Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Labor: Shift workers

Did you catch the duo performance featuring Kenny Chesney and George Strait during the recent CMA Awards show?

Chesney's new song, "Shiftwork" speaks to the soul of working people in every part of this country. Sadly, just because a person works hard every day, a job does not come with a guarantee that earnings keep pace with the rising cost of living. We see this reality on a daily basis here in inner city Dallas.

I suppose my experience here is why I find the music moving. Everyone who works hard should be able to earn enough to sustain at the very least a modest, workable life.

The song calls us to pay attention to labor. It is a good call.

Shiftwork

Shift work, hard work, tired bar
Blue-collar shirt and a baseball cap
Union made

He’s hot, sweat drops, ’round the clock
The door never locks
And the noise never stops
Night or day
Work-n seven To three
Three to eleven
Eleven to seven

Shift work, tough work, for the busy convenience store clerk
Two feet that hurt, going insane
She’s mad, at some lad
Drove off and didn’t pay for his gas and he won’t be the last
’round the clock pain
Work-n seven To three
Three to eleven
Eleven to seven

Talkin’ about a bunch of shift work
A big ol’ pile of shift work
Seven to three
Three to eleven
Eleven to seven

Well I worked, shift work,
Ten years man, I hated that work
Then I made a break, with the money I saved
It took me, to the beach, to have a beer by the edge of the sea
In this ’round a clock place
I drank my money away
We partied
Seven To three
Three to eleven
Eleven to seven

I’m talkin’ about a bunch of shift work
A big ol’ pile of shift work
Seven to three
Three to eleven
Eleven to seven

Talkin’ about a bunch of shift work
A big ol’ pile of shift work
Seven to three
Three to eleven
Eleven to seven
Eleven to seven
Seven to three
Three to eleven
Eleven to seven

[Title : SHIFTWORK Taken from Album : Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates]

4 comments:

paul maurice martin said...

I've always thought that this points to something fundamentally wrong - that people can work full time jobs yet earn too little to live on. It shouldn't be.

Anonymous said...

I worked 11-7 for 40 years. I preferred it, in fact. It allowed time with my family and when I retired the 401K wasn't bad either.

Frank Bellizzi said...

Ah, Shiftwork. An instant classic.

Anonymous said...

When the very heart of America can't make it, we are in deep, deep mess. . . keep it up, Larry!