27 Of The Best Songs With A Profession In The Title (Or Occupation)

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

We earn our living with different types of professions or jobs. These jobs are crucial to society because they are the backbone of the economy and contribute to the growth of the nation.

But for us who hustle every day, having a job means getting food on the table and having a little for something we want.

Some songs narrate the experiences of people having different jobs, from the difficulty of making ends meet to making sacrifices toward a better life. Here, we have compiled 27 of the best songs with a profession in the title. Have fun reading!

1. “The Scientist” By Coldplay

Let’s begin our list with Coldplay‘s “The Scientist.” Though this is primarily a love song, it also provides insight into a professional’s life, especially those in demanding roles such as scientists.

The lyrics provide a narrative of a man who is in love with his significant other but cannot give her the right amount of attention. He is engaged in his scientific pursuits to the extent of negatively affecting his personal relationships.

This extensive focus on work inadvertently harms his romantic relationship. He ends up pleading with her to get back to the start of their relationship so he can make it up to her.

2. “Paperback Writer” By The Beatles

To provide a unique perspective to the profession of writing, we have The Beatles‘ “Paperback Writer.” The song is written from the perspective of someone who desperately wants to be a paperback writer.

In the lyrics, the narrator appeals to a publisher regarding a book he wrote. It took him years to write, but he is open to adding more to make it longer or make some necessary changes.

He negotiates with the publisher, even offering them the rights to his work. He is confident that the book can bring in millions overnight.

All in all, this song reflects the real-life challenges that many authors face, such as the struggle for recognition and the need for economic stability.

3. “Buffalo Soldier” By Bob Marley And The Wailers

Being a soldier is one of the most dignified professions. In “Buffalo Soldier,” Bob Marley and the Wailers pay tribute to Buffalo Soldiers, a group of African American US Army units active after the Civil War.

The song highlights the role and experiences of these soldiers who had a significant part in the American campaign to expand westward. Notably, the soldiers were segregated units of black cavalry fighters who experienced discrimination and hardship. Despite the challenges, they carried on with resilience and courage.

Marley’s song explores themes of race, class, and socioeconomic inequality. It sends a message of admiration for these soldiers while acknowledging their contribution to history.

4. “Paparazzi” By Lady Gaga

As you know, paparazzi is an Italian term for press photographers who follow celebrities to get their photographs. Lady Gaga provides a commentary on this profession and the larger media industry in her 2009 single “Paparazzi.”

In the song, Gaga relates her experiences as a music artist, particularly concerning fame and her relationship with the paparazzi. She is not shy to admit that she wants the paparazzi to like her.

She also talks about her struggles of maintaining a balance between success and love in a world where she is always under scrutiny. She acknowledges that fame is a double-edged sword for celebrities. It can lead to a successful life, or it can give them immense pressure and a lack of privacy.

5. “Please Mr. Postman” By The Marvelettes

Before the age of digital communication, snail mail was the usual way of communicating, especially between people who are far away from each other. The Marvelettes pay homage to the importance of postal service in “Please Mr. Postman.”

The postman serves as the crucial link between the narrator and her distant lover. The lyrics depict her anticipation and anxiety as she waits for a letter from her beloved.

This song shows the essential role that postmen played in connecting people and delivering news. This profession requires diligence, trustworthiness, and reliability as senders and recipients entrust them with personal messages.

6. “Clown” By Korn

The main job of clowns is to make people laugh. You can find them in circuses, hospitals, on the street, and amusement parks, among others. However, Korn‘s “Clown,” released in 1994, mentions this profession, which contradicts the message of the song.

While it’s titled “Clown,” the song reflects a very sad reality. It talks about how people pretend to be something they’re not so others will accept them. The lyrics suggest that people are sometimes compelled to put on a mask, just like a clown, to fit into expectations.

In addition, the phrase “all alone, clown” points to the loneliness and isolation that can arise from having a profession that requires you to be something else. It underscores the emotional toll it takes on people.

7. “American Soldier” By Toby Keith

Country music singer-songwriter Toby Keith pays tribute to the profession of a soldier in “American Soldier.” Written from the perspective of a soldier, it focuses on the courage, dedication, and sacrifices they make in the line of duty.

Here, the narrator is preparing for war. He does not only refer to the physical challenges of being a soldier but also the emotional and psychological aspects. He clarifies he is not after the money or the fame. Rather, he is driven by the need to protect his family and country.

The song reflects the selflessness that’s often associated with the military profession. Soldiers put their lives at risk, which goes to show the level of commitment that’s deeply respected.

8. “Me And The Farmer” By The Housemartins

In our next song, The Housemartins focuses on the profession of farming. “Me and the Farmer” explores the complex relationship between the narrator and a farmer.

The song explores themes of power dynamics and hierarchy. It shows that the narrator and the farmer share a functional but conditional relationship. This means that the farmer treats the narrator well if the latter works hard. But if the narrator fails in any way, he will be reprimanded.

This is the merit-based dynamics often found in professions like farming. The results depend on the amount of effort given.

9. “Private Dancer” By Tina Turner

Singer-songwriter Tina Turner provides some thoughts on the profession of a prostitute in “Private Dancer.” The song highlights the emotional toll and inner turmoil experienced in such professions.

In the lyrics, the narrator reveals her feelings of disillusionment and emptiness, showing her loneliness and emotional detachment as a private dancer. She works for money and dreams of making “a million dollars.” She wants to someday “live out by the sea” with her future husband and their children.

Despite her dreams for a better life, the song shows an underlying sadness and a longing for genuine connection. It also offers an emphatic reflection on a profession that’s often misunderstood and judged.

10. “Bell Boy” By The Who

In The Who‘s “Bell Boy,” the band reflects on the profession of a bellboy or a bellhop in a hotel. It comes from the album Quadrophenia, whose narrative follows a character named Jimmy in search of self-worth and importance.

In “Bell Boy,” Jimmy meets an old mod, “Ace Face,” or leader. Jimmy finds out that the person he looked up to as a mod when he was young now works as a bell boy in a hotel that mods destroyed years ago.

In essence, the song provides a unique perspective on the profession of a bellboy. It shows the stark difference between past reputations and present circumstances.

11. “Doctor! Doctor!” By Thompson Twins

Our next song alludes to the medical profession, specifically the role of a doctor. However, the allusion in the Thompson Twins‘ “Doctor! Doctor!” is not in the literal sense.

In the lyrics, the narrator uses the profession as a metaphor to express emotional distress. He is calling for help in his romantic relationship because he is “sick” with love and needs a “doctor” to cure his emotional turmoil.

The narrator is so burning with love that it feels feverish, and he calls for a doctor’s help to have some relief from his intense feelings. It underscores the urgency and desperation that need immediate attention.

12. “Coal Miner’s Daughter” By Loretta Lynn

Being a coal miner is one of the most honorable professions, and in Loretta Lynn‘s “Coal Miner’s Daughter” shows is a poignant tribute to whose who risk their lives in the dark depths of the earth to provide for their families and fuel our world.

The song is based on Lynn’s experiences growing up with a father as a coal miner in Hollow, Kentucky. It was not an easy life. In fact, her family was very poor despite her father working hard. She remembers him working all night while her mother ran the household.

But despite the challenges, Lynn is proud to be a coal miner’s daughter. Her family lacks in many things but not love, which her father made sure of.

13. “Driver 8” By R.E.M.

Driving is a profession associated with long journeys, constant movement, and responsibility for the safe passage of passengers. In R.E.M.‘s “Driver 8,” the band is referring to the train engineer of the Southern Crescent, a passenger train.

In the song, the train conductor urges the driver to take a break. The latter is overworked and has schedules to follow. The conductor reminds him that they can reach their destination, though it is still far away, possibly suggesting that the driver still has time to rest.

The song’s message can be applied to any profession. “Driver 8” can be a metaphor for the human condition, telling us that we need to take a break from time to time to avoid burnout.

14. “Lawyers, Guns And Money” By Warren Zevon

What to do when you get in big trouble? Ask Dad to send help. Or at least, that’s what the narrator does in Warren Zevon‘s “Lawyers, Guns and Money.”

The song is about a troubled man gambling in Havana, Cuba, and inadvertently finds himself embroiled in trouble. He takes a waitress home with him, not realizing that she’s involved with the Russians.

Though he is “the innocent bystander,” he needs a way out of his situation. He writes home to his father, asking him to send lawyers, guns, and money to get him out of his predicament.

15. “The Architect” By Deus

Up next, we have a song with the profession of an architect in the title. The Antwerp, Belgium-based rock band Deus released “The Architect” in 2008.

The titular character refers to Richard Buckminster Fuller, a philosopher, architect, and genius who had quite some crazy ideas. His daughter became ill and eventually died because he couldn’t care for her.

Her death was such a big blow that he attempted to commit “egocide,” as the song says. The story goes on to say that he was about to jump off the pier but changed his mind. He decided right then to dedicate his life to science and to things that would benefit humanity.

16. “Bartender” By Lady Antebellum

In Lady Antebellum‘s “Bartender,” the narrator hits the bar to drink the pain away after a particularly painful breakup. Here, the song uses the profession of bartending as a setting for the narrative.

The narrator is moving on from her ex, stuck at home on a Friday night. Her friends encourage her to spend a wild night out with them as a way to forget about his ex.

Seeing the truth in their words, she decides to put on her favorite dress and go to the bar. She washes away the memories of her former lover with whiskey, urging the bartender to serve her drinks. In this context, the bartender can be considered a symbol of comfort and escape.

17. “Son Of A Preacher Man” By Dusty Springfield

Up next, we have Dusty Springfield‘s “Son of a Preacher Man.” The song was released in 1969 and mentions the profession of preaching in the lyrics. However, this is not the focus of the song.

Rather, it’s about a young woman falling in love with the preacher’s son. Whenever father and son come around to visit, the young couple would sneak away for some quality time.

The song alludes that this has been going on for a while, with the preacher’s son teaching her how to love. She claims that he’s “the only one who could ever reach me,” suggesting that she has never loved somebody the way she loves him.

18. “A Man Needs A Maid” By Neil Young

Released in 1972, Neil Young‘s “A Man Needs a Maid” has stirred controversy, being accused of being chauvinistic and sexist. The term “maid” refers to someone performing domestic chores, but the song uses this concept more as a metaphor than a literal job description.

In addition, the song is about the narrator’s insecurities when it comes to relationships. In particular, he is torn between his desire for companionship and his fear of being hurt in the process.

At its core, the song is about loneliness and vulnerability. The narrator sings about his difficulties in managing his life and emotions. He needs help, which he refers to as needing a maid.

19. “I Shot The Sheriff” By Eric Clapton

An original by Bob Marley and the Wailers, Eric Clapton‘s version of “I Shot the Sheriff” topped the Billboard Hot 100. It was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Thematically, the song is about justice. The narrator finds himself on the wrong side of the law after killing the sheriff in self-defense. Sheriff John Brown seems to hate him, harassing him until it comes to a confrontation.

However, the narrator is falsely accused of killing the deputy. He is being hunted down across town to bring him in and make him answer for his supposed crime.

20. “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life” By Indeep

Our next song on the list is about the profession of a disc jockey (DJ). Indeep‘s “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life” is a disco song released in 1982.

In the lyrics, the narrator finds herself bored and lonely at home, with her lover missing in action. But when she hears a song that the DJ plays on the radio, her mood changes. It underscores the transformative power of DJs to uplift the emotional state of the listeners.

In a broader sense, the song shows the impact that DJs have on people, particularly in a party setting. They can “save” someone’s night by playing the right song at the right time.

21. “If I Were a Carpenter” By Bobby Darin

The folk song “If I Were a Carpenter” was an original by the folk and blues musician and composer Tim Hardin. Several artists have recorded their own versions throughout the years, including Bobby Darin.

In the lyrics, the narrator seems to be dealing with insecurities. He goes straight to the point by asking his potential lover, “If I were a carpenter, / and you were a lady, / would you marry me anyway?”

From these lines, we can deduce that he comes from a lower status than his lady. It comes with the question of whether he can give her the fine things she is used to. Basically, he’s asking her if she’s willing to turn away from a luxurious life to be with a man who has to work long hours to give her a good life.

22. “The Boxer” By Simon & Garfunkel

The 1970 classic “The Boxer” by Simon & Garfunkel isn’t literally about being a boxer. The song uses this profession as a metaphor for someone who perseveres through challenges.

In the lyrics, the narrator, a poor boy, is struggling to find work and facing disappointments. But despite the hardships, he continues on this path he has chosen.

He compares himself to a boxer who has to endure physical challenges in the ring. Being a boxer represents resilience, determination, and fight against adversity. He may suffer losses and setbacks, but he does not stop being a boxer.

23. “Anaesthetist” By Enter Shikari

The protest song “Anaesthetist” by Enter Shikari uses the profession of an anesthetist as a metaphor to discuss the privatization of free healthcare in the UK.

In the lyrics, the narrator critiques the idea of medical care becoming a commodity for profit instead of a basic human right. The anesthetist stands for the entire medical profession and the healthcare system as a whole.

The line “Fetch the Anaesthetist, / I want to go under the knife, / I believe in this” is a commentary on how citizens are forced to rely on these systems for health and survival.

24. “Beekeeper’s Daughter” By The All-American Rejects

Up next is “Beekeeper’s Daughter” by The All-American Rejects. Nowhere in the lyrics does the title appear, and it’s not directly related to the profession of beekeeping.

Guitarist Nick Wheeler recounts one time when they were cooking breakfast. The kitchen was equipped with a bottle of honey called Beekeeper’s Daughter, which inspired the title of the song.

Lyrically, the song reflects a point in lead vocalist Tyson Ritter’s life when he thought he was invincible. He found himself in the company of a bad crowd and essentially became the worst version of himself, especially to women. He didn’t care about anyone but himself.

25. “When I Kissed The Teacher” By ABBA

Some songs delve into the topic of a student having a crush on the teacher, including one from ABBA. “When I Kissed the Teacher” is the opening track of their album Arrival.

In this song, the profession of teaching is presented in an unconventional but lighthearted manner. The narrator, a female student, finds herself having an intense crush on her teacher. She acts upon this infatuation by kissing him during their geometry lesson.

The song uses the teacher-student relationship to explore themes of infatuation and impulsivity. Though it does not delve deeply into the profession of teaching, it shows the dynamics that exist between teachers and students in an educational setting.

26. “Manic Mechanic” By ZZ Top

From the Degüello album of the rock band ZZ Top, “Manic Mechanic” was inspired by vocalist Billy Gibbons’ love for cars. The title and the lyrics were inspired by bassist-vocalist Dusty Hill’s friend, a mechanic who fixed his car one time.

The idea behind the song is that mechanics get manic when they do their job. In the same way, people get manic when they deal with mechanics.

The song captures the thrill and excitement that comes with being a mechanic, especially those who work on high-performance vehicles. In a way, the song also shows how one can be obsessed with certain things, which, in this case, is cars.

27. “Waitress Song” By First Aid Kit

Finally, we give you First Aid Kit‘s 2014 single, “Waitress Song.” It centers on a woman dreaming of escaping her current situation and pursuing a simpler life.

The profession here is that of a waitress. It’s more of a symbol of the quiet life away from the troubles she faces. She imagines moving to a small town, working as a waitress, and starting life anew as Stacy.

The song reflects her desire for a fresh start or a different life. She longs for escape and reinvention, using the profession of a waitress to represent these dreams.

Summing Up Our List Of Songs About Occupations

And that wraps up our topic for today. We wish we could represent all professions on this list.

But we hope that the songs above are enough to show how each job is important in personal and social contexts. They reflect our passions, interests, values, and daily interactions with others.

Do you wish to add some songs to this list about a particular profession? Let us know, and we’ll add them for you.

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.