It is a federal holiday, and has been since 1894. Many of us have it off (ironically, few in the retail business, though). The history has many violent components, but, in recent times it is more of a "last day of summer" holiday.
For many of us of a "certain age" living in the United States, Labor Day meant one thing - the Jerry Lewis Telethon.
Jerry Lewis is 90 now, and he is still working.
He has seven children and one of them is a musician who had several hit songs in the 1960's: Gary Lewis.
Today, a short tribute to Gary Lewis and the Playboys (who played our area recently) in honor of his father, before I swing into songs of labor.
Everyone Loves a Clown (complete with a little girl).
This Diamond Ring was a hit song in 1965, and one of my favorite songs.
And, in honor of Labor Day, a couple of songs about labor. There is a nice collection of classics here - so much could be written about the labor movement in the United States. Here are three:
The late Paul Robeson, singing a song called "Joe Hill". No, it isn't about Stephen King's son but, rather, a Swedish-American labor activist who was put to death in 1915 for murders he may have been innocent of. The story of those murders, and what happened to Joe Hill after he died, make a most fascinating story to read on Labor Day.
Sixteen Tons - written by Merle Travis in 1946, here performed by Tennessee Ernie Ford. This is a song about the life of a coal miner. The story of its writing is also a fascinating one. This was a song of my early childhood.
And, on a lighter note, 9 to 5 - Dolly Parton (how many people recognize the sound at the beginning few seconds of the song?)
In my part of upstate New York, we will have fireworks later tonight to celebrate this day devoted to labor.
Let's take a minute, this Labor Day, to honor all working people around the world.