Working Man by Rita McNeil

On this Labor Day, we honor the people who have come before us and worked so hard to build families and a better world for their children and communities.

“Working Man” was composed and written by Cape Breton performance artist Rita McNeil. The song was inspired “by a visit to the Princess Colliery in Sydney Mines in Cape Breton, prompted by the stories of the miners’ daily hardships.

In her autobiography McNeil notes that the tour guide was suffering from throat cancer, and she had remembered her mother’s struggles with it, and as he talked the melody for the song began in her head, complete with lyrics. The song, which peaked at number 11 in the UK charts, became a worldwide sensation and the unofficial anthem for coal miners everywhere.”

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