Music

Johnny Paycheck’s ‘Take This Job and Shove It’ Hits Number One

Flickr/Melissa Wilkins

We all have those moments at work that make us wish we could quit, or tell the boss exactly what we think.

Johnny Paycheck was no different, and in 1977, he recorded a song highlighting that familiar working man’s plight and turned it into a No. 1 hit.

“Take This Job And Shove It” would go on to become a rallying cry for blue collar workers everywhere, especially those blue collar workers whose only justification for having a job in the first place was to provide for a significant other. What happens to your job security when you lose the only reason you needed a job to begin with?

Ironically, the ultimate quittin’ time song also earned Johnny Paycheck quite a, um…paycheck in 1978. The song spent two weeks at No. 1 starting on Dec. 18 that year, and stayed on the charts for a total of 18 weeks. It would be the only No. 1 of his career.

A little-known fact about the song is that Paycheck didn’t write it, which many people assume. David Allen Coe, of “The perfect country and western song” fame, actually wrote it, and would get mad when people thought Paycheck wrote the song. This was such a big point of contention that Coe eventually re-recorded the song, adding the line “Paycheck, you may be a thing of the past.”

The song spawned a movie (about breweries) and inspired many covers and variations, including a rap version recorded specifically for the movie Office Space.

The song’s legacy has endured, and continued to resonate with the common working man for generations.

Plus, with lyrics like “Well that foreman, he’s a regular dog/The line boss, he’s a fool/Got a brand new flattop haircut/Lord, he thinks he’s cool/One of these days I’m gonna’ blow my top/And that sucker, he’s gonna’ pay/Lord I can’t wait to see their faces/When I get the nerve to say/Take this job and shove it,” how can you not sing along?

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Johnny Paycheck’s ‘Take This Job and Shove It’ Hits Number One