An estimated 98% of us experience earworms. Despite the annoying times that we can’t get a chorus or a hook of an overplayed pop song out of our heads, getting a really good earworm stuck can be one of the best things ever.
We here at Nerdist are dead-set on bringing you those types of songs, if only for the weekend. We’ll be scouring the internet for the best earworms we can shove into your meaty brains!
Hey folks! Hope you’re enjoying your Labor Day weekend! This is the first year in more than I’d care to remember that I actually have Labor Day off, so it’s rather exciting for me. The plan thus far is to either enjoy a BBQ somewhere in the heat of late-summer Chicago or just plain sleep straight through till Tuesday. It’s definitely weird to have the day off and I don’t mean to sound like a braggart because I do know the pains of retail and service jobs where holidays are more of a myth than reality.
However, whether you’ve got the weekend off or have to work, these work-centric songs should provide some delight and or comfort depending on what your work situation is on this holiday weekend.
Lee Dorsey – Working In The Coal Mine
Lee Dorsey’s version of what is probably the most earwormy of all the songs in this week’s article. This iconic version of “Working in the Coal Mine” is probably the version we all know but the song itself was written and originally performed by Allen Toussaint. Sure, his version lacks the higher pitched vocals we all have tried to emulate at some point, but at least there’s a video of him performing it instead of the bleak coal miner imagery in almost every YouTube video of Dorsey’s version.
Huey Lewis and the News – Workin’ for a Livin’
It’s fair to say I’ve got a fairly weird obsession with Huey Lewis and the News. They are easily one of my favorite bands and I listen to them more than any 32-year-old should. This track off of 1982’s Picture This is my third favorite right after “Do You Believe in Love” and “Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do“. Despite its Labor Day theme, I think I may have only included it in order to exclaim my love for Huey Lewis and the News. In fact, yes. It’s exactly that.
Todd Rundgren – Bang On the Drum All Day
Forget “Working in the Coal Mine,” this 1983 song by Todd Rundgren is now the front-runner for most earwormy. This version of Rundgren’s song is most likely the one everybody remembers, but the one embedded above is the winner for better calliope-esque keyboards and the raw 40-second bass solo at the minute-thirty mark. It is also possible that this is the first time I’ve heard this song in its entirety and not just a clip of it during the end credits of a ’90s movie.
Dolly Parton – 9-5
There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who love Dolly Parton and those who undeniably dead wrong if they say they don’t. Dolly Parton can do no wrong. She exists in a place where your musical predilections don’t matter and everything but Dolly’s music melts away. “9-5” is a song I encourage everyone to listen to on Labor Day or whenever they want to hear an angel. This may be another situation where I included a song in order to sing the praises of the performer. I suppose since that’s out in the open I can just urge you to listen to “Sneakin Around” & “I Will Always Love You” from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and of course the absolutely gorgeous “Jolene“.
What’s on your Labor Day playlist? Are there more earwormy work songs than this? Let me know in the comments below!
Blake Rodgers writes for Nerdist from Chicago IL where he lives happily with his Guinness World Record for High Fives. You can be his pal by following him on Twitter (@TheBlakeRodgers)