Top 10 Songs About… Money

It’s funny, musical artistry and financial advice do not often occupy the same space. Whether it’s rock stars splashing out in hotels, rappers’ buying eye-wateringly expensive gold chains, or pop starlets appearing at awards shows in seriously pricy dresses, the music world is known for its opulent glamour. Accountants… we’re more known for telling people when to stop spending!

Riffing on this theme, we thought we’d pull together our top 10 songs about money as a bit of fun, ahead of the Easter Bank Holiday.

Jamie T – If You Got The Money

Most people know indie brat Jamie T for the song Sheila, but he takes on the green stuff on this single from his debut album Panic Prevention. The chorus seems to be Mr. T wondering how much fun he’d have with a rich guy’s girl, if said rich guy gave him some of his vast wealth. The rest of the song is a spew of lyrics about him being broke, running around getting drunk and fighting… I think.

ABBA – Money, Money, Money

That zinging piano intro sets up the tension in this ABBA classic. Perhaps not the most poetically able pop band (likely due to English being a second language) ABBA sure make up for it with about seven hooks per song, and in this banger they rhyme ‘money’ with ‘funny’. Complete with references to Las Vegas and Monaco, the ABBA gals set out their goal to find a wealthy man. Certainly a fictional tale because all of ABBA became ludicrously wealthy – and justly so!

The 1975 – M.O.N.E.Y

Any 1975 fan will know that singer Matt Healy’s lyrics have this no filter intensity to them, and the band’s early songs are tales of being twenty-somethings in Manchester – all awkwardness, hedonism and young love. M.O.N.E.Y is about a character (presumably Healy himself) going out on the town and getting involved in some rather expensive illegal activities, let’s just say… It doesn’t go very well for him. A cautionary tale to spend your money wisely, if I ever heard one.

Pink Floyd – Money

A simple title, for a relatively simple song (for Pink Floyd at least) and definitely one of the more accessible tracks on their iconic album Dark Side Of The Moon. Roger Waters sardonically lists the perks of having money and impersonates the super-rich: “Money, it’s a hit / Don’t give me that do goody bullshit”. The rhythmic tape loops of cash registers, tearing paper and bags of coins weave this song into the album’s weird sonic tapestry.

It’s a gas

Dire Straits – Money For Nothing

With, in my view, the best guitar riff in this list, this 1985 track was a huge hit for the ‘Straits. The lyrics were inspired by the comments of a delivery man Mark Knopfler met in an appliance store in New York. This man thought that the MTV stars on that he observed on-screen within the store were paid stacks of cash for doing absolutely nothing, which Knopfler found interesting, jotting down the man’s comments there and then. I wonder if this man ever realised he’d inspired such a mega hit?

The Beatles – Can’t Buy Me Love

It was this one or Taxman (one of the few pop songs explicitly about tax), but I just prefer the simple message of this one – that money simply can’t buy you love. Paul McCartney, who wrote and performed lead vocals on the track, has never fully explained the song’s meaning, but has referenced the fact that material possessions can’t buy you what you really want. Though he did comment later that it should be called Can Buy Me Love when reflecting on the good life that his fame and fortune had granted him!

Rihanna – B**** Better Have My Money

The Barbadian songstress takes an aggressive tone on this trap-influenced song. It was allegedly written about her accountant that she sued in 2012 for causing her to lose $9 million within a year. In the video RiRi kidnaps an accountant’s wife because he’s refused to pay her! They do say arguments about money are the worst…

Kendrick Lamar Money Trees

Probably the cleverest rapper ever, ‘Kung Fu Kenny’ takes on the quest for wealth in this track off his first album, good kid, m.A.A.d city. In it, he describes how those in poverty strive to get rich quick, but lose their morals along the way, and how people within such communities struggle to make enough money to get out. This he contrasts with his own hard work to make it to the top of the music industry. 10 years on, Lamar has given back to his home city of Compton, CA in various ways, including donations to music, sports and after-school programmes to keep kids off the street. Good kid.

Lana Del Rey Old Money

Lana Del Rey has always channelled a bygone age in her music, with her 50s aesthetic. This song is all nostalgic references to Hollywood. “Cashmere, cologne and hot sunshine” – it’s the stuff of Mad Men, Great Gatsby, and the like; when people wore hats and drove big gas guzzlers and didn’t have Twitter.   

Parliament Wizard of Finance

“If I was a wizard of finance / Speculating every day on Wall Street / My dividends would be so tremendous, baby / Even Dow Jones would find it hard to believe”

Enough said.