Like you told me
Cash rules everything
Singing Dolla Dolla Bill y'all!"
Silly Love Songs make big profits for the music industry. But the prime movers and shakers in other industries know that the three little words that make the world go round are not "I love you," but "money, money, money." So why not sing the latter refrain?
- Tom and Jerry: The Movie has one sung by Aunt Figg and the lawyer Mr. Lickboot, called "(Money Is Such) A Beautiful Word"
- "Mine, Mine, Mine" from the Pocahontas film.
- "The Money Cat" from the 1962 animated film Gay Purr-ee (written by Chuck Jones and directed by Abe Levitow).
- "How Bad Can I Be?" from The Lorax is all about corporate greed.
- "Money, Money" from the movie Cabaret. This replaced the Money Song from the original stage version, "Sitting Pretty". Also known as "Money (Makes the World Go 'Round)".
- "Money, Money, Money" from Mamma Mia!, and, by extension, the ABBA album from which the song was plucked.
- Spinal Tap's "Gimme Some Money," though it's more of a money-themed Anti-Love Song.
- "Money by the Pound" in Pete's Dragon (1977). A catchy little ditty about chopping up a dragon to sell its parts for cold hard cash.
- A silly little improvised song in the film version of The Little Rascals:
"I've got a dollar, I've got a dollar, I've got a dollar, hey hey hey hey..."
- From Mary Poppins, the song about investing tuppence: "Fidelity Fiduciary Bank".
- "Gold" from Repo! The Genetic Opera.
- "The Gold Diggers' Song (We're in the Money)" from Gold Diggers of 1933. Instrumental versions of this song have been used ad nauseum to represent the sudden and unexpected receipt of riches — in several Looney Tunes cartoons, and on the stock market reports on NPR whenever the Dow Jones Industrial Average goes up.
- "The Accountancy Shanty" from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life is about accountancy rather than money—but the types of accountacy they're describing are almost exclusively the province of the very rich.
- "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes makes it clear that Lorelei's interest in the eponymous stones is of a financial nature.
- Let's not forget Discworld's Dwarves "Gold, Gold, Gold, Gold". Of course, most dwarf songs are about gold anyway. One must also not forget, however, that Discworld Dwarves do not love gold. They just say that to get it into bed.
- "Money Song" from episode 29 of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
There is nothing quite as wonderful as money! (money money money)
There is nothing quite as beautiful as cash! (money money money)
- The humorist Stan Freberg (evidently) wrote "Money", which was memorably performed by Doctor Teeth on an episode of The Muppet Show.
- The "Loadsamoney" single by Harry Enfield for Comic Relief, based on a character of the same name from the Sketch Show Saturday Live.
- The I Love Cash parody of Oscar the Grouch’s I Love Trash sung by Donald Trump and his hair on Mad TV.
- "Money Money" by The Grateful Dead.
- "Quieren Dinero" (They Want Money) by Chilean band Los Prisioneros.
- "Money" by Pink Floyd from The Dark Side of the Moon is a satirical version, though it's easy to take the song at face value.
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today.
But if you ask for a rise, it's no surprise that they're
Giving none away.
We're just knocked out
- "Have a Cigar", from Wish You Were Here, is similar:
We heard about the sellout
You gotta get another one out
You owe it to the people
We're so happy we can hardly count.
- "Money Talks" by AC/DC.
- "Money Money Money" by ABBA. The lyricist, Björn, was aware that the theme was a little worn out.
- There's also "Money Made", which is more critical.
- "Money Talks" by The Alan Parsons Project. (Totally different song, same title.)
- "For the Love of Money" by the O'Jays subverts this by equivocating money with depravity and desperation.
- George Harrison's cynical Beatles song "Taxman", written about the UK's then 95% top income tax rate.
- And a subversion by the same band: "Can't Buy Me Love".
- Then again, there's their version of "Money (That's What I Want)".
- "Baby You're a Rich Man" sort of straddles the line with this one.
- "You Never Give Me Your Money". Not sure where it falls on the straight/played with/subversion/inversion chart; its message about money seems to be "it's complicated", and it was inspired by Paul's frustration with new manager Allen Klein and his habit of never giving Paul a straight answer about the Beatles' royalties.
- Also subverted with Funkadelic's "Funky Dollar Bill", which lambasts materialism.
- Also subverted (if not outright deconstructed) with the entirety of Swans' album entitled Greed.
- As well as most songs on its slightly more melodic companion, Holy Money.
- The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's "Money Rock'n'Roll".
- A twist on this: Shania Twain's "Ka-ching!".
- Barrett Strong's song "Money (That's What I Want)", which has been covered by a variety of bands. Most famously, it was Covered Up by One-Hit Wonder the Flying Lizards, but other versions include those by The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band, Boyz II Men, The Blues Brothers, Hanson, and Josie and the Pussycats!
- Wu-Tang Clan: Cash Rules Everything Around Me, CREAM get the money, dollar dollar bills yo...
- "Easy Money" by King Crimson which centers around the idea that all prog-rockers are money grubbing snobs. It's particularly ironic, considering that King Crimson was one of the bands who popularized prig-rock.
- "Easy Money" by Brad Paisley
- And there's "Easy Money" by Billy Joel, which was the theme song of the Rodney Dangerfield movie of the same name.
- "The Money Will Roll Right In", by punk rockers Fang. Covered Up by Nirvana at the '92 Reading Festival.
I'll just sit and grin, the money will roll right in.
- Two Brazilian comedic examples (that even use English in the lyrics): "Mim quer tocar", Ultraje a Rigor ("Me want to play/Me love to get the money (the money!)") and "1406", Mamonas Assassinas ("Money, o que é good nós num have/se nós havasse nós num tava aqui workando/o nosso work é playá").
- Neil Diamond's "Cherry, Cherry", was originally titled "Money, Money" before Executive Meddling made him change it — to one of his biggest hits of all time.
- The Gamma Ray song "Money" starts as an argument/temptation dealing with whether or not selling out is worth it and ends as a celebration of money.
- Bacilos' "Mi Primer Millón" (My First Million (of dollars)).
- Now-defunct Polish band Republika once published a song with a refrain that translates "This song was written only for money".
- "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits from Brothers in Arms.
- Michael Jackson's "Money" from HIStory is another subversion that decries greed. Perhaps not surprisingly, this was written after he was first accused of child molestation, which he claimed was an extortion attempt on him.
- "Avarice" by Disturbed. Another song maligning greed, including the line "Avarice will kill you in time."
- Puff Daddy's "It's All About The Benjamins". For international tropers, a Benjamin (named after Benjamin Franklin, the guy printed on it) is a US$100 bill.
- Dizzee Rascal's "Dirtee Cash" is a subversion, criticizing people who spend "money that they ain't made yet", running up large debts in the process, just so they can live the "high life". Its chorus samples the song "Dirty Cash (Money Talks)" by 90s dance act The Adventures of Stevie V, which plays the trope straight.
- Subverted in Jessie J's song "Price Tag":
It's not about the money, money, money,
We don't need your money, money, money,
We just wanna make the world dance, forget about the price tag
- Randy Newman's "It's Money That I Love" and "It's Money That Matters".
- "Money Comes From Heaven" by Oingo Boingo.
- "Head like a Hole" by Nine Inch Nails is basically a comparison between mankind's devotion to God and Money.
- Patti Smith's Free Money, about having so much of the stuff that you could waste it.
- Beautiful South's "Song for Whoever" is a money song disguised as a Silly Love Song, a Take That! for the pop music industry in general and Muse Abuse in particular.
Oh Kathy, Oh Alison, Oh Phillipa, Oh Sue
You made me so much money, I wrote this song for you
- "This Is the Life", by "Weird Al" Yankovic.
- "The Big Money", by Rush.
- "I Wanna Be Rich" by Calloway.
- In "Shitloads of Money," Liz Phair foreshadowed her shift from indie darling to mainstream wannabe by declaring, "It's nice to be liked/But it's better by far to get paid".
- Lady Gaga has "Money Honey". And "The Fame". And "Beautiful Dirty Rich".
- Actually "The Fame" is about becoming famous, and Gaga stated that "Beautiful Dirty Rich" is about self-discovery.
- And "Money Honey", if one listens to the lyrics, is about how even though he's rich and that's nice, it's not why she cares about him. Lady Gaga likes playing with this trope?
- "Cash Machine" by Hard Fi.
- "Selling Out" by Tom Lehrer.
- "Mony, Mony" by Tommy James and the Shondells (and later Covered Up by Billy Idol), and, of course, "Weird Al" Yankovic's parody titled "Alimony" (though this one is more about not having money anymore).
- "Gold" by The Sugarcubes.
- "Love Your Money" by Daisy Chainsaw.
- My Chemical Romance's "Vampire Money".
Gimme gimme some of that vampire money!
- "Money Changes Everything", kind of a subversion by Cyndi Lauper.
- "Sell Out With Me" by Reel Big Fish.
- "Opportunities" by Pet Shop Boys.
You got the brawn
I've got the brains
Let's make lots of money
- Space's song "Money", which seems to be about a relationship where one person spent so long just buying their partner's affections that they forgot to be... well, affectionate.
- "Not That Kinda Girl" is a Subversion by Jo Jo saying she is unimpressed with the money a guy is throwing at her.
Boy you aint impressin' me
With your jewelry, your designer clothes
It doesn't matter that your car is fly
- "Baby It's You" explicitly states how she's not into rich guys...
And your rims are spinning on the side and
It doesn't matter where we go tonight
Cause if I'm with you I'll be alright.
- Cee-Lo Green's "Fuck You" is about how he get's kicked out by a girl for not being rich enough.
- The B-52s' "Legal Tender", specifically about the joys of running a counterfeit operation.
- "Too Much Money" by Mitch Benn, originally from the Crimes Against Music episode about rockstar excess.
What do you buy yourself when you're the man,
Who has two or three of everything?
My accountant swindled six million quid from me,
And I never noticed a thing.
I've got mansions all over the world,
Some in places I've never been.
I gave millions to charity,
Now my disgusting wealth is merely obscene.
- The Evillious Chronicles' "Judgment of Corruption" song by mothy: "I'm the master of the court. I want money more than justice." The song is supposed to be a representation of the sin of greed, so it's a given. The corrupt judge goes so far as to damn himself to Hell for the sake of his fortune.
- Steve Taylor's "Cash Cow (A Rock Opera In Three Small Acts)" is a fantastic example, using the old story of the Golden Calf to lambast the greed of the 1980s.
- K.T. Oslin had a top 15 country hit in fall of 1988 called "Money". However, unlike many other "money" songs which extoll the virtues of being rich (although the song does begin this way), the lyrics are a lament of a rich woman not getting the things she truly wants: love and companionship.
- "If You've Got the Money (I've Got the Time)," a country standard first made famous by Lefty Frizzell and later covered by Willie Nelson; their versions went to No. 1 in 1950 and 1976, respectively. The song's lyrics are about a man who dates a rich woman for her money, and vows to love and pay attention to her only as long as the flow of cash remains abundant.
If you run short of money
I'll run short of time
And if you run out of money, honey
Then I've got no more time.
- KMFDM's "Bitches":
We're only in it for the money
To get our fingers in your honey
We pretend to no end
We are bitches for your riches
- "Pour It Up" by Rihanna, especially in the second verse.
- "Black Money" by Culture Club from Colour By Numbers.
- Patrick Stump's "As Long as I Know I'm Getting Paid" and "Greed". The latter is a subversion, since it's about corruption, apathy, and Gordon Gekko-like businessmen.
- Drake's song "Succesful" (featuring Trey Songz), also crosses over with Rock-Star Song, since it discusses his newfound fame (the song was released in 2009 and was one of his first hit singles).
- "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems" by the (by the time of the single's release, late) Notorious B.I.G. featuring Puff Daddynote .
- "Money" by Vitamin C.
- 10cc's "Art for Art's Sake", subtitled "Money for God's sake", is practically Gordon Gecko's "greed is good" speech in song form, only released ten years ahead of Wall Street.
- And their Rock Star Song The Worst Band in the World
- "Material Girl" by Madonna: "'cause the boy with the cold hard cash is always Mister Right."
- "Song For The Dumped" by Ben Folds Five: "Give me my money back, give me my money back, you bitch!"
- "Money Honey", an early hit for The Drifters.
- "Whales" by Hail Mary Mallon, in which rappers Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic describe increasingly ridiculous things to spend absurd amounts of money on. The hook should be enough to tell you the gist of the song's message:
Money, money, money, money
money, money, money, money
money, money, money, money
money, money, money, money
money, money, money, money
money, money, money, money
money, money, money, money
- "If I Had a $1000000" by the Barenaked Ladies, a call-and-answer song about what the singers would buy for their significant other with a million dollars.
- "Geld oder Leben" by Austrian comedy band "Erste Allgemeine Verunsicherung" is sort of a concept album on the theme.
- "Onedari Daisakusen" ("Begging Strategy") by Babymetal describes the strategies a girl can use to persuade her father to give her extra allowance.
- Simply Red's "Money's Too Tight (To Mention)", which is about not having enough money to get by.
- Also in the same vein, Boy George's "Sold" from his first solo album of the same name.
- The gist of Samantha Fish's "Money to Burn" is that, while money may not be everything, it can make up for a lot of other problems.
- "Millionaer" by Die Prinzen is all about wanting to be a millionaire, unsurprisingly.
- "Money to Burn" by Scottish rock band Gun asserts that "some people lie for it, some people die for it, some people risk their lives and do time for it."
- The Christian worship song "Mighty Is Our God" can be misheard as "Money Is Our God".
- A number of Professional Wrestling stars have had 'rich X' gimmicks, but the best known by far is Ted DiBiase, who as the "Million Dollar Man" began using a heel-styled rap called "Its All About The Money" ("Everyone has a price for the Million Dollar Man," followed by his trademark Evil Laugh and a backing chorus singing "Money, money, money, money").
- Shane McMahon also used an entrance theme called "Here Comes the Money," and Donald Trump (during his appearances in the WWE) used a theme called "Money, Money."
- The musical Chess has a song from the game's sponsors: "We've a franchise worth exploiting, and we will - when it comes to merchandising, we could kill!"
- "Can You Use Any Money Today?" from Call Me Madam.
- "Money, Money, Money (Venice Gambling Scene)" from Leonard Bernstein's Candide.
- "The Sound Of Money" from I Can Get It For You Wholesale.
- There is a song in Avenue Q that is, quite literally, called "The Money Song", though it's actually about encouraging people to donate to charity, rather than boasting about how wealthy they are.
- "The Money Rings Out Like Freedom" from Coco.
- Related to money: "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend", from the stage and film musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
- In Beethoven's opera Fidelio, old jail-warden Rocco advises Fidelio (whom he expects to be his son-in-law) that marriage does not work without money, in the aria "Hat man nicht auch Gold beineben" ("If you don't have money on the side").
- "Lottery Agent's Tango" from Der Silbersee.
- "Gold!" from Stephen Sondheim's Road Show.
- "The Money Song (Funny What Money Can Do)", written by Harold Rome for a musical that failed to reach Broadway.
- All of the Thenardier's songs in Les Misérables, but especially "Beggars at the Feast".
- Das Lied von der belebenden Wirkung des Geldes ("The song of the vitalizing power of money"), originally from the no longer performed play Die Spitzköpfe und die Rundköpfe ("The pointy heads and the round heads"), by Bertolt Brecht (words) and Hanns Eisler (music).
- "All About the Green" from the stage adaptation of The Wedding Singer.
- A more tame version than most is "96,000" in In the Heights, in which the cast fantasizes what they would do with the winning lottery ticket of $96,000. Unlike most versions of this trope, only Benny's and Daniella and Carla's dreams are even remotely selfish: Benny wants to become a business man so rich Donald Trump would be his caddie (although he recognizes the amount of work that it would require - with the $96,000, he is planning to send himself to business school), Daniella and Carla want to travel, shop, and give themselves makeovers, Usnavi wants to return to the Dominican Republic, Sonny wants to end poverty in the barrio, and Vanessa wants to get out of the Washington Heights and move downtown so she can follow her dreams.
- The original run of Cabaret had "Sitting Pretty" as a money song, which is still used on occasion.
- Ebenezer gives one to Jacob Marley, "Nothing Matters Except the Money," as he talks Scrooge into foreclosing the orphanage where his love interest works, on Christmas Eve, for the sake of cash.
- "If I Were a Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof.
- "Take the Money and Run" from Teacher's Pet.
- "Silver and Gold" from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is about the uselessness of money (it was The '60s), and although it completely misses the point of the gold standard, it's still a nice song.
- "The Money Song" by King Norman from The Groovenians.
- Resident cheapskate Mr. Krabs from Spongebob Squarepants is pretty fond of these, such as "Ka-Ching" from Selling Out, "All This Money" from Atlantis Squarepantis, and "If I Could Talk To Money" from Money Talks. He also sings one on the Best Day Ever album.
- The Misfits from Jem have quite a few of them, like "Takin' It All".
- In The Good, The Bad, and Huckleberry Hound (one of the 10 made-for-TV movies made by Hanna-Barbera in the late 1980s), one scene has the Dalton Gang singing a Villain Song appropriately titled "Gold, Gold, Gold".
- The vocalist of the animated Punky Brewster theme does a cover of "Money (That's What I Want)" in the episode "Punky's Millions."
- The Smurfs: "All's Smurfy That Ends Smurfy" has Gargamel find a sack of fairy gold, and then sing about how he's going to be livin' it up from now on.
- From Doug, there's "I Need Mo' Allowance".
- From CatDog, when showing the dreams of the titular characters, while Dog dreamed of exploring and enjoying life, Cat's dream revolved entirely around how much he loves money, complete with a song.
- In King of the Hill, John Redcorn's rock band "Big Mountain Fudgecake" has several songs dedicated to money.
- The Crumpets: Granny sings and dances a brief, simple one with banknotes in the background in the episode "Puppy Love".