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The Wireless' very cool Labour Weekend playlist

Friday 20th October 2017

How are you celebrating Labour Weekend?

Illustration: Luke McPake / The Wireless

Whether you’re going on an epic road trip or staying at home eating Maltesers, The Wireless has your Labour Weekend playlist covered.

We asked some cool young/young at heart New Zealanders to pick one or a few labour-related songs.

You won't believe what happened next!

'LADY IN RED', BY CHRIS DE BURGH

Chosen by Geneva Alexander-Marsters of band SoccerPractise.

“Jacinda”.

'FACTORY', BY BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN

Chosen by musician Princess Chelsea.  

“Factory was inspired by Bruce Springsteen's working class father. Boss didn't get along with him so much when he was younger, but in later life he came to appreciate the hard work his father did to support his family. Bruce Springsteen is a poet for the common man who I feel is misunderstood by some more high brow listeners. His 1978 album 'Darkness on The Edge of Town' is for me his greatest album, mixing elements of Phil Spector-inspired arrangements made famous by his song 'Born to Run' with dark narrative lyrics inspired by Southern Gothic literature he was reading at the time.”

Princess Chelsea.

Photo: Brad Fafejta

'IT AIN'T GONNA SAVE ME', BY JAY REATARD

Chosen by musician Roy Irwin.

“I felt conflicted when I heard Jacinda's stance on benefit fraud, which resulted in me feeling apathetic towards the election because either way I felt people who are in situations where they need to break the law to survive are screwed.”

'LIVIN' ON A PRAYER', BY BON JOVI

Chosen by singer and writer Lizzie Marvelly.

"This should need no explanation."

'15 GOLDEN BALLS PT 2', BY SHARPIE CROWS

Chosen by Grant Sheridan of psych rock band Sere.

“Labour Day meant, for a long time, a pilgrimage down to Wellington to Punkfest. 2-3 days of getting mutilated to NZ and sometimes Aussie punk and hardcore bands. Always a great time. My body couldn't handle the punishment these days although I still try my best (worst?).”

'PARADISE', BY FANTAILS 

Chosen by artist Ayesha Green.

“I thought of the Sex Pistols, but found something much better.”

[Ed's note: this isn't on Spotify, but you can listen here: https://fantails.bandcamp.com/ ]

'WELL DONE', BY IDLES

Chosen by poet Dominic Hoey.

“This song is the perfect anthem for the neo liberal waste land we now live in."

Writer Dominic Hoey
Dominic Hoey

Photo: Supplied

'GREEN (IT'S NOT EASY BEING GREEN)', BY SHIRLEY HORN

Chosen by musician Ryan McPhun, of The Ruby Suns.

“We miss you Metiria.”

'CONTROL', BY JANET JACKSON

Chosen by Ryan McPhun.

'WORK IT', BY MISSY ELLIOTT

Chosen by Ryan McPhun.

'BRINX JOB', BY PAVEMENT

Chosen by Ryan McPhun.

'HOLIDAY', BY MADONNA

Chosen by Nine to Noon host Kathryn Ryan. 

“A classic coming-of-age album of the High School years (errm… very early-to-mid high-school years…).  Life was about to become all big hair and big dreams. It was also the year of the first proper after-school job I had (supermarket packer then checkout operator. I was there when they introduced scanning!).  The single was a spring release down under, from memory – and Labour Weekend, as well as a welcome `holiday’ after the long winter school term, was also the first hint of spring and glimmer of hope that there might be a summer coming. Enjoy the hard-earned `holiday’ this Labour Weekend, and thanks to everyone who’s working through it.”

'NGAIRE', BY THE MUTTON BIRDS

Chosen by writer Holly Walker.

“Two weeks ago I was pushing out my own Ngaire! Our girls are both partly named after Mutton Birds songs - Esther and Ngaire. We might need to stop soon - Heater doesn't have quite the same ring to it."

Holly Walker

Photo: Dave Crampton / supplied.

'SISTERS ARE DOIN' IT FOR THEMSELVES', BY EURYTHMICS 

Chosen by entertainer LaQuisha Redfern.

“This song speaks about women's participation in public life, it makes me think of the ongoing work to achieve pay equity.”

'WORKING FOR THE MAN', BY PJ HARVEY

Chosen by Gussie Larkin of rock band Mermaidens.

“A creepy anthem from a woman who knows how to stick it to the man like no other!”

'BITCH BETTER HAVE MY MONEY', BY RIHANNA

Chosen by writer comedian Uther Dean.

"Speaking as a freelancer, people should pay free-lancers for their labour."

'MELTING POT', BY BLUE MINK 

Chosen by Andrew Wilson of punk band Die! Die! Die!

“:)”

Uther Dean singing Rihanna at Charlie's on K Rd.

Photo; Matt Bialostocki

'MONEY DON'T MATTER 2 NIGHT', BY PRINCE & THE NEW POWER GENERATION 

Chosen by poet (not housewife) Louise Wallace.

“I have a couple of friends I would call 'authorities' on all things Prince, who have been educating me on his vast back catalogue. I have a lot to learn, but this song seemed apt!”

'BREAD AND ROSES', A UNION SONG

Chosen by former Prime Minister, Helen Clark.

“My choice is forever associated with veteran trade unionist and Labour MP, the late Sonja Davies. The song is a rallying cry for working women seeking better pay and conditions.”

'NO SCRUBS', BY TLC

Chosen by comedian Nic Sampson

"Because it’s a song our new Prime Minister played in one of her many DJ sets, which is a really great sentence to be able to write. May TLC’s anti-scrub policy serve Jacinda well while choosing her new cabinet.”

Nic Sampson

Photo: Supplied

'SIXTEEN TONS', BY JOHNNY CASH

Chosen by Music 101 host Alex Behan.

“I used to work on farms in Australia harvesting heavy produce. Watermelons and pumpkins. We worked in teams and got paid by the ton. Backbreaking work. I used to load up a little iPod Shuffle with a bunch of new songs every week. All random tracks from the very eclectic collection I had back then.  One day this song came on … Johnny’s version isn’t the original but it’s the one I attach to. Sixteen tons and what do ya get? Another day older and deeper in debt. Sheeeit. It’s a bleak concept. What is this work that we do? Where does it take us? What’s the point? This forty hour week is gonna be the end of us.”

'WORK B**CH', BY BRITNEY SPEARS 

Chosen by comedian Hamish Parkinson.

“The daily grind that is the celebrated eight hour work day has never been so aspirational. This Spice Girls inspired gem is perfect to work and work out to, from this century's Van Gogh, no less.”

'HEIGH-HO', BY THE SEVEN DWARFS 

Chosen by Hamish Parkinson.

“Sung by seven tireless diamond miners who work every day, presumably, singing this ear worm until their little nubs can no longer hold a pick axe. Who they are working for is an endless mystery and why they can't afford more living room seems a bit dodge, but ya can't feel bad when you're whistling that tune!”

'WORK', BY RIHANNA 

Chosen by Hamish Parkinson.

“In case you somehow woke up on Monday and forgot what it is exactly you have to do, Rihanna has gracefully penned you a banger that will make you feel like a boss.”

'WHERE BOYS FEAR TO TREAD', BY THE SMASHING PUMPKINS 

Chosen by Hamish Parkinson.

“Jacinda is our new PM! This is her fav band! It's the most Smashing Pumpkins-sounding song they've done and there's a very vague link to female empowerment! Nailed it!”

Picture of Hamish Parkinson eating meat
A photo of Hamish Parkinson eating meat.

Photo: Danielle Lukies

'JOLENE', BY DOLLY PARTON 

Chosen by Hamish Parkinson.

“Sub out 'Jolene' for 'Jacinda' and pretend Bill is singing about Winston and bam! Parody gold!”

'THE INTERNATIONALE', BY SOVIET CHORUS 

Chosen by Hamish Parkinson.

"Workers rights! The reds are back! Muldoon is spinning in his grave! (Is he dead?)”

'STOP', BY THE SPICE GIRLS

Chosen by comedian Angella Dravid.

"Interpret this however you want. The nation saying the first two lines of the chorus to Bill English, you throwing the filing cabinet out the window, and walking out of the office with your keys clenched in your first a la Breakfast Club style, in self-service checkout getting frustrated over what the f*** is in the bagging area, or vocal shrieks from a maternity ward. I would continue but I'm gonna stop right now. Thank you very much."

‘IN THE AIR (12” MIX)’, BY MAXIMUM JOY

Chosen by songwriter Grayson Gilmour.

“Some of my favourite tunes come from the late 70s/early 80s No Wave scenes that created a kind of funk-punk-dance-whatever. If Labour Weekend is nice to us this year, I’ll likely be dialing up some Maximum Joy!”

‘DISCIPLINE’, BY THROBBING GRISTLE

Chosen by musician i.e. crazy.

“We need some discipline in here.”

‘SAME OLD MADNESS’, BY MINISTRY

Chosen by i.e. crazy.

“Can I submit two? I like songs about capitalism.”

'HOMEGROWN TOMATOES', BY GUY CLARK

Chosen by illustrator Giselle Clarkson. 

"Okay so maybe this is a super dorky song, but John Denver (who wrote it) makes a really strong case for growing your own tomatoes, offers a lot of good serving suggestions, and Labour weekend is when you're supposed to plant them. Tomatoes are generally a lovely shade of red."

"Cos I know what this country needs
Homegrown tomatoes in every yard you see"

'LOVE', BY MICA LEVI

Chosen by musician indi. 

"(Related to the phrase 'labour of.') I was thinking of doing 'Declare Independence' by Bjork but I am not sure it is really related in any way to 'labour'."



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