The stress and struggles of a hard work day are something nearly everyone feels at one point. It is comforting to know that you are not the only person that feels this way.
Country music has put out many songs that echo this sentiment. Hearing your favorite country music singer express similar feelings after a long day at work is its own paycheck.
We have compiled a list of the top country songs about work to inspire you to get through the work day or even a bit of commiseration.
“Take This Job and Shove It” by Johnny Paycheck
Song Year: 1977
Here's a 70s country song. Recorded in 1997 by the country music singer Johnny Paycheck, “Take This Job and Shove It” describes the story of a man who, after working in a factory for 15 years to support his woman, has had it.
After his woman leaves, he finds no reason to continue to work at a job he has grown to despise. “Take This Job and Shove It” was an instant hit, remaining on the top country charts for several weeks.
Touted as a working guy’s anthem, the song is relatable to anyone who has given their all for a job and received little glory or praise in return.
“9 to 5″ by Dolly Parton
Song Year: 1980
Composed for the comedy movie of the same name, 9 to 5, Dolly Parton was inspired by the clicking of her nails to create the cadence for this definitive country hit.
The song relates the anguish of someone who works as hard as they can only to watch their boss accept all the credit. And reminding them that they are not the only ones that feel this deflation, “9 to 5” is lively and peppy, even with the disheartening lyrics.
Winning Parton a Grammy for Best Country Song and Best Country Vocal Performance, “9 to 5” still cruises in popularity.
“Coal Miner's Daughter” by Loretta Lynn
Song Year: 1971
When the incredible Loretta Lynn sings, everyone listens. “Coal Miner's Daughter” recounts the autobiographical tale of Lynn's everyday life growing up in poverty in rural Kentucky.
The song is soulful as it tells the dichotomy between Lynn being poor but still satisfied. She is reminding everyone that happiness has zero to do with money.
Most people consider “Coal Miner's Daughter” to be Loretta Lynn's signature song, and music fans appreciate the song's statement.
“The Factory” by Kenny Rogers
Song Year: 1988
Released in 1988 by country megastar Kenny Rogers, “The Factory,” composed by Bud McGuire, describes the story of the life of McGuire's father and the difficulties working at a factory.
“The Factory” is another tune on our list that defines the continual push and pull between working somewhere you do not love and supporting the people you love.
The song is conveyed from a child's point of view and drives home the theme that passion and sacrifice are the things that keep the dad clocking in every day at the factory.
“Hard Workin' Man” by Brooks & Dunn
Song Year: 1993
The country duo Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, better known as Brooks & Dunn, are no strangers to recounting life, passion, and work tales. “Hard Workin’ Man” is the title track to Brooks & Dunn’s second album.
It describes the saga of a man who understands the significance of working hard and the significance of taking time to appreciate life.
And indeed, everyone can connect to burning the candle at both ends to make ends meet.
“Workin' Man's Ph.D.” by Aaron Tippin
Song Year: 1993
By the time Aaron Tippin released the first single from the Call of the Wild album, “Workin' Man's Ph.D.” he was already rocking numerous jukeboxes and radios in the early 90s.
Known for his Southern twang and honky tonk manner, Aaron Tippin's tunes have become anthems addressing working-class laborers.
“Workin' Man's Ph.D.” drives home the theme that putting in an honest day of hard work is just as vital and valuable as any college degree.
“Finally Friday” by George Jones
Song Year: 1992
By 1992, when the song “Finally Friday” by George Jones smashed into radios, Jones was already something of a country music folklore. In characteristic George Jones style, “Finally Friday” features his unique voice and fantastic storytelling lyrics.
Singing about depleting a week's work of pay on an entertaining weekend (and then paying the price the whole next week) brings a smile to nearly everyone's face when they hear it.
And when Mr. Jones clamors that it is finally Friday and he is free again, every working person connects to that liberation.
“Forty Hour Week (For a Livin')” by Alabama
Song Year: 1985
Another number one hit for the band Alabama, “Forty Hour Week (For a Livin')” is a love letter to America's blue-collar workers. The song balances love for America while bringing to light some societal crises.
“Forty Hour Week (For a Livin')” acknowledges the jobs that commonly do not get the honor they deserve. With shout-outs to the workers in Detroit and Kansas and postal and steel mill workers, this song pays homage to all of the unsung day-to-day heroes that keep America running.
“Hard Hat and a Hammer” by Alan Jackson
Song Year: 2010
“Hard Hat and a Hammer,” released in 2010 by country music superstar Alan Jackson, honors blue-collar workers for the demanding work they endure every day.
The song also features the sound of Jackson hitting an anvil owned by his father to add a bit of nostalgia.
And the tune may reference the concept that when a man works his whole life and then withers away, another takes his place. However, the fundamental theme of the song is the reverence and respect that everyone should pay to the American blue-collar worker.
“Blowin' Smoke” by Kacey Musgraves
Song Year: 2014
Few people work harder than waitresses, and the song “Blowin' Smoke” by Kacey Musgraves pays tribute to that idea.
The song artfully begins and ends with the clash, clatter, and clang of a busy restaurant leading into Musgraves, weaving the story of the repetitive and sometimes monotonous lifestyle that servers tend to feel.
“Blowin' Smoke” also expresses how sometimes it feels like we are just blowing smoke into the wind.
“Working Man Blues” by Merle Haggard
Song Year: 1969
The legendary Merle Haggard rounds out our list with the song “Working Man Blues.” Haggard's distinguishing guitar riffs and unforgettable voice give this heartfelt country song about working a hard-edged sound mixed with a bluesy style.
Crooning about relishing a beer after a long week and rising again to do it over the next week, “Working Man Blues” gloomy and somber style and lyrics speak to all of us.
Best Country Songs About Work, Final Thoughts
So, there you have it—the best country songs about work. Some classic, some modern.
Hopefully, these fantastic songs will help enhance your work day and week, motivate you even when times seem difficult, and allow you to celebrate all the beautiful things in life while working hard.
Since we all have to clock in and out every day, we might as well make it worthwhile with some good music.