Nine unheralded work songs for Labor Day

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As a holiday, Labor Day is rife with contradictions: one works all year to receive a single lousy holiday -- just one fucking day -- celebrating the worker, but that day falls at a spot on the calendar when venturing out anywhere to do anything out of the usual is sado-masochistic at best and foolhardy at worst due to crushing heat and swarming crowds. By the time Labor Day rolls around, who could blame anybody who opted to ride the long weekend out sprawled in a backyard kiddie pool, downing one Molson after another?

The world is full of songs about work, and in the following list Gimmie Noise attempted to sidestep most of them in favor of some less-heralded favorites, old and new. We hope you'll make this the soundtrack to 24 hours of much deserved inactivity, but can't promise that we won't be slaving away on one level or another while you're zoning out on CSI: re-runs.
Ween, "Pumpin' 4 The Man"

In which Dean and Gene memorialize the indignities of filling station toil in a spazzed-out, hyper-kinetic melee that was probably recorded on stimulants and is all the better for it. The perfect thing to blast from your PC speakers or your iPhone on the day when you're all set to quit or at least reasonable sure you're about to get canned.

Shonen Knife, "A Day at the Factory"

Osaka's she-Ramones send up the monotony of factory work by lending it a hook strewn with clanks, knocks, and scrapes, and somehow making these four minutes seem to last 40. Which isn't to say that "Factory" isn't inherently likable, but every time that it seems like it should be winding down, the thing always seems to have a while left to run - not unlike the most excruciating of work days.

Rhymefest, "Dynomite (Going Postal)"

Like almost every other rapper who was only marginally or vicariously popular in the mid-00s, Chicago's Rhymefest is slinging mixtapes these days when he's making music at all, but back in 2005 the dude was capable of quasi-populist, scratch-heavy bangers like "Dynomite." It's, you know, a little something special to slip into the DJ playlist at the company picnic.

The Bangles, "Manic Monday"

"Oh, hells no!" you protest. "Is 'Manic Monday' really a work song, or is it actually a Monday song?" That's arguable, but I'd be willing to wager a half-hour's salary that most of us suffer through four or five Mondays in a row every week - especially during those weeks that kick off with a Monday holiday, because it's not like all the work you didn't do that day goes away; it just gets knocked back a day, and it's waiting for you when you get back to your place of employment, panting and sitting up like a well-trained spaniel puppy. Also, the Bangles make being an ulcer-likely wage slave kind of epic and awesome here. Did I want to include Dolly's "9 to 5" on this list? I thought about it, but, you know, too obvious.

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2 comments
Branden Strot
Branden Strot

big balls? btw, screw your lou reed, you just voided your comment because your a moron.

Alex Anderson
Alex Anderson

You list is voided because of AC/DC...but almost redeemed for Lou Reed. But still null & void for the AC/DC inclusion.

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