I have a music playlist which I call my “Happy Working Songs.”  I started it right after watching the Disney movie Enchanted.  The following morning, I downloaded Amy Adams’ Happy Working Song and listened to it repeatedly while cleaning the house with a newfound enthusiasm.  Over the years, I’ve added and subtracted songs, with no genre in common, but all on the theme of “doing your work” (and enjoying it) or with a message or beat that made me feel like doing mine.

Here’s the list:

  • A Spoonful of Sugar – Julie Andrews


    That’s Life – Frank Sinatra

  • A Beautiful Morning – The Rascals
  • Celebration – Kool & The Gang
  • Charlie Brown (Linus and Lucy) – Cartoon Theme Players
  • Dancing in the Street – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
  • Do the Work – Jackmove
  • Everybody Dance Now – My Fitness Music
  • Everyday – Dave Matthews Band
  • Eye of The Tiger – Karaoke Version
  • Feelin’ Alright – Joe Cocker
  • Get Back Up – The Faith Crew
  • Get Happy – Ella Fitzgerald
  • Get Ready for This – Biggest Loser Workout Mix
  • Get Up – David Guetta
  • Get Up Offa That Thing – James Brown
  • Good Times – Soul Search
  • Hard Worker – The Avett Brothers
  • Happy – Pharrell Williams
  • Happy Working Song – Amy Adams
  • Hard Work – Marching Cadences of the U.S. Army Rangers
  • Heigh Ho – Gordon Lorenz Orchestra & Singers
  • High Hopes – Frank Sinatra
  • Hold Your Head Up – Argent
  • How You Feel … Feeling Good – The U.S. Army Infantry
  • I Believe – Yolanda Adams

  • I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas
  • I’ve Got a Feeling – Bebe Winans
  • I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown
  • I Like to Move It – Biggest Loser Workout Mix
  • I Will – Men of Standard
  • It’s a New Day – will.i.am
  • It’s Gonna be a Great Day – Eileen Barton
  • It’s Gonna be a Great Day – La Tanya Hall & Dave Mann
  • Let’s Get it Started – Biggest Loser Workout Mix
  • Let’s Get Loud – The Countdown Singers
  • Let’s Work – Mick Jagger
  • New Attitude – Patti LaBelle
  • Put on a Happy Face – Dick Van Dyke
  • Put on a Happy Face – Tony Bennett
  • Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
  • Taking Care of Business – Randy Bachman
  • That’s Life – Frank Sinatra
  • The Climb – Holly Cavanagh
  • The Only Way I Know – Jason Aldean
  • The Sound of Sunshine – Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • Try Again – Imagination Movers
  • Tubthumping – Chumbawamba
  • Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
  • Whistle While You Work – Louis Armstrong
  • Work – Dexter Walker & Zion Movement
  • Work – Barrington Levy
  • Work to Make it Work – Robert Palmer
  • Work Bitch – Dubstep Hitz
  • (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher – Jackie Wilson
  • Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah – James Baskett


Of course the concept of the “Happy Working Song” is older than the hills: older than Chain Gangs and Sea Shanties.  Consider this quote from Thomas Carlyle (1795-1891)

“Give us, O give us the man who sings at his work!  Be his occupation what it may, he is equal to any of those who follow the same pursuit in silent sullenness. He will do more in the same time—he will do it better—he will persevere longer. One is scarcely sensible of fatigue whilst he matches to music. The very stars are said to make harmony as they revolve in their spheres. Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness, altogether past calculation its powers of endurance. Efforts, to be permanently useful, must be uniformly joyous—a spirit all sunshine—graceful from very gladness—beautiful because bright.”

I’d love to hear your comments on this list.  What are your favorite working songs?

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