Whatever Happened to the Eight Hour Day?

from by Anne Feeney

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I think the complaints about the quality of public education are misguided. The real culprit is the deterioration of the quality of worklife in America. Parents work low wage jobs - sometimes two jobs - to keep food on the table and pay the bills. Even worse, the pace at the jobs is mind-numbing. The managment "style" is oppressive. Layoffs and firings are random as unions disappear or lose their clout. Stress in the workplace is so high that parents return home from work exhausted, spent, with not an ounce of energy to devote to homework or enrichment for their children. They feel guilty when they say "Leave me alone. Go watch TV." But it's the best they can do most nights, after such grueling days at work. Kids suffer.

It takes more than a great teacher to educate a child. Relaxed happy parents who are interested in their children's education practically guarantee success. Through no fault of their own, relaxed happy parents are sadly lacking in many American households today.

lyrics

I was a welder, pulling down forty thou
For all I know that job's in Pakistan now
I'm out here workin for the minimum wage and wondering
Whatever happened to the eight hour day?

We've got no time for the house - no time for the kids
An eighty hour week will put your life on the skids
There's only one thing that can take it away
Whatever happened to the eight hour day?

The company keeps telling us we want too much
All those cats on top sure have the Midas touch
The economy's booming - that's what they say
Because I work twice as hard to bring home half of the pay!

They kids need attention. The house is a mess.
Our marriage is buckling from all of this stress
I'm fed up to here, I've just got one thing to say:
Whatever happened to the eight hour day?

Whatever happened to the eight hour day?
Who feeds a family on one person's pay?
I'm fed up to here, I've just got one thing to say:
Whatever happened to the eight hour day?

Remember when one job would pay all the bills?
Remember good jobs that demanded some skills?
If globalization is as great as they say, tell me:
Whatever happened to the eight hour day?

Whatever happened to the eight hour day?
And pensions, and health care, and overtime pay?
I can't take much more, I've just got one thing to say:
Whatever happened to the eight hour day?

credits

from War on the Workers a Tribute to Anne Feeney, released December 28, 2016
© Anne Feeney (BMI)
Peter Wilde- Vocals
Nancy Silvers- Vocals
Mark Ross- Dobro
Sean Shanahan- Guitar, Bass, Vocals

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about

Anne Feeney Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Anne Feeney is a front-line singer and agitator well-versed in the traditions of Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs and Tom Lehrer.

She's taken her musical message all over the US and Canada as well as Sweden and Denmark.

Based in Pittsburgh, PA, For almost 50 years, Anne has gone to wherever the fires of resistance burn brightly, comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.
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