Songs About Unemployment

With worries about the economy all around, and people taking pay cuts, losing jobs, and losing their homes, most people have either been effected by money troubles themselves or they have a close friend who has. Christians are not immune from money troubles, and Christians seem to be losing their jobs at the same rate as others. Perhaps you can create art that reflects the troubled economic times of today. Here are some musical inspirations to get your creative juices flowing.

Bruce Springsteen- The Ghost of Tom Joad

With a truly down-and-out situation of financial disaster and subsequent homelessness, this haunting song contains the lyrics, “Welcome to the new world order/ Families sleepin' in their cars in the southwest/No home no job no peace no rest.”

The La’s- Doledrum

This song isn’t necessarily about unemployment, but, as the title suggests, it’s about finding a way out of the doledrums. “I'll just get on my coat and shout/ Get on the boat get out of Doledrum.” The catchy tune is sure to help people who are depressed about money.

Sufjian Stevens- Flint (For the Unemployed and Underpaid)

His name is pronounced to rhyme with “You-see-Ron,” he’s a Christian, and he’s very popular with the indie and college audiences. This song pairs a beautiful melody with a very serious subject. “Since the first of June/Lost my job/And lost my room/I pretend to try/Even if I tried alone.”

The Jam- Smithers Jones

This song about a person going to work on Monday morning as if everything is normal, and getting fired when he gets to the office, is upbeat and mod. “Come in Smithers old boy/take a seat, take the weight off your feet/I’ve some news to tell you/there’s no longer a position for you/sorry Smithers Jones.”

Billy Joel- Allentown

As explained in both English and Russian at the beginning of this clip, this song is about American youth who were promised the American dream if they worked hard, but the dream has never materialized for them. “Well we're waiting here in Allentown/For the Pennsylvania we never found/For the promises our teachers gave/If we worked hard/If we behaved/So the graduations hang on the wall/But they never really helped us at all/No they never taught us what was real…”

Bing Crosby (Yip Harburg, Jay Gorney)- Brother, Can you Spare a Dime?

This song about lost dreams and poverty is a classic for financial difficulties. “They used to tell me I was building a dream/With peace and glory ahead/Why should I be standing in line/Just waiting for bread?”

Sawyer Brown- Café Down on the Corner

This song about a farmer turned restaurant employee because, as the song says, “They say crime don't pay/But neither does farmin' these days/And the coffee is cold/And he's fifty years old/And he's got to learn to live some other way.” This country song describes the other lost souls in that café, “soldiers without wars…dealers without deals.”

Styx- Blue Collar Man

The song starts off with, “Give me a job, give me security/Give me a chance to survive/I'm just a poor soul in the unemployment line/My god, i'm hardly alive.” That’s the essence of the song.

Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush- Don’t Give Up

This beautiful and interesting song really describes the despair of someone who has lost hope in life. Gabriel nails the voice of the helpless and hopeless. Bush answers, “Don’t give up/’cause you have friends/Dont give up/You’re not beaten yet/Dont give up/I know you can make it good.”

John Rich- Shuttin’ Detroit Down

“While the boss man takes his bonus paid jets on out of town/DC's bailing out them bankers as the farmers auction ground/Yeah while they're living up on Wall Street in that New York City town/Here in the real world they're shuttin' Detroit down” Kind-of says it all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

interesting that you wouldn't put any Christian songs on this list.