In need of some light-hearted, non-taxing conference respite? You have come to the right place. Here are my top seven HR ‘themed’ songs in no particular order. What do you think? Sharing with the hastages #HRsongs and #cipd15 on Twitter. Feel free to play along…
Joe Smith and The Believers, Walk A Mile In My Shoes (1969)
Walk a mile in my shoes, walk a mile in my shoes
Hey, before you abuse, criticise and accuse
Walk a mile in my shoes
It is always easier to criticise someone for their perceived shortcomings than trying to ‘see where they are coming from’; but trying to see someone else’s perspective can reduce the likelihood, or severity, of conflict. A song for those involved in pay negotiations (especially Collective Bargaining), Employment Relations or 360 Appraisals.
Dolly Parton, Working 9 to 5 (1980)
Parton was clearly not affected by the European Working Time Directive. There is a lot of good HR stuff in this one from awareness, or lack of it, of Health and Safety policies (Stumble to the kitchen) to Talent Management issues (Pour yourself a couple of ambition). Parton starred in the film of the same name which highlighted sexism in the workplace.
Heather Small and M People, Proud (2000)
If motivation is an issue you could do worse than listen to this powerful ballad from 2000.
Still so many answers I don’t know
Realize that to question is how we grow.
Perhaps not a song to play before a round of redundancies is to be announced. (But would anything?) Lots of collaboration involved; something in there for Change Management enthusiasts, too.
‘What have you done today to make you feel proud?’
The Beautiful South – Manchester (2006)
From Northenden to Partington, it’s rain; From Altrincham to Chadderton, it’s rain; From Moss Side to Swinton, hardly Spain…
If rain makes Britain great; Then Manchester is greater.
A 2014 report in The Manchester Evening News, which looked at Met Office data for rainfall from around Britain, revealed Manchester is actually the eighth rainiest city in Britain. Still bring a brolly! The damp atmosphere was certainly a boon to the cotton industry which mushroomed in and around the city in the nineteenth century earning it the title of Cottonopolis. The self-styled capital of the North is rightly proud of being the world’s first industrial city.
The Village People – YMCA (1978)
This classic Village People track complete with great dance floor moves will help shake away any conference inspired aches induced by sitting for too long. Clearly, judging by the five band members’ attire in the video, a song promoting equality and inclusion across a range of ethnic groups and professions as well as gay rights; only one thing, critics might argue, is missing – any women.
Johnny Nash (1972) and then cover by Jimmy Cliff (1993) – I Can See Clearly
I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
bright (bright) sunshiny day.
A song for strategic thinkers and leaders, charting a path for their organisation or for anyone with a clear vision of where they want to go and what problems (obstacles) they will encounter in getting there. Originally penned by Johnny Nash. Shot to greater prominence in 1993, as Jimmy Cliff’s soundtrack to feel good movie Cool Runnings which starred the late John Candy as the coach of the Jamaican bobsleigh team.
Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A Changin’ (1964)
Change. That word again. How do we manage it, how do we embrace it, do we run away from it or are we swamped by it? The song was released in 1964 at the height of the Civil Rights struggle in the US; 1964 saw the passing of the Civil Rights Act which abolished racial segregation.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.