Soundtrack for a bad economy

Gibson, maker of the legendary guitar, recently posted a fun look at music's intersection with money: "10 Cool Songs for a Crap Economy." Russell Hall's 10 picks focused mainly on rock, so the Herald-Leader decided to expand the music icon's idea somewhat. We've included a few staples that Hall mentioned but a few offbeat ones, too.


“It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”

Lyr$cs: See above.

Fun fact: Guitarist Peter Buck based the music off a previously scrapped song that R.E.M. eventually released as Bad Day in 2003.

Barenaked Ladies

“If I Had $1000000”

Lyr$cs: "If I had $1,000,000, I'd be rich!"

Fun fact: Among the purchases to be made are a llama, a fur coat (but not real fur) and the bones of the Elephant Man.

Johnny Paycheck

“Take This Job and Shove It”

Lyr$cs: "I can't wait to see their faces when I get the nerve to say, take this job and shove it. I ain't working here no more."

Fun fact: Paycheck covered David Allan Coe. Punk group Dead Kennedys of "Holiday in Cambodia" fame later covered the song, too.

Jay Gorney

“Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”

Lyr$cs: "They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead. Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?"

Fun fact: The song has been covered by dozens of artists including television star Mandy Patinkin.

Ray Charles


Lyr$cs: "I went to my brother to ask for a loan cause I was busted."

Fun fact: The song peaked at number four on the U.S. pop chart.

John Rich

“Shuttin’ Detroit Down”

Lyr$cs: "In the real world, they're shuttin' Detroit down, while the boss-man takes his bonus pay and jets on out of town."

Fun fact: Rich wrote the song in about an hour after watching news reports.

Pink Floyd


Lyr$cs: "Money, so they say is the root of all evil today. But if you ask for a raise it's no surprise that they're giving none away."

Fun fact: The sound effects at the beginning were recorded in a studio set up quickly in Roger Waters' garden shed.

Citizen King

Better Days (And The Bottom Drops Out)

No live version of the video could be found on YouTube

Lyr$cs: "I'm faded, flat busted, been jaded, I been dusted. I know that I've seen better days."

Fun fact: The band broke up in 2002 with their biggest album as their last.

The Temptations

“Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today)”

Lyr$cs: "Fear in the air, tension everywhere. Unemployment rising fast, The Beatles' new record's a gas."

Fun fact: The song was covered by the nuns in Sister Act 2.

Bruce Springsteen

“The River”

Lyr$cs: "I got a job working construction for the Johnstown company. But lately there ain't been much work on account of the economy."

Fun fact: The song was featured in the documentary No Nukes.

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