Johnny Paycheck Sings “Take This Job and Shove It”
The classic country song “Take This Job and Shove It” was released in 1977 by Johnny Paycheck, and quickly became a beloved anthem of working-class folks everywhere.
This song was written by David Allan Coe and made famous by Johnny Paycheck, who released his version shortly after Coe wrote the song. It became an instant hit, encapsulating the frustration and dissatisfaction that so many people feel about their jobs, and was quickly on its way to earning legendary status in classic country music.
Meaning of the Lyrics
The lyrics of this song lay out very clearly the narrator’s feelings about his job:
- He’s sick and tired of the way he’s being treated: “Two weeks you can have it all/So take this job and shove it”
- He thinks his boss/manager is a jerk: “I ain’t workin’ here no more/My woman done left and took all of her things”
- And in an unexpected twist, he’s actually proud to be taking his leave: “You better not try to stand in my way/’Cause I’m walkin’ proud, and I ain’t turnin’ back”
Popular Cover Versions
Since its initial release, “Take This Job and Shove It” has become so popular that it has been covered by many artists, including:
- The Dead Kennedys: Their version, released in 1982, has a punk rock sound and keeps the original’s message intact.
- Willie Nelson: His version had a more laid-back sound, but still maintained the poignant lyrics.
- Toby Keith:and his version had a hard-rocking edge, a style of music that fit perfectly with the rebellious message.
Clearly, “Take This Job and Shove It” still resonates with people today, no matter what (musical) style they prefer. The message of freedom, empowerment and dignity rings true to this day.