Country songs about the average working person's job and home life often include nods to women of all ages, doing what they can to either pay their bills or follow their ambitions. The following 10 songs find nine woman-fronted acts and a male ally celebrating the women in their audiences who worked all week while looking forward to going out to hear some good country music.
Similar statements on personal empowerment and self-love abound outside of the genre and can be heard in the music of Beyonce, Destiny's Child, Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande, Lizzo, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Gloria Gaynor, Chaka Khan, Kelly Clarkson, Cyndi Lauper, No Doubt, Kesha, Demi Lovato, Lesley Gore and countless others. Those independent women's flawless tunes aside, here's a country playlist themed around women in the workplace.
"National Working Woman's Holiday," Sammy Kershaw
Before spinning tunes by some of country music's hardest working women, here's a man's celebration of the working woman who's helping keep a roof over their family's heads.
"Help the Working Girl," Norma Jean
Back in the 1960's, Norma Jean set a standard for applauding the average working woman in a country song, both here and with story-song "Truck Driving Woman."
"9 to 5," Dolly Parton
Thanks to Dolly's global appeal, this Grammy award-winning song remains country music's most obvious and memorable anthem about working women. It's relatable to every office worker in desperate need of a morning cup of coffee.
"Blowin' Smoke," Kacey Musgraves
This early Musgraves hit focuses on the realities of working as a waitress while plotting the rest of your life or moving up the restaurant ladder.
"Hey Cinderella," Suzy Boggus
Sometimes, those creative goals get put on hold, with jobs at restaurants and cafes lasting longer than planned. Boggus sings here for the women still getting by to support themselves, even if that means they're not working their dream job just yet.
"Pay Gap," Margo Price
The newest addition to the list speaks for women in all careers who find it bogus that they're still held down at times in favor of mediocre men. It's Price's most powerful musical statement to date.
"He Thinks He'll Keep Her," Mary Chapin Carpenter
This catchy '90s country nugget doesn't seem like an obvious pick, until your morning drive sing-along reaches one of its most harrowingly poignant lines: "For fifteen years she had a job and not one raise in pay. Now she's in the typing pool at minimum wage."
"Honey, I'm Home," Shania Twain
The old television trope of the husband saying "honey, I'm home!" and expecting supper on the table gets turned on its head with this classic pop-country dance number. For similar vibes, go the obvious route and play the "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" music video.
"Girls Night Out," The Judds
Another familiar storytelling device tells of men who've worked all week, wanting to let off some steam at the local watering hole. Naomi and Wynonna Judd sing this one for all the ladies looking to do the same with their best friends.
"I'm a Survivor," Reba McEntire
When most older women look back on their time as a daughter, mother, grandmother and friend, those memories can be inseparable from the years spent filling a different job beyond being queen of the house.
This story originally ran on Aug. 2, 2018.