The Best and Worst Songs (Possibly) About Construction Work

The Best and Worst Songs (Possibly) About Construction Work

18th December 2019

We know that music can help us to improve our productivity levels. Listening to some great tunes on a building site can help to keep everyone happily working away. But what songs should you choose to play here? 

Hard Hat and a Hammer - Alan Jackson
This rock classic tells us an “average Joe, average pay” situation. Jackson then goes on to point out that there is “nothing wrong with a hard hat and a hammer” and even says “God bless the working man”.

It was released in 2010 and features the unusual sound effect of Jackson hitting an anvil that his father had owned. The video for this heart-felt tribute to blue collar workers showed people working in the likes of shipyards, paper mills and railroads.
We Built This City - Starship
In this 1980’s blockbuster, we discover the basic building materials needed to construct a city. Starship didn’t use cement and steel, though. Instead, this American group built their metropolis on a base of solid rock and roll.

While it isn’t explicitly about construction techniques, some people may find the driving guitar rock of this number one hit to be great for working along to. However, you should bear in mind that it divides opinions, as it has been regularly voted as being among the worst songs ever recorded. 

Build - The Housemartins
Paul Heaton and his merry band from Hull tell us about building a house every day, building roads and generally building “lots and lots”.  This tune is likely to be especially well-received on Brazilian construction sites, as it became extremely popular there after it was used as the theme song to a soap opera.

What does it mean, though? The band called it an attack in the ill-conceived regeneration of Britain's urban wasteland that was carried out in the 1960's. Now there’s a subject that you don’t see mentioned in many songs these days. 

Brick by Brick- The Arctic Monkeys
Are the band from Sheffield telling us the painstaking process used to put together a new building? They tell us that “I want to build you up (brick by brick)” but then say that “I want to break you down (brick by brick)”. 

Even if it isn’t strictly speaking about working on a building site, the guitar-led melody and the simple lyrics make it a good choice for putting on when you are working hard. You can rock along to this song on the scaffolding or on your step unit without needing too long to learn the words.

I'm Working On A Building – Various Artists
What if you want a change of pace? This is a classic from the past that has been sung by artists like Elvis Presley, B.B. King and Jon Fogerty. It has been covered in various styles too, such as gospel and folk.

The song starts off with “I'm working on the building. It's a true foundation”. The following lyrics about the Lord and Heaven make us think that this is a religious metaphor rather than being about a new office development, though.