I thought it would be interesting to pick out 6 negative songs about work just to see what words of wisdom the world of popular music can bring us. The world of music tends not to be very positive about work, but seeming how careers advisers are pretty much employed to be I thought this might be an interesting (and fun counterpoint).
Hope you enjoy add your suggestions for other negative (and positive) songs in the comments.
Maggie’s Farm – Bob Dylan
“I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
No, I aint gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
Well, I wake up in the morning
Fold my hands and pray for rain
I got a head full of ideas
That are drivin’ me insane
It’s a shame the way she makes me scrub the floor
I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more.”
Career Lesson: Work is based around oppressive overlords who will turn your days into druggery and kill your creativity (coincidentally written 14 years before Margaret Thatcher came to power in Britain).
Career Opportunities – The Clash
“They said I’d better take anything they’d got
Do you wanna make tea at the BBC?
Do you wanna be, do you really wanna be a cop?
Career opportunities the ones that never knocked
Every job they offer you is to keep you out the dock
Career opportunity, the one that never knocked”
Career Lesson: Society has nothing to offer young people in the labour market, it just gives them worthless jobs to keep them out of jail.
Welcome to the Occupation – REM
“Hang your collar up inside
Hang your dollar on me
Listen to the water still
Listen to the cause where you are
Fed and educated,
Primitive and wild
Welcome to the occupation”
Career Lesson: The company you work for is probably doing someone else over, it’s time to look around you and see the world we live in and pick a side.
Living on a prayer – Bon Jovi
“Tommy used to work on the docks
Union’s been on strike
He’s down on his luck…
It’s tough, so tough
Gina works the diner all day
Working for her man,
She brings home her pay
For love, for love”
Career Lesson: Work impacts negatively on the rest of your life, it’s hard, very hard, and not at all glamorous and the only thing you have to keep you going is some vague sentiments being blurted out with a guy non-ironic haircut who seems overly happy about your lot.
Slave to the wage – Placebo
“Run away from all your boredom
Run away from all your whoredom and wave
Your worries, and cares, goodbye
All it takes is one decision
A lot of guts, a little vision to wave
Your worries, and cares goodbye
It’s a maze for rats to try”
Career Lesson: Work is slavish obedience and conformity to something that doesn’t make sense, it is our Matrix, get out now! (mention to Maggie not coincidental this time…)
Fitter Happier – Radiohead
“Fitter Happier, more productive, comfortable, not drinking too much, regular exercise at the gym (3 days a week), getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries, at ease, eating well… now self-employed concerned (but powerless) an empowered and informed member of society (pragmatism not idealism), will not cry in public, less chance of illness.”
Career Lesson: Work is part of the good life and being a respectable, responsible citizen, it makes you happy and gives you meaning, about as meaningful as being a pig on antibiotics, whatever that means…