Hard Hat and a Hammer

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"Hard Hat and a Hammer"
Alan Jackson - Hard Hat and a Hammer.png
Single by Alan Jackson
from the album Freight Train
Released May 3, 2010
Format Airplay
Music download
Genre Country
Length 2:50
Label Arista Nashville
Songwriter(s) Alan Jackson
Producer(s) Keith Stegall
Alan Jackson singles chronology
"It's Just That Way"
"Hard Hat and a Hammer"
"As She's Walking Away"

"Hard Hat and a Hammer" is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Alan Jackson. It was released in May 2010 as the second single from his sixteenth studio album Freight Train, which was released on March 30, 2010.


"Hard Hat and a Hammer" is a song which praises blue collar workers in general for their hard work.[1] The song includes the sound of Jackson striking an anvil owned by his father, who died in 2000.[2]


Kyle Ward of Roughstock gave the song three-and-a-half stars out of five, comparing its theme to Zac Brown Band's "Chicken Fried" and Alabama's "40 Hour Week (For a Livin')," but saying that it " ultimately falls short of the down-home charm of the former and the narrative connection of the latter. Still, Jackson makes this an easy, enjoyable listen[.]"[3] Wade Jessen of Billboard, in his review of the album, referred to the song as a "blue-collar tribute[…]which could be a giant radio hit, given the current economic woes in the heartland."[4] Engine 145 reviewer Karlie Justus gave the single a thumbs-up, saying that "Jackson routinely succeeds with spot-on renderings of those aforementioned demographics without succumbing to simply sucking up."[1] Kevin John Coyne, reviewing the song for Country Universe, gave it a B+ rating. He said that it features "a delightful fiddle, rhythmic hammer sounds and typical Keith Stegall production" Coyne also adds that "while it sits precariously on the edge of simply being ear candy, it still works as an unpretentious tribute that is fun and always topically relevant." [5]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Theresa Wingert. The video features miners from Stilhouse mining in Benham, Kentucky, workers from the Bayou La Batre, Alabama shipyard, and railroad workers from TRR Railroad in Mobile, Alabama. It was also filmed at paper mills, foundries, taxi stands, Nashville’s Fire Station #16 and Bar-B-Cutie and more than a dozen other locations. It premiered on June 18, 2010.[6]

Chart performance[edit]

"Hard Hat and a Hammer" debuted at number 57 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week of May 1, 2010. It later reached a peak of number 17 on the chart, and is Jackson's final Top 20 hit to date.

Chart (2010) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 17
US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100[8] 7
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[9] 99


  1. ^ a b Justus, Karlie (28 April 2010). "Alan Jackson — "Hard Hat and a Hammer"". Engine 145. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  2. ^ http://blog.gactv.com/blog/2010/05/28/alan-jackson-nailed-hammer-with-an-anvil/
  3. ^ Ward, Kyle (22 April 2010). "Alan Jackson — "Hard Hat and a Hammer"". Roughstock. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  4. ^ Jessen, Wade (19 March 2010). "Freight Train review". Billboard. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Coyne, Kevin John (2010-04-29). "Alan Jackson - "Hard Hat and a Hammer"". Country Universe. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  6. ^ "News". Alan Jackson. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  7. ^ "Alan Jackson – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Alan Jackson.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 435. ISBN 0-89820-188-8. 
  9. ^ "Alan Jackson – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Alan Jackson.