Are you dreaming about what you would do if you had millions and millions of rands in the bank? You’re not the only one. Even the rich and famous have pondered this question, and they have a few ideas.

Here are our top 12 songs about wanting money:

12. Royals – Lorde

“We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams.
But everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece,
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash”

We may never have been rich, or driven expensive cars while decked out in diamonds, but we want what we see in the movies. And we may never be royals, but Lorde knows, we keep trying, and dreaming.

11. Life is a lemon and I want my money back – Meatloaf

“It’s a never ending attack
Ev’rything’s a lie and that’s a fact
Life is a lemon and I want my money back”

If you’ve ever felt like you deserved a refund for life, you will definitely agree with Meatloaf on this one. This angry rant on never getting ahead is surprisingly catchy, so sing along: “And all the stooges with their coins, they’re the ones who make the rules, it’s not a game it’s just a rout”.

10. Opportunities (Let’s make lots of money) – Pet Shop Boys

“I’ve got the brains, you’ve got the looks
Let’s make lots of money”

Are you forever scheming, planning and strategising on how to make extra money? Then this is the song for you.

9. Rockstar – Nickelback

“I want a brand new house
On an episode of Cribs
And a bathroom I can play baseball in
And a king size tub big enough
For ten plus me”

I choose all of the above, thank you. Also, “I’ll need a credit card that’s got no limit, and a big black jet with a bedroom in it, gonna join the mile high club at thirty-seven thousand feet”. Thank you, that will be all.

8. Money, money, money – ABBA

“I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay
Ain’t it sad?
And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me”

Preach sister. Most of us slave away to earn a salary, but never have money. How is this possible? But the lady has a plan: “In my dreams I have a plan, if I got me a wealthy man, I wouldn’t have to work at all, I’d fool around and have a ball…”.
If you’re pondering the virtues of love versus money, check out our Gold Digging playlist.

7. Mercedes-Benz – Janis Joplin

“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.”

I wouldn’t mind if someone bought me a Mercedes-Benz. Actually, I would encourage it.

6. Billionaire – Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars

“I wanna be a billionaire so freakin’ bad
Buy all of the things I never had
Uh, I wanna be on the cover of Forbes magazine
Smiling next to Oprah and the Queen”

If you’re partying with Oprah and the Queen, you know you’ve made it. If only I could “see my name in shining lights”.

5. Free money – Patti Smith

“Every night before I go to sleep
Find a ticket, win a lottery
Scoop the pearls up from the sea
Cash them in and buy you all the things you need
Every night before I rest my head
See those dollar bills go swirling ’round my bed”

What would you do if you won the lottery? So many things… Patti Smith says this song was inspired by her mother, who used to make plans and lists of what she would do once she won the lottery, but never bought a ticket.

4. I need a dollar – Aloe Blacc

“I need a dollar dollar, a dollar is what I need”

Well, I think we’ve all been there… “What in the world am I gonna do tomorrow, is there someone whose dollar I can borrow?”

3. The Fear – Lily Allen

“I want to be rich and I want lots of money
I don’t care about clever I don’t care about funny”

This song is a tongue-in-cheek critique on the way we live our lives and what we value, and touches on a few hard truths. But, then again, I want things, and luckily “…it doesn’t matter ‘cause I’m packing plastic, and that’s what makes my life so very fantastic”. It’s funny ‘cause it’s true.

2. Lifestyles of the rich and famous – Good Charlotte

“Lifestyles of the rich and the famous
They’re always complainin’
Always complainin’
If money is such a problem
Well, they got mansions
Think we should rob them”

I just can’t help but belt out this song whenever I hear it. Apart from it being so ridiculously catchy, I think many of us share its sentiment in raging against the rich: “Lifestyles of the rich and famous, we’ll take your clothes, cash, cars and homes, just stop complainin’”. Amen.

1. Money (that’s what I want) – The Flying Lizards

“The best things in life are free
But you can give them to the birds and bees
I want money
That’s what I want. That’s what I want. That’s what I want”

This is probably the anthem for those of us dreaming of the easy life. The song was originally written and performed in 1959 by Barrett Strong, who packed it with soul. The Beatles gave their own spin on it in 1963, while The Flying Lizards gave it a go in 1980. Their quirky version is probably the best known, and you can’t help but sing along and agree: “Money don’t get everything, it’s true, what it don’t get, I can’t use, I want money”.


About The Author

Ula Van Zyl

Ula van Zyl is a sub-editor at a major news outlet. She has been a bibliophile since she could recognise the little squiggly things as letters and words. Ula is the person you want to have on your pub quiz team, but is, unfortunately, already committed to a team at present.

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