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The Long, Hard History of the Work Song

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The Long, Hard History of the Work Song

Music

The Long, Hard History of the Work Song

The Long, Hard History of the Work Song

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5759898/5759901" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
work songs

Men and women have long made music to accompany their labor. Musician Ted Gioia says that work songs are more than a musical genre, they're a transformational tool.

"It made the work less arduous, it made the hours roll by," Gioia says. "It allowed them to have some sort of mastery over their work conditions which were often very demeaning ones."

Ted Gioia, author of the new book Work Songs, shares some of his favorites with us.

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