My good friend Nelson, blogger at Financial Uproar, published a post about his favourite money songs last October. His list was 19 songs long. That’s a number I couldn’t hope to approach whilst keeping my list somewhat original. And I don’t want to crash your browsers with 19 embedded YouTube videos.
#5: Money (That’s What I Want) –
The Beatles The Flying Lizards I can’t stand The Beatles. My partner, on the other hand, is obsessed with them. I asked for her suggestions of “songs about money” to hopefully make a more original list. Naturally, this Beatles song with “Money” in the title was her first thought. Don’t worry, there’s no Pink Floyd in this list. Now on to the good music.
Thankfully, a commenter told me about this cover version which definitely beats the original Beatles version.
#4: Reagonomics – Lemon Demon
Kudos to friend of the blog Jack Braithwaite for finding this song a while back. It’s awesome despite a clear hipster vibe. The worst part is definitely the beginning. The musicians took Ronald Reagan’s famous quote:
“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.”
And ruined it by editing his quote to this:
“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the solution to our problem.”
It makes no sense. Maybe they’re Keynsians who hate trickle-down economics. Hopefully they weren’t mocking the fact that he had some Alzheimer’s-related cognitive issues during the sunset of his Presidency. And if that was the point, they could have used one of his actual recorded gaffes to greater effect. I wish this band had swallowed its pride and given a cool song to Republicans. “Cat Scratch Fever” is OK but Ted Nugent just isn’t a great public face for a political movement.
#3: If I Had a Million Dollars – The Barenaked Ladies
This BNL classic was on Nelson’s list, although I’m surprised it didn’t come in a lot higher. Perhaps I’m overrating If I Had a Million Dollars because it’s one of the few songs I actually learned how to play in grade 10 guitar class. Whatever, it beats Wonderwall.
#2: Thrift Shop - Macklemore – not safe for work
I think my original introduction to Macklemore’s music was made a few years back by my good friend Chris. He’s that one friend who is obsessed with music and knew a ton of bands before they were famous. I listened to Thrift Shop in early September. At the time I thought “It’s good. But not nearly as fun as And We Danced or as interesting as his grittier work.” Because I know nothing about music or culture, I was incredibly wrong. Thrift Shop became a viral video and skyrocketed to the top of every chart (except Germany’s where its top position was #3). YouTube is definitely becoming the new hit-maker.
#1: Money for Nothing – Dire Straights – not safe for work
Money for Nothing would make my top 100 favourite songs. It’d place somewhere behind another incredible Dire Straights song: Sultans of Swing. When Money for Nothing plays on the radio I get a little giddy, especially when it’s the full version with the super-long intro. There’s something magical about that moment when the hard-driving guitar kicks in.
BONUS: Fight of the Century by EconStories
When I texted Nelson to ask whether I had his blessing to do this post, he recommended I include Fight of the Century. It’s the sequel to a song in Nelson’s article, “Fear the Boom and Bust”. The sequel is another hypothetical meetup of two long-dead, extremely important economists. I agree with Nelson that the second video isn’t as good, but it’s still very fun if you’ve ever taken a macro econ course.