“Songs that Work: Music from the Workplace to the Workhouse” Songs That Work. They work to motivate people to labor, to celebrate at odd hours, they are from the street and not the academy or from the music business at large, though they affect both. Street performers have only a few moments to be effective in their trade. What they do, say, sing, all has to be integrated to have an instant punch, otherwise that dime's going to go someplace else. Guitar evangelists, the Bluesmen and women of Maxwell Street, the local musicians who exploit marketing days everywhere depend for their living on the generosity of the temporarily flush.