Working Class Hero (3:47)

Cover of Lennon Legend

From Lennon Legend and 6 other releases

“Working Class Hero” is a song from John Lennon’s first post-Beatles solo album, 1970’s John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.

The song is a take on the class split of the 1940s and 1950s, and of the 1960s in which he was famous. The song appears to tell the story of someone growing up in the working class of capitalism. According to Lennon in an interview with Jann S. Wenner of Rolling Stone magazine in December 1970, it is about working class individuals being processed into the middle classes, into the machine. Lennon stated (in the same interview) that he hoped that it was a warning to the people, a contemporary song for the revolution, for workers, thematically like Give Peace a Chance, aimed to replace the older songs like “We Shall Overcome”.

Notable Covers:

# Tommy Roe recorded his version in 1973. peaked at #97 on the Billboard Hot 100.
# Marianne Faithfull covered the song on her 1979 album Broken English.
# Then-New Zealand politician Marilyn Waring covered the song as a single in 1980.
# Jerry Williams covered the song in 1984 on his album Working Class Hero.
# Richie Havens covered the song for his 1987 album Richie Havens Sings Beatles and Dylan.
# Mike Peters covered the song when with The Alarm as a backing track to their 1989 single “A New South Wales”.


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Albums featuring this track (7)

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As soon as you're born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
A working class hero is something to be

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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