Ten best songs about quitting your job

Categories: Lists

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"Oh, I can absolutely work Saturday. I didn't have any plans anyway."
The job market's still very tough, your 401 (k) has probably lost its value over the last week, and your rent, car payment and baby mama aren't going to get paid on their own. You hate your job, your boss treats you like garbage, and bygod, you deserve better. Repercussions be damned, it's time to quit. To kick-start a new chapter in your life, here are ten songs about working -- but more importantly, how you plan to quit working, if only temporarily.

10. "Take This Job and Shove It" - Dead Kennedys

This 1986 cover of the mid '70s David Allen Coe song sums up the things that we've all wanted to say to the Man at one point or another. For sake of classiness, though, we've kept those sentiments locked away tightly inside, likely forming an ulcer that will shave years off your life. Also listen to the Johnny Paycheck version of the song, by far the most popular version, which hit number one on the country charts. The Dead Kennedys version, however, seems to have a double-dose of rage that gives the song a different meaning.

9. "Shove This Jay Oh Bee" - Cannibus and Biz Markie

Famously included on the Office Space soundtrack, this song comes in at only the nine spot because the hook by Biz Markie is just a recast version of the the "Take This Job and Shove It" chorus. The verse by Cannibus, however, offers a few kernels a truth that we can chew on, in addition to providing some plot points from the film: "Your coworkers talking to loud to ignore them/It affects your occupational performance." This is a silly song, though, right down to the "Umm... Yeah." samples from the Lumbergh character.

8. "Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous" - Big L

"My moms told me to get a job, fuck that/A'yo, picture me gettin a job/Takin orders from Bob, sellin corn on the cob/Yo, how the hell I'ma make ends meet/Makin' about 120 dollars a week?" In a stanza, the late Big L sums up why working sucks. Enough said.

7. "Customers Fuck Off" - Acid Reflux

The infectious chorus of "I don't wanna go to work today" on this thrashing song by recently broken-up Albany, New York punk band Acid Reflux is likely the song you'll be singing as you trudge your way across the parking lot or garage, or while you wait for the bus, to take you to a job that makes you want to walk in traffic.

6. "Lost My Job" - Alex Chilton

Speaking from personal experience spent in the blues bars of St. Louis, there's no better way to spend the hours and even days after you lose your job listening to blues and getting drunk. And as the late Alex Chilton (of Alex Chilton and the Box Tops, here) points out, the jobless get to sleep in after they stay out all night long. "Lost my job/Guess I gotta go steal and rob," he laments. Fair enough.


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17 comments
Felicia McBain
Felicia McBain

Decent list, although I had expected to see "Shove this Jay oh bee" at #1 because...who doesn't think of Office Space when thinking about a soul-sucking job? Oh, and FUCK RUSH and FUCK THE SMITHS!

John Scruggs
John Scruggs

Ain't gonna work on Maggies farm no more.

Adam Wagner
Adam Wagner

I just did 2 weeks ago. Moved here from Tampa. Though my theme song that played in my head as I left was a tad bit more positive :) loving Denver so far!

Chelsea West
Chelsea West

Seriously, awesome compilation of music. KU-DOS.

Chelsea West
Chelsea West

I'm so glad that when I opened this, the first song that comes to MY head in terms of what would be apropriate for this list is right on top- DK- take this job and shove it (I ain't workin' here no more!) Didn't know it was a cover! Thanks for giving me knowledge Denver Westword!

Scott Ingalsbe
Scott Ingalsbe

I like the song that goes "F you and you F'n job D'bag" That song rocks!

swineflu
swineflu

this list seems completely out of touch with the modern day reality that many of us are struggling to find work, and the luxury of quitting one usually applies to a white suburban high school kid.  thanks westword for fulfilling all of my expectations.

Bob
Bob

How on earth is the Minus 5's "Dear Employer" not on this list?

Dear employer I'd like to tell youIt's been wonderful for all these yearsBut now you know I've got a new shoeAnd I'll be wearing it so far from hereDear employer your escalatorsAre very dangerous on the way downThey rip the skin and they pull you inSpit out the boney bits and coffee groundsDear employer I heard a storyWhen you were just knee-high higher than IYou built the wings and the propeller tooWith balsa wood and glue you made it flyDear employer you commanded meYour commendations now don't mean as muchCause I'm a lost cause causing a problemAnd I promise to be way out of touchDear employer when you hear the newsPlease save the saintly words for saintly soulsCause I'll be long gone long gone and rottingLong gone and ulcerous nothing untoldThat's the reason that I quitThe reason that I quitThat's the reason that I quitThe reason that I quitThat's the reason that I quitThe reason that I quitThat's the reasonThat's the reasonThat's the reasonThat's the reason

Sam
Sam

“I can't wait” by The Pirate Signal should have been added on that list!

sixshooterskeets
sixshooterskeets

Felicia,  mi ami…. How could you hate the Smiths?  They could rock!!


RUSH I could understand, although have you ever seen the drummer, Neil Peart play the drums?  He's Like a God!! This guys writes the vocals, too, wait….wait….


(sung to the tune of "Tom Sawyer" by Rush")

"A female warrior
Mean, mean stride,
Felicia McBride
Has some mean, mean pride!

Though Felicia is not for rent
Don't think that she's arrogant,
Her reserve, it's a quiet defense
She comments on the day's events...
SHE LOVES RUSH!!


dah dah dah dahhhhhhhhh.  dah dah dah  dahhhhhhhhhhhhh

dah dah dah dahhhhhhhhh.  dah dah dah  dahhhhhhhhhhhhh

SHE LOVES RUSH!!"


Neil Peart, as great as a drummer as he is, would probably have added zero to The Beatles. But he is 50% of Rush.  (Geddy Lee's nose is the other 50%.)  If Rush could autotune  Geddy Lee's voice to sound like various artists (Tom Waits, Madonna, Katie Perry, Justin Timberlake, John Lennon, McCarney, Donovan…)  they coulda' done it all.. Grabbed ALL THE GOLD!!!

What I'm saying is it's OK to hate Rush.  But please, please, don't hate Neil Peart if you love Rock.  He fucking rocks.  (You probably can't tell I'm a drummer by my incredible song parody ;-?    …..


Take it from one of the living Dead Kennedys.  "All We Are Saying, Is Give Neil a Chance" (Do ye hear the chorus in yer head when ya read that, or are ye too young, lassie?)


BTW, Felicia MACbride:  "Office Space" shot straight to number 2 with a bullet when I saw that movie.  Really glad you brought it up.  I would kick anyone's ass that said it was a geeky movie (except for Felicia, any other female, severely handicapped -- ooops, sorry boss, you didn't make this list!  You did with "The Boss" from New Jersey.  I'd give Ronnie from Jersey Shore a pass, because 1) he didn't understand the movie, and 2) he really loves his mommie. ) 


With erection in my dilection, and a total loss of direction….

Skeeter Skeezicks              

Alleshouseja
Alleshouseja

I hate hearing this, maybe you should get a real job and work your a$$ off. rather than blaming everybody else. Maybe you are just a bad worker? anyone ever suggest that?

RunPaulRun23
RunPaulRun23

Career Opportunities is not about quitting a job - it's about the refusal to work.

Roger
Roger

Wow, a M.O.T.O reference.  That made my Friday afternoon.

I nominate Stiff Little Fingers - Breakout

So if I can do it you can do it tooWhy don't you try it you got nothing to loseA boring job living day to day to dayDo something different try to break away.

fyi, SLF is playing in Denver later this month.  

Nick Lucchesi
Nick Lucchesi

That's a great suggestion. Consider it an honorable mention. Thanks Bob!

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