1 Song, 100 Words: The Chemical Workers’ Song by Great Big Sea

Jack Van Nostrand


The Chemical Workers’ Song (Process Man) is a song preformed by Great Big Sea, originally written by the Teesside Fettlers, one of the premier English folk bands. The song condemns the harsh working conditions of the chemical workers, providing vivid imagery such as “Well I’ve worked among the spitters and I breathe the oily smoke / I’ve shovelled up the gypsum and it neigh ‘on makes you choke” and “I’ve stood knee deep cyanide, got sick with a caustic burn”.

The track only consists of two vocals and a drum track, which contributes to the feeling of oppression, and emphasizes the lyric “There’s thunder all around me and there’s poison in the air”. The vocals can be a bit rough, contributing to the overall griminess of the lyrics and themes. Process Man is a great modern folk song that would make a good addition to any collection.