Like many people in the modern workplace, I have the benefit of listening to music on my computer while doing some of my work. Did you know that listening to music at work can increase productivity?
Teresa Lesiuk studied the effect of music listening on work performance and found that music promotes a "positive mood change and enhanced perception on design while working." Results showed that quality of work was lowest when no music was played, and individuals actually spent longer on a task when there was no music. On the other hand, those who who did listen to music finished their assignments more quickly and proposed better ideas.
I love most every genre of music, and I listen to a variety of tunes from AC/DC to ABBA, Enimem to Eric Clapton, Wynton Marsalis to White Rabbits, and most everything in between. Although I'm not a huge fan of country—unlike one coworker, who proudly proclaims that he "listens to both types of music: Country and Western."
Regardless of the genre, it seems like almost all songs are written about falling in love, breaking up, or the many activities in between. But unless you are Taylor Swift, the majority of your time is not spent falling in love or breaking up, so why aren't there more songs about other aspects of life? Like WORK! We spend 8+ hours a day, 5+ days a week working—what about songs that talk about the glorious (or not so glorious) workday?
Well, you're in luck. Here's my list of the top-ten work-related songs for your listening enjoyment. Look 'em up on YouTube or Spotify to listen:
9. Working Man - Rush -- This song was voted 94th in the Guitar World magazine's list of 100 greatest guitar solos. Upon its release in 1974, it was played extensively in Clevaland, Ohio, because it resonated with the working-class -- and Rush's popularity in the United States grew from there. The lyrics "I got no time for livin', yes, I'm workin' all the time" feels dead-accurate to me.
8. She Works Hard For The Money - Donna Summer -- This song was written after Donna Summer happened to meet an exhausted bathroom attendant: "She works hard for the money, So you better treat her right". Summer performed this song live at the 1984 Grammy Awards, which was the biggest viewing audience of any Grammy broadcast to date.
7. It's Five O'Clock Somewhere - Alan Jackson & Jimmy Buffett -- "It's only half past twelve. But I don't care, it's five o'clock somewhere". Great line…but probably not the best advise to follow on a regular basis.
6. Money, Money, Money - ABBA -- "I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay". Later in the song, ABBA mentions that the solution is to marry somebody rich. My wife apparently didn't take that advice.
4. Workin' For A Livin - Huey Lewis & The News -- "Hey I'm not complainin' 'cause I really need the work, Hittin' up my buddy's got me feelin' like a jerk". In addition to the popularity the song garnered in 1982, Huey Lewis recorded a new version together with Garth Brooks in 2007 -- yep, Huey's still working for a living like the rest of us.
3. Manic Monday - The Bangles -- This song was actually written by Prince (or, as I prefer to call him, "The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince"). "It's just another manic Monday, I wish it was a Sunday, 'Cause that's my fun-day".
2. 9 to 5 - Dolly Parton -- This song was written for a 1980 comedy film of the same name. "You're just a step On the boss-man's ladder, But you got dreams He'll never take away". This was one of the few songs to hit #1 spots in both the country and contemporary charts.
1. Takin' Care of Business - Bachman-Turner Overdrive -- "If you ever get annoyed, Look at me I'm self-employed, I love to work at nothing all day". Randy Bachman wrote the original version of this tune while he was still a member of the Guess Who. It remains one of the most licensed songs of all time -- being used extensively for business advertisements.
Did I leave out any good ones? Reprimand me in the Comments section and suggest your favorite work-related song.
Image credits: 10, 8, 7, 3, 2: wikipedia; 9: 2112.net; 5: musicstack.com; 4. rhapsody.com; 1: www.45cat.com