Another Labour Day Weekend is upon us — nearly over, really– marking the end of summer, the glorious descent into fall and, well, all that comes after.
Here are a few work-ethic-inspired songs for the remainder of the holiday to accompany any cookouts, deck parties or afternoons spent lounging in a soon-to-be-closed pool, with an extra dose of girl power.
The year was 1983. Donna Summer’s beats were as big as her hair and she had a message for all those bad dudes tryin’ to keep ladies down: Cut the crap. According to her Wikipedia page, the song was inspired by a conversation Donna Summer had with a rest room attendant at a restaurant in Los Angeles hosting a Grammys party. She explained to Nightline that as she entered a rest room, “I saw this little old lady sitting at the end of the bar. And she was asleep. She was the bathroom attendant. And at that same moment, a group of ladies walked into the room and started spraying their hair and doing all these things.” Thinking about what the woman must’ve endured on a regular basis, Summer was inspired and “went back into the bathroom and started writing the song on a piece of toilet paper.”
The video the first by an African American woman to get heavy airplay on MTV and showed a waitress working to feed her family while giving up her dream of being a dancer, later leading a group of women marching and dancing down a busy street in protest of their unfair burdens at home and at work.
Dolly Parton in all her big, blond-haired glory, sassy as all get-out, standing up for ladies everywhere. The song is best known as the theme from the movie of the same name, staring Ms. Dolly, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as a group of women who were fed up with their chauvinistic boss. Each of them has a daydream of how they’d kill their boss, though it’s obvious they’d never actually go through with it. What might be lesser known is that Parton directed the film.
Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin performing together, singing a song about the changing role of women in the late ’70s and early ’80s. There’s not much more to say about this.
Because sometimes silly lookin’ guys with mullets that make catchy tunes are all you need to relate to the working men and women who keep the country moving. Pretentious and pretty they’re not, but if you were around a radio at all in the ’80s, you know this little ditty. Work to live, not live to work, brothers and sisters!
Speaking of which:
Those iconic red leather pants, followed by that cowbell. Enjoy the last long weekend of summer, folks! Don’t forget to set your alarm to go back to work tomorrow.