The Boss Is a Jerk

‘Bang The Drum All Day’ is a song written and recorded by Todd Rundgren from his tenth studio album The E’er Popular Tortured Artist Effect, which was released in 1982.  Todd played all the instruments, and he sang all vocals, did the art direction, was the engineer, and producer, limiting the personnel to just himself.  ‘Bang The Drum All Day’ might be a goofy novelty song, but it is a perfect song to get a party started.  It reached #63 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  This song was played by several NFL teams after a touchdown was scored and some hockey teams played it after goals.  Todd Rundgren said most of this song came to him in a dream, and singe he was at home near his studio, he rolled out of bed, recorded what he could remember, and filled in the rest later.  This song is about a guy who doesn’t want to work, he just wants to bang on the drum all day.

Rundgren believed that this song became popular “solely because of the line about banging on the boss’s head”, but it’s a party anthem, and people love to hear it.  With this song, Todd was able to penetrate the cultural consciousness in a way that transcends the typical pop song, and if he ne’er had another hit record, this song is probably still going to be around many years from now.  As stories about labor shortages in these pandemic times continue, it seems like a lot of people don’t want to work.  It seems ridiculous that while millions of people are unemployed and businesses that are understaffed are trying to hire workers, people are blaming the lack of childcare for keeping parents out of the workforce.  I guess when you are offered the opportunity to do stay at home for work, that makes it more difficult for you to return to the office when restrictions are lifted.  A February report indicated that about 1.6 million full-time workers are still missing from the economy.

Playing the drums looks like a lot of fun and it is a great way to relieve stress.  You can get a good physical workout by playing drums and it helps to build coordination.  Drums are supposedly easier to learn than a guitar, as all you have to do is be able to hold the stick correctly and off you go, you are banging away.  Unlike most other instruments you can improvise without thinking and still sound great.  Drummers are considered to be the backbone of the band, as they provide secure time, dynamic intensity and with the right drummer a song can come to life.

Rundgren is considered a pioneer in the fields of electronic music, progressive rock, music videos, computer software, and Internet music delivery.  He organized the first interactive television concert in 1978, designed the first color graphics tablet in 1980, and created the first interactive album, No World Order, in 1994.  Additionally, he was one of the first acts to be prominent as both an artist and producer.  His notable production credits include Badfinger’s Straight Up (1971), Grand Funk Railroad’s We’re an American Band (1973), the New York Dolls’ New York Dolls (1973), Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell (1977), and XTC’s Skylarking (1986).  He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021.  Todd Rundgren will be a special guest on tour this spring with Daryl Hall.

I don’t want to work
I want to bang on the drum all day
I don’t want to play
I just want to bang on the drum all day

Ever since I was a tiny boy
I don’t want no candy
I don’t need no toy
I took a stick and an old coffee can
I bang on that thing till I got
Blisters on my hand because

When I get older they think I’m a fool
The teacher told me I should stay after school
She caught me pounding on the desk with my hands
But my licks was so hot
I made the teacher want to dance
And that’s why

Listen to this
Every day when I get home from work
I feel so frustrated
The boss is a jerk
And I get my sticks and go out to the shed
And I pound on that drum like it was the boss’s head

I can bang that drum
Hey, you want to take a bang at it?
I can do this all day

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the theme is songs that mention a musical instrument.

19 thoughts on “The Boss Is a Jerk

  1. Love this song!! Great choice Jim!🎶💃🏼

    Childcare is a MAJOR issue, especially to single parents. It’s crazy expensive (they deserve a living wage too) and stressful finding a place that is safe.
    At one point I worked nights, while my ex worked days so we didn’t have to find childcare.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool song! It does seem fun to play the drums. My grandson, who is 12, plays drums, and has a band that do a few gigs now and then. It’s fun to watch him play. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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