Pumping Iron

Album: Have a Good Time but Get Out Alive! (1980)

Songfacts®:

  • Written by lead singer Joe Grushecky, this song was inspired by his hometown. "Pittsburgh's a real good city," he told Musician in 1981. "We got all these steel mills down by the river. When you grow up there, you can do two things. You can work like hell to stay out of those mills or you can spend your life pumping iron." At the time of this album's release, however, a devastating recession was killing off the steel industry, which was the beating heart of the city since the 1830s, turning the choice to "stay out of those mills" into a grim reality.

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