Van Morrison “I’ve Been Working” (1970)

Photo by Ian Dickson/Shutterstock – Van Morrison at the Rainbow Theatre, London

At the height of the industrial revolution and the subsequent dawn of the American labor movement, the idea of a “workingman’s holiday” ultimately came to be when President Grover Cleveland signed legislation to make Labor Day an official federal holiday in 1894. Working, however, is not exactly the first thing that comes to mind when we celebrate the three-day weekend that more than anything marks the unofficial end of summer. Yet, to quite an unusual extent, you might say that this particularly through-the-looking-glass summer has itself been quite a lot of work. Maybe not 12-hour days toiling in factories or mines, Eugene V. Debs-inspiring level work. But still, for most of us this summer has been a slog. Or worse.

So as we did a year ago when the Average White Band put some serious elbow grease into the song ‘Work To Do,’ perhaps you’ll take a short break from whatever shift you may be on, and enjoy another fine working endeavor, this one provided by Sir George Ivan Morrison, slightly better known as The Belfast Cowboy, Mr. Van Morrison. More than 50 years into his Hall of Fame recording career, the legendary Van the Man is definitely still hard at work: a new record last year, and seven new releases in total just since 2015. That’s working!

A happy, safe, and leisurely Labor Day to all.


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