Money Matters Money is desired by everyone, but the majority of wealth is held by only a small percentage of people in society. Is this minority of the rich as happy as we think they should be with all that money? Two songs regarding currency will help answer this; Pink Floyd’s song, “Money”, from the album The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) and AC/DC’s song, “Money Talks”, from the album The Razors Edge (1990). “Money” presents the idea that money allows the individual to get what they want. Money Talks” presents the idea that money allows the individual to get whomever they want. At the heart of both of these songs it is evident that the song writers wanted the listener to know the cycle of money and obtaining materialistic things which suggest that the key point being conveyed by these songs is that money enables greed which can lead to negative behavior. People often want money to make them feel happier; this is accomplished by buying materialistic things or by trying to buy an individual’s affection or approval.
But do these things really make us happy, or do they just give us more problems like greed and physical conflicts? According to Sonja Lyubomirsky , from The Scientific American, “The single biggest culprit, I argue, is that having money raises our aspirations about the happiness that we expect in our daily lives, and these raised aspirations can be toxic. ” (Lyumbomirsky). The more one achieves, the more one wants, is the definition of greed.
This is a viscous cycle that, if fueled by enough money, can end in bad decisions or negative behavior. For example, if you are conditioned to eating at nice restaurants, and then you go to a fast food chain, you wouldn’t be as satisfied in comparison to always going to fast food restaurants and not knowing the luxurious pleasure of dining at a fancy establishment. (Lyumbomirsky) Money can buy nice things and services, but it will not always eliminate stress and bad moods.
A Princeton University Study published in 2010 concluded that income is directly proportional to emotional experiences up to about $75,000 a year where it plateaus. (Staff) This study analyzed over 450,000 responses from over 1,000 test subjects on a daily basis asking questions about the previous day’s emotional experiences. These results are quite interesting but throughout the whole study it was evident that there were still daily stresses and depressing times regardless of your social and economical status. Staff) Instead of contentment and happiness, too much money can just lead to greed. Both songs, “Money” and “Money Talks” have the same social issue at their core, money. According to both songs if money allows you to get everything you desire, then ultimately it will cause greed and result in immoral decisions. The key difference in the songs is that in “Money” they want to get materialistic things and in “Money Talks” they money to buy materialistic things to attract the individuals they want.
This is shown when Pink Floyd says “Money, it’s a gas Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash New car, caviar, four star daydream Think I’ll buy me a football team” in “Money,” and when AC/DC says “Hey little girl, you want it all The furs, the diamonds, the painting on the wall come on come on lovin’ for the money” in “Money Talks. ” Both songs describe individuals using money to reach their aspirations, possessions or people. After using money to obtain their wants, each song describes the resulting negative consequences.
By using money to attract a female mate, “Money Talks” describes the kind of immoral tendencies of a woman who is attracted by money. This effect is shown in the lyric “Hey little girl, you broke the laws You hustle, you deal, you steal from us all. ” In “Money”, Pink Floyd plainly states “Money, so they say Is the root of all evil today. ” Then the song describes a dispute over wanting more money, beginning with the lyric “But if you ask for a raise its no surprise that they’re giving none away. ” Both songs depict the negative results created from too much money by describing greedy and immoral behavior based around wanting more. Money” is a story of the natural progression of money and greed. The song starts with a man who gets a good job, then buys expensive things, and then the greed of the money causes him to make a physical dispute started by asking for more money. The grooving beat starts with the sounds of a cash register, coins, and money to let the audience conform to the subject. When the instruments join the materialistic set groove, the piano, bass, and drums create a walking feeling to simulate someone on the move spending money.
When the singer starts the first verse, he immediately talks about making money and spending money, which perfectly matches the sound effects and walking groove set up by the instrumental intro. The second verse describes the next stage of money and greed, which is using money for the rush like a drug. This connection is shown in the lyric “money, it’s a hit,” so spending money is like taking a hit of a mind altering substance. Just like drug use, money use can lead to bad judgment and skewed values.
After the last line of the second verse, “And I think I need a Lear jet,” the guitarists and piano take turns to create a three minute psychedelic solo. The solo is very relaxing and enjoyable, simulating the early stages of drug use, or in this case, money use. The last sung verse describes the obsession of money leading to negative things such as crime and fights. The verse ends with the line “But if you ask for a raise it’s no surprise that they’re giving none away. ” This line shows the subject needing more money to fuel his expensive spending addiction.
The verse shows greed on both ends of the interaction, because the subject wants more money and the employer does not want to share any money. After this verse, the background tells a story of an argument which ended in a fist fight. Though not specifically stated, the listener can conclude from the reoccurrence of the music from the intro that the dispute started from spending too much money. “Money Talks” starts out with a twenty second instrumental introduction that has an upbeat tempo and really makes the listener want to tap their feet and nod their head .
The fast happy mood directly contradicts the subject matter, which is closely related to prostitution. This kind of contradiction is known as musical irony. After ACDC sets the foundation for a happy and energetic song, the singer dives right into what money can do for you, “Tailored suits, chauffeured cars, Fine hotels and big cigars”. The singer has a natural energetic growl sound, but he will slightly change the volume or intensity of his tone depending on what the lyrics are saying. Every line that deals with negative behavior due to spending, the singer will mark it by adding slight emphasis to his voice.
The first verse is sung with a pretty consistent tone until he introduces his female target by stating “Hey little girl, you want it all,” then he adds slightly more growl to his voice. After the first chorus, the subject takes a turn almost into a business proposition as the man asks what services she offers and how much she would like to be paid evidenced by these lyrics “So what do you do that’s guaranteed … love me for the money Come on, come on, listen to the money talk”. During this line, the singer raises his volume, as well as his energy to show the decline of moral behavior with the increase of spending.
The last line of this verse, “You hustle, you deal, you steal from us all” is sung with more edge and energy than any other line of the song. This lyric directly shows how someone could be stuck in the cycle of compromising morals for money. Even though the music has little to do with the subject, the singer makes the lyric music connection by adding slightly more energy to the lines depicting negative behavior in relation to spending and making money. Money or wealth is an attribute of daily life for everyone. Unfortunately, having too much money can cause problems for the user and recipient in the form of greed.
Pink Floyd’s song “Money” goes through the cycle of wealth by starting with making the money and then ends by describing a dispute driven by greed. ACDC depicts their view of the corruption of money by telling the story of a man who uses money to get women, also known as prostitution. Both songs accurately portray the negative connotations attached to wealth in today’s society by ending their songs on greedy behavior started by obtaining and spending too much money. ? Bibliography Lyumbomirsky, Sonja. Scientific American. 10 August 2010. 15 April 2012. . Staff, PNAS and World Science. World Science. 8 September 2010. 14 April 2012. .
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