Shiftwork (song)

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Shiftwork kenny chesney single cover.jpg
Single by Kenny Chesney and George Strait
from the album Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates
ReleasedDecember 10, 2007 (2007-12-10)
FormatCD Single
Length4:29 (album version)
3:56 (single version)
Songwriter(s)Troy Jones
Producer(s)Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney singles chronology
"Don't Blink"
"Every Other Weekend"
George Strait singles chronology
"How 'bout Them Cowgirls"
"I Saw God Today"

"Shiftwork" is a song written by Troy Jones, and recorded by American country music artist Kenny Chesney with George Strait as a duet. It was released in December 2007 as the third single from Chesney's 2007 album Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates.


Initially, "Shiftwork" first charted as an album cut by receiving unsolicited airplay that brought the song up to number 42 on the country music charts prior to its official release to country radio. Before the song was officially released, it was credited to both Chesney and Strait. However, once it was officially released as a single, Strait's name was removed from the song due to contractual agreements between his label (MCA Nashville) and Chesney's label (BNA Records).[1] Starting with the Billboard chart dated February 9, 2008, the song was once again billed as the "Kenny Chesney duet with George Strait".[2]


"Shiftwork" is a moderate up-tempo backed by percussion (mainly steel drums). In the song, the central characters (Chesney and Strait) express their frustrations with constantly working shifts at a convenience store ("Workin' seven to three / Three to eleven / Eleven to seven"). Both characters point out that their job is "a bunch of shiftwork". In the second verse, Chesney talks about taking a trip to the beach to party "from seven to three / Three to eleven / Eleven to seven."

Critical reception[edit]

Allmusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine considered the song a highlight on Chesney's album, making note of how Strait and Chesney both "playfully soften the F in the title, making for a genuinely funny highlight" (thus making the line sound closer to "shit work").[3] Brady Vercher of Engine 145 gave it a "thumbs-down" rating, saying, "What makes this a bad song is that it’s dull and boring, with zero redeeming qualities. If music is supposed to make you feel something, then this song captures the monotony of 'shiftwork,' but who in their right mind is going to want to be bored when they listen to a song?"[4] Kevin John Coyne of Country Universe, gave the song a B grade, saying that " the ’big ol’ pile of shiiiiiftwork” wordplay in the chorus is funny. It doesn’t hold up much on repeated listenings, however" and that the song "still manages to become a song about getting drunk in the islands".[5]

Chart performance[edit]

The song originally charted at number 42 from unsolicited airplay in September 2007, shortly after Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates was released.

Chart (2007–2008) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 47
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[8] 61

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2008) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[9] 38


  1. ^ Bronson, Fred (2008-01-18). "Chart Beat Chat". Billboard. Archived from the original on 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
  2. ^ "Billboard chart listing for the week of February 9, 2008". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 17, 2014. Retrieved 2008-01-31. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates – Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
  4. ^ Vercher, Brady (2007-12-12). "Kenny Chesney with George Strait - Shiftwork". Engine 145. Archived from the original on 2014-12-18. Retrieved 2008-12-08. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ Coyne, Kevin John (2007-12-08). "Kenny Chesney - "Shiftwork"". Country Universe. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  6. ^ "Kenny Chesney Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  7. ^ "Kenny Chesney Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  8. ^ "Kenny Chesney Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard.
  9. ^ "Best of 2008: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2008. Retrieved December 13, 2008.