. What skills are you proud of that you’re using to make a living?
There you have it—27 of the best songs about working hard. We hope you’ve found a favorite to add to your playlist.
If you’re a member of the workforce, we appreciate all the hard work you do and wish you success in your career and personal life.
Remember to reward yourself once you’ve accomplished your goals. Here’s a post that features over 100 suggestions on how to reward yourself.
If you’re looking for more songs about a specific topic, you might want to check out any of the following posts: