Bang the drum all day

"Bang the Drum All Day"
Single by Todd Rundgren
from the album The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect
B-side "Chant" (US)
"Drive" (UK)
Released April 1983 (US)
July 1983 (UK)
Format 7" 45 RPM
Recorded 1982 at Utopia Sound Studios
Genre Ska, Rock
Length 3:32
Label Bearsville
Writer(s) Todd Rundgren
Producer Todd Rundgren

"Bang the Drum All Day" is a 1983 song by Todd Rundgren. The lyrics describe, in the first person, the singer's drive to "bang on the drum all day" to the exclusion of everything else. All the instruments on this track are performed by Rundgren. The song has become popular as an anti-work anthem or anthem of celebration.

Rundgren would re-record the song live for subscribers to his Patronet service. The new version was retitled "Bang the Ukulele Daily," referring to Rundgren's decision to perform it in a Hawaiian style, accompanied only by a ukulele. "Bang the Ukulele Daily" was included on his album One Long Year.

Chart positions

Year Chart Position
1983 UK Singles Chart[1] 86
1983 US Billboard Pop Singles[2] 63
1983 US Billboard Mainstream Rock[2] 39

In popular culture

The song is used by conservative talk radio host Jim Quinn as his union heads-up theme. Boston conservative talk host Howie Carr also plays a snippet to poke fun at the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has featured many drummers (and workers and residents have complained about the incessant drumming at the gatherings, at all hours of the day and night.)

Radio stations WMJI and WDJX in the United States and 89.7 Sun FM in Canada have used this song for their morning programs. 96.5 WKLH, a classic-rock station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, plays the song every Friday at exactly 5 p.m. to signal the start of the weekend. WXLP 96.9 in Davenport, Iowa at 7am every Friday during the Dwyer and Michaels Show plays the song to signal the end of the week. WFBQ Q-95 in Indianapolis, home of Bob & Tom, also plays this song every Friday afternoon. Midday personality Kim Kelly on Classic Rock radio station 97.1 The Point in Las Vegas, Nevada plays this song around 2pm every Friday. In the early 1990s, Brian McFadden (DJ) on WRDU 96.1 in Raleigh, NC, when WRDU was a rock station, did the same on Fridays with his "James Brown 5PM Fun Alarm". "Bang the Drum All Day" was prefaced with a montage of James Brown yelling and hooting.[3]

The song is referenced in the videogame The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind by the popular scamp merchant, Creeper, showing his lack of mercantile drive. Appropriately, the character is standing next to a guarskin drum.

The song also makes an appearance in an episode of the U.S. version of The Office, when manager Michael Scott says he wants to "bang on this mug all day" while tapping a World's Best Boss coffee mug.

It is very popular at sporting events. The most famous use of the song is at Lambeau Field, as it is played after every Green Bay Packers touchdown. This started at Green Bay in 1985 after Packer players heard the song on the Mr. Bill and Uncle Mike morning show on local radio station WIXX and requested a copy of the song. It has since spread to other teams around the NFL. The Los Angeles Dodgers also play the song when a run is scored. The song is also featured in the videogame Madden 11.

It is used as the Friday morning theme song by Philadelphia NBC affiliate station NBC 10 at the end of every broadcast.

An altered version of the song's chorus was used to promote a late 1990s contest on radio station WYYY in Syracuse, New York. The game was called "Beat the Buzzer" and the modified lyrics were "I don't want to work/I want to play Beat the Buzzer all day".

Since 2009, it is heard in TV commercials for Carnival Cruise Lines.

The American Forces Network (AFN) media network uses this song in a commercial promoting its programming lineup displaying various clips from children's television shows.

On WGOW FM 102.3, a talk radio station in Chattanooga TN, former afternoon host Jay "The Jammer" Scott used the song as his closing theme at the end of his show each day.

Also used by the Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League when a run is scored.


  • Bad Manners covered "Bang on the Drum All Day" on their 1985 album, Mental Notes.
  • A cover of the song is used as part of the soundtrack to the Pixar Play Parade at Disney California Adventure Park as well as the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade at Disney's Hollywood Studios.


External links

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