Country music superstars Kenny Chesney and George Strait‘s “Shiftwork” duet was released in 2007 as the third single off Chesney’s album Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates, and the song was considered to be the album’s highlight.
“That’s my favorite song on the record, if only for the reason that George is on it. It will sit in line with a long line of feel-good records that I’ve had, the kind of songs I like to do for my show,” Chesney said. “And having George be a part of this was really special for me.”
“Shiftwork” snagged the second spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
A Song For All The Hardworking People Out There
Written by Troy Jones, “Shiftwork” is a song about hardworking people. In the song, the main character expressed his frustration with regularly working shifts at a convenience store.
“Shiftwork, tough work, for the busy convenience store clerk. Two feet that hurt and going insane. She’s mad at some lad. Drove off and didn’t pay for his gas, and he won’t be the last. ’round the clock pain. Workin’ seven to three, three to eleven, eleven to seven,” the song goes.
As the song nears its end, it was revealed that the man finally managed to take a break from the money he saved after working for ten years. He went to the beach and had a beer by the edge of the sea. He enjoyed his vacation by partying, “seven to three, three to eleven, eleven to seven.”
Troy Jones, who worked in a paper mill for twenty years and was working shiftwork the whole time, has drawn inspiration from his own previous work experience. So when he finally signed a publishing deal with Carnival Music, he knew he had to write something he knew inside and out. Indeed, that includes shiftwork.
However, he was uncertain if someone would like to cut such a song.
“I was a little worried about if somebody would even cut the song when you’re talking about ‘a big ol’ pile of shiftwork,'” Jones said. “Kenny was familiar with some of my songs, and he liked ‘Shiftwork’ for a little while before he cut it.”
But things got pretty exciting when George Strait stumbled upon the song. “My publisher never calls me on Saturdays, so when I answered the phone, he told me that George Strait wanted to sing on the song as well. My wife jumped about three feet in the air,” Jones revealed. “We were both pretty excited. I am so proud of the job they did on it.”
People working in factories have since been telling Jones how much they loved “Shiftwork” too. “I worked shiftwork for 20 years … now I know why,” Jones concluded.
You can listen to the song in the video below.
George Strait, Kenny Chesney