We're knee-deep into Depression 2.0. We're running out of jobs, and we're overwhelmed with the amount of people looking for them. You're unemployed — or if you aren't, then there's a good chance that you will be, because your job can be combined with the guy in accounting and the receptionist, and so you can head home. You're not the first, though. Musicians love writing about work — or a lack thereof. With that in mind, here's a mix for you to listen to while you wait for that first unemployment check to roll in:
1. "Working Class Hero" (John Lennon): It's your life story. You've worked and dedicated yourself to your job and what do you have to show for it? A box with some family photos and a retirement fund of $10,000? Oh, and all your creativity has been stripped away and pounded into the ground while "You're still fucking peasants as far as I can see." Thanks for being so positive, Mr. Lennon.
2. "Working in the Coal Mine" (Devo version): Yep, working is hard. "When my work day is over, too tired for fun." Not working is the best thing that could have happened to you. Finally, you'll have the energy to make your BlackBerry look like an iPhone so all your younger friends will think you're cool again.
3. "Career Opportunities" (The Clash): Now that you're unemployed, you're going to need to start looking for a new job. Here is a list of jobs that the Clash recommends that you DON'T get: Making tea at the BBC, cop, Army, RAF, opening letter bombs, bus driver, ambulance man, ticket inspector, making toys. So that narrows down your craigslist search, right?
4. "Sixteen Tons" (Tennessee Ernie Ford): In the ol' days, working was a lot harder. These days, if you have a hard job, eventually it's going to become a nationally acclaimed show on the Discovery Channel. Pulling sixteen tons out of the coal mine didn't get you more than deeper in debt to the company store.
5. "Maggie's Farm" (Bob Dylan): Well, this one's pretty obvious. The first line is "I ain't gonna work on Maggie's Farm no more." It's also emblematic of a few things that might make you feel a little bit better about your new situation. Your (old) job treated you like crap, and you really hated having to scrub the floor. So you know what? You didn't get "laid off"; you fucking quit. You stood up to them and told them where they could "shove it, etc."
Visit Backbeat Online for six more songs.
Get the Music Newsletter