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10 Songs About Working Hard


We all work to live, but it can be easy to think that we live to work. We all need a little motivation to get up for work and to give it our best each day. So here’s a list that will give you the inspiration you need!

good motivational songs

The Clash – 48 Hours

You can’t have a list of songs dedicated to hard work without having at least one glorifying the excesses of the weekend, right? So to get that out of the way, here’s one of The Clash’s most popular songs among the working class. Ironically, it’s said that this song about the 48 hours of joy after a work week was written in just 24 minutes!

All work, no play lyrics: Friday or Saturday, what does that mean?

Short space of time needs a heavy scene

Monday is coming like a jail on wheels

Forty-eight hours needs forty-eight

Forty-eight hours needs forty-eight

Forty-eight hours needs forty-eight


Forty-eight thrills


Dolly Parton – 9 to 5

Dolly Parton wrote this song for the film of the same name, which she starred in. Both the song and the movie are about the life of women working in an American office. Dolly says she was inspired to write this song because of the long fingernails she wore. When rubbed together, they make the same sound as a typewriter, which was then used as a sound effect in this song.

All work, no play lyrics: Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’

Barely gettin’ by, it’s all takin’ and no givin’

They just use your mind and they never give you credit

It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it

9 to 5, for service and devotion

You would think that I would deserve a fat promotion

Want to move ahead but the boss won’t seem to let me

I swear sometimes that man is out to get me


Donna Summer – She Works Hard for the Money

Donna Summer pays tribute to all the waitresses out there who are bussing table day in, day out. She was inspired by a trip to a restaurant in L.A. wherein she saw an attendant taking a nap in the bathroom. The woman told Donna that she works two jobs and was really tired. This then gave rise to a song for all the hardworking waitresses out there and to all the customers who should be treating them right.

All work, no play lyrics: It’s a sacrifice working day to day

For little money, just tips for pay

But it’s worth it all

To hear them say that they care

She works hard for the money

So hard for it, honey

She works hard for the money

So you better treat her right

motivating songs

Rise Against – Re-Education Through Labor

Rise Against has never been known to shy away from singing about social issues. In this song, they sing about all the workers out there who work so hard and yet get paid so little. Vocalist Tim McIlrath says, “It’s talking a lot about the 9-to-5, dog-eat-dog lifestyle, and what we are asked to do to simply make ends meet nowadays, and I think it’s a feeling shared by people all around the world and especially in this country.”

All work, no play lyrics: We crawl on our knees for you

Under a sky no longer blue

We sweat all day long for you

But we sow seeds to see us through

But sometimes dreams just don’t come true

We wait to reap what we are due


Rihanna – Work

Working hard isn’t just confined to working on one’s job. Relationships take work too, as Rihanna so skillfully sings in this hit song. Work is a song about how Rihanna’s out there busting her ass working, while her deadbeat boyfriend is just using her as a pretty ornament on his arm. Now that she’s had enough, she just wants to work and live the good life without an ungrateful man in her life.

All work, no play lyrics: Work, work, work, work, work, work

You see me I be work, work, work, work, work, work

You see me do me dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt

There’s something ’bout that work, work, work, work, work, work

When you a gon’ learn, learn, learn, learn, learn, learn

Me na care if me tired, tired, tired, tired, tired, tired


Huey Lewis & the News – Workin’ for a Livin’

This is a song that goes out to all those people who work so hard just to make ends meet. Whether you’re a bus boy, a bartender, or a lady of the night, this band knows how you’re just doing what you can to survive in this expensive world.

All work, no play lyrics: Some days won’t end ever and some days pass on by

I’ll be working here forever, at least until I die

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t

I’m supposed to get a raise week, you know damn well I won’t

motivation song

Linda Ronstadt – Blue Bayou

Linda Ronstadt’s version of this Ray Orbison original really makes you empathize with the longing she feels as she tours with her band. Blue Bayou is a song about missing home. And even though you’re happy with what you do, there’s just something comforting about knowing you have a home to come back to.

All work, no play lyrics: Saving nickles, saving dimes

Working til the sun don’t shine

Looking forward to happier times

On Blue Bayou

I’m going back someday

Come what may

To Blue Bayou

Where the folks are fun

And the world is mine

On Blue Bayou

Where those fishing boats

With their sails afloat

If I could only see

That familiar sunrise

Through sleepy eyes

How happy I’d be


The Plastic Ono Band, John Lennon – Working Class Hero

If you want to feel nihilistic, here’s the working class song for you. In this song, the band laments how we’re all trapped in a cycle of labor from the very beginning. When we’re born, we’re made to feel worthless. When we go to school, you’re pressured to fit in and follow all the rules. And when you’re made to pick a career, you can barely pick one because of the fear of being a failure!

All work, no play lyrics: When they’ve tortured and scared you for twenty-odd years

Then they expect you to pick a career

When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear

A working class hero is something to be

A working class hero is something to be


Survivor – Eye of the Tiger

When you earn your living through sports, training is the work you put in to ensure that you win the medals each time. In this classic workout song, Survivor sings about motivating yourself to keep that dream of being the champion alive!

All work, no play lyrics: It’s the eye of the tiger

It’s the thrill of the fight

Rising up to the challenge of our rival

And the last known survivor

Stalks his prey in the night

And he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger

songs about motivation

The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night

The title for this song was taken from Ringo Starr’s expression. He explains that the band would often work all night. And when asked about the all-nighter, he would say, “it’s been a hard day… night!”

It’s been a hard day’s night, and I been working like a dog

It’s been a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log

But when I get home to you I find the things that you do

Will make me feel alright


Don’t let work get your down in this dog-eat-dog world. Just belt out all your work troubles with these songs that know exactly how you feel!


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