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Do you have any examples of songs that deal with poverty v. wealth in mate selection?
July 13, 2012 11:21 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for examples of songs that deal with poverty v. wealth in mate selection.

More specifically where there is a choice over one or the other.
I have two that come to mind as examples but I'm struggling for more.

Spin Doctors Two Princes is the easy one.

Anais Mitchell, Hey, Little Songbird -

Hey, little songbird, let me guess
He's some kind of poet— and he's penniless
Give him your hand, he'll give you his hand-to-mouth
He'll write you a poem when the power's out
Hey, why not fly south for the winter?

Any others?
posted by CoinOp to Media & Arts (42 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Uptown Girl by Billy Joel
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 11:23 AM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


No Scrubs?
posted by brainmouse at 11:23 AM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rich Girl by Hall and Oates (and later Down with Webster)
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 11:27 AM on July 13, 2012


Poor Side of Town by Johnny Rivers (1966).
Taxi by Harry Chapin.
posted by davcoo at 11:27 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fuck You -- Cee Lo Green
posted by Perplexity at 11:27 AM on July 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


material girl by madonna
posted by millipede at 11:28 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wanda Jackson, Silver Threads and Golden Needles

The Eagles, Lyin' Eyes
posted by pie ninja at 11:29 AM on July 13, 2012


You may want to see my question It's nice to be liked/but it's better by far to get paid.
posted by endless_forms at 11:30 AM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Common People -- Pulp
posted by LeanGreen at 11:30 AM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Stars and the moon.
posted by prefpara at 11:36 AM on July 13, 2012


Sk8r Boi by Avril Lavigne
Golddigger by Kanye
posted by hmo at 11:36 AM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Money Changes Everything." Most famously covered by Cyndi Lauper, who changed the lyrics to be from a different point of view than the original, by an obscure band called the Brains. Interesting that she felt the need to be the rejector instead of the rejected when singing a song originally sung by a man.
posted by John Cohen at 11:37 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Simon, "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes."
posted by entropone at 11:38 AM on July 13, 2012


Because LeanGreeen beat me to Common People by Pulp, I'll link to William Shatner's fabulous interpretation of the same song.
posted by kaybdc at 11:47 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


In English?

For Bollywood has had these songs since the first "talkie" came out over a 100 years ago.
posted by infini at 11:54 AM on July 13, 2012


I, Who Have Nothing
posted by drlith at 11:57 AM on July 13, 2012


In the Summertime.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 12:06 PM on July 13, 2012


First I Look at the Purse:

I don't care if they wobble like a...
or talk with a lisp
I still think I'm a good lover
if the dollar bills are crisp
First I look at the purse!
First I look at the purse!
First I look at the purse!
First I look at the purse!
I don't care if you got yourself a wrap
all I want is your pretty green cash
Bought me a suit, bought me a car
Want me to look like a Hollywood star
Money, (Money!) I want money (Money!)
Baby, ain't no "why", baby (Money!)
I need money!
First I look at the purse!
First I look at the purse!
First I look at the purse!
First I look at the purse!

posted by virago at 12:12 PM on July 13, 2012


"Ugly Guys With Beautiful Girls" by Sparks. The lyrics are mostly spoken, not sung, and include:

"I must confess to you, my listeners, that I have been a little less than honest in pretending I had no answers to my previous questions. You see, I lost someone very dear to me, someone very beautiful, to someone much like him.

"Ah, you ask, surely there must have been other areas where you were deficient and he was not. No, I don't believe so.

"My shortcomings were of an economic nature. He was rich. I was not."
posted by 2or3things at 12:18 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Poor Man's Roses or a Rich Man's Gold - Patsy Cline
posted by hilatron at 12:42 PM on July 13, 2012


Raggle Taggle Gypsy.

The lyrics, in part:

Now he rode East and he rode West
he rode North and South also
Until he came to a wide open field
it was there that he spied his lady-o

"How could you leave your goose feather bed
your blankets strewn so comely-o?
And how could you leave your newly wedded Lord
all for a raggle taggle gypsy-o?"

"What care I for my goose feather bed
my blankets strewn so comely-o?
Tonight I lie in a wide open field
in the arms of a raggle taggle gypsy-o"

"How could you leave your house and your land?
how could you leave your money-o?
How could you leave your only wedded Lord
all for a raggle taggle gypsy-o?"

"What care I for my house and my land?
what care I for my money-o?
I'd rather have a kiss from the yellow gypsy's lips
I'm away wi' the raggle taggle gypsy-o!"
posted by Specklet at 12:47 PM on July 13, 2012


We Both Go Down Together by Decemberists


You come from parents wanton
A childhood rough and rotten
I come from wealth and beauty
Untouched by work or duty

posted by NathanBoy at 1:03 PM on July 13, 2012


Step It Out Mary. There's also an American reworking, "Step It Out Nancy", which has a less depressing ending.
posted by Johnny Assay at 1:04 PM on July 13, 2012


Not much more direct than the Beatles: Can't buy me love.
posted by trinity8-director at 1:25 PM on July 13, 2012


Good Charlotte, "Girls Don't Like Boys" ("girls like cars and money)
posted by PussKillian at 1:25 PM on July 13, 2012


Fancy by Bobbie Gentry
posted by hmo at 3:15 PM on July 13, 2012


The Magnetic Fields - The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side
posted by ckape at 3:46 PM on July 13, 2012


Destiny's Child -- Bills, Bills, Bills

"Can you pay my telephone bills
Can you pay my automo'bills
Then maybe we can chill
I don't think you do
So you and me are through"
posted by tinymegalo at 5:33 PM on July 13, 2012


"Romance Without Finance " by Little Feat
posted by coldhotel at 7:00 PM on July 13, 2012


If I Were a Carpenter
I Got You Babe
Springsteen has a few regarding poor/working class guys trying to prove themselves to their women - or it that not quite on target?
posted by she's not there at 8:05 PM on July 13, 2012


Diamond's Are a Girl's Best Friend - an especially pointed commentary when sung by a man.
posted by she's not there at 8:09 PM on July 13, 2012


Opposites Attract - Paula Abdul
posted by Telpethoron at 8:21 PM on July 13, 2012


Aretha Franklin (covering Otis Redding), "Respect":
I'm about to give you all of my money
And all I'm askin' in return, honey
Is to give me my profits
When you get home
posted by kirkaracha at 10:08 PM on July 13, 2012


Almost every hit by The Four Seasons (B. Joel's Uptown Girl was an homage to them) (a homage) (whatever)

Very Best Of CD

Dawn

Big Man in Town

Rag Doll (live TV lipsync film)

Walk Like A Man (live TV lipsync film)
posted by caclwmr4 at 10:18 PM on July 13, 2012


Barrett Strong, "Money (That's What I Want)":
Your love give me such a thrill
But your lovin' don't pay my bills
Lefty Frizzell, "If You've Got the Money I've Got the Time"
posted by kirkaracha at 10:20 PM on July 13, 2012


Gwen Guthrie, "Ain't Nothin' Goin' on But the Rent"
No romance without finance
I said no romance without finance
Boy, your silky ways are sweet
But you’re only wastin’ time if your pockets are empty
I’ve got lots of love to give
But I will have to avoid you if you’re unemployed
Lyle Lovett, "M-O-N-E-Y"
No finance
No romance
Was how she told me goodbye
First she took my love
And then she took all my
M-o-n-e-y
posted by kirkaracha at 10:26 PM on July 13, 2012


Thanks everyone! These are great! I've chosen a few best answers that resonate with me personally, but certainly nearly all of these qualify.
posted by CoinOp at 1:17 PM on July 14, 2012


Slide off of Your Satin Sheets, Johnny Paycheck.

There are TONS of country songs like this, I like this one quite a bit.
posted by kittensofthenight at 4:10 PM on July 14, 2012


Money Money Money - ABBA
Love Don't Cost A Thing - Jennifer Lopez
posted by SisterHavana at 9:35 PM on July 14, 2012


The Sundresses - Europe or Utah
posted by birdbone at 12:54 PM on July 15, 2012


Everclear - "Unemployed Boyfriend"
posted by terilou at 2:48 PM on July 15, 2012


I'm about to give you all of my money
And all I'm askin' in return, honey
Is to give me my profits
When you get home


I always thought that was "give me my propers when you come home". Wiki backs me up on that too, and there are more Google results for that version.
posted by parrot_person at 1:10 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


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