work song


: a song sung in rhythm with work

Examples of work song in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Thursday’s concert will do the same, highlighting Scottish work songs. Beth Wood, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Jan. 2024 The program embraces both classic and contemporary music and touches on work songs, folk songs, blues, traditional synagogue music, gospel music, funk, hip-hop and symphonic music, and a slew of other genres. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, 8 Jan. 2024 There were work songs, through which incarcerated people could occupy their voices and their minds while their bodies toiled. Hanif Abdurraqib, The New Yorker, 2 Oct. 2023 Born out of Black American communities, traditional African storytelling, Caribbean music and work songs from the period of enslavement, rap made its way into the Korean music scene in the 1990s, shortly after the American music industry began its hip-hop feeding frenzy. Zoe Glasser, Washington Post, 22 July 2023 Long before the conversation around Black incarceration and prison reform, Belafonte recorded an album of chain gang work songs such as the jailor classic co-penned by folk musicologist Alan Lomax, along with Vera Hall, John Lomax, and Ruby Pickens Tartt. A.d. Amorosi, Variety, 25 Apr. 2023 The whole hour is just this sort of chilling: percussive work songs, big-bottomed gospel, moaning blues, dramatically spare sets that imply segregation and incarceration, the weather system that called herself Odetta. Wesley Morris, New York Times, 25 Apr. 2023 One, for instance, depicts a famous moment when the Golden Girls are stuffing chickens and Betty White's Rose leads them through a work song. Duante Beddingfield, Detroit Free Press, 10 Feb. 2023 John sings a racist work song with grotesque glee and an unhinged glaze over his eyes. Wesley Stenzel,, 6 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'work song.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1841, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of work song was in 1841

Dictionary Entries Near work song

Cite this Entry

“Work song.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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