Kicking off our list of the Top 10 Work Songs is 'Work,' from the 1980 Bob Marley and the Wailers album 'Uprising,' the final record released during the reggae star's lifetime. With the vocal assistance of the I Threes, Marley counted down the work week day by day, lamenting, "I work in the midday sun / I work till the evening comes."
The oldest song on our list is this 1946 coal miner's tale in which Merle Travis grumbled, "You load sixteen tons, and what do you get? / Another day older and deeper in debt." Tennessee Ernie Ford took his version of the song to No. 1 in 1955, while artists as diverse as Tom Jones, Stevie Wonder, Johnny Cash and Eels have also recorded the tune.
'9 to 5'
Country crossover star Dolly Parton scored the biggest pop hit of her five-decade career with '9 to 5,' which she wrote for the 1980 movie of the same name. The song lightheartedly complained about waking up early, fighting traffic and dealing with unappreciative bosses. The tune had more life than anyone could have imagined, growing into a television series and, in 2009, a Broadway musical.
'She Works Hard for the Money'
'Disco diva Donna Summer earned her biggest post-disco hit in 1983 with this track, which declared, "She works hard for the money, so you better treat her right." Taken from the album of the same name, the song told the story of a struggling woman who made sacrifices to make ends meet. It earned Summer a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.'
'A Well Respected Man'
'The Kinks were no strangers to controversy. This 1965 rock song penned by singer Ray Davies included lyrics about "a well-respected man about town, doing the best things so conservatively" that were dripping with sarcasm and condemnation of the British upper class. The song received a recent boost in notoriety when it appeared on the 'Juno' soundtrack.'
'I Don't Like Mondays'
The Boomtown Rats
Written in 1979 by Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof about a San Diego shooting incident, 'I Don't Like Mondays' has taken on a more universal appeal in the years since its No. 73 peak on the singles chart. Geldof organized Live Aid in 1985 and Live 8 in 2005 and played 'I Don't Like Mondays' at both benefit concerts.
The Mamas and the Papas
"Monday, Monday, so good to me / Monday morning, it was all I hoped it would be," Mamas & the Papas singer John Phillips sang over the group's radiant harmonies. Before long, though, Phillips had changed his tune: "Whenever Monday comes, you can find me crying all the time." It's a perfect song for workers who dread that commute to the office to start the week.
'Welcome to the Working Week'
'Elvis Costello kicked off his classic 1978 album 'My Aim is True' with this 80-second blast of energy. "I know it don't thrill you / I hope it don't kill you," the future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer sang of the daily grind, while ooh-ooh harmonies and a poppy melody complemented him in the background.'
Though Susanna Hoffs may wish it was Sunday, cause that's her fun day, instead it's just another 'Manic Monday' and she's got to get to work. Written by Prince, the track described the typical frustration of a Monday morning in an upbeat, fun manner. In 1986 it went all the way to No. 2 but was ironically kept out of the top spot by Prince's 'Kiss.'
'Working Class Hero'
John Lennon's 1970 acoustic song 'Working Class Hero' reassured working class people they are noble while offering bitter criticism of authority figures in society and the way they mistreat the "peasants." Green Day recorded a notable remake in 2007, proving the song's message is still relevant and cementing its place atop our list of the Top 10 Work Songs.