360 Essentials: Top Ten Payday Songs - Music Feature - Cairo 360

360 Essentials: Top Ten Payday Songs
360 Essentials: Top Ten Payday Songs
Published On: 30/10/2010

Nothing makes us want to celebrate more than getting paid for our hard work. For many of us in Cairo, the sweet sound of the phrase ‘payday’ even inspires a little song and dance. We’ve compiled a soundtrack perfect for receiving your next paycheque; they’re all about cold, hard cash!

‘Money, Money, Money’ by ABBA

In 1976, the Swedish pop sensations had one thing on their mind when they sang about the ‘rich man’s world.’ A driving beat and repetitive tune set the tone for the song, which is all about the rat race of working to pay the bills and never having enough left over, while daydreaming about what the lovely ladies would do if they ‘had a little money.’

‘Bills, Bills, Bills’ by Destiny’s Child

The 1990s were all about girl power, and the independent women of Destiny’s Child were some of this theme’s most vocal supporters. The 1999 hit from their second studio album lays down the law on ‘triflin’ men trying to mooch off their ladies. Don’t think about driving your girl’s car without paying her ‘automo-bills’ is the moral of this catchy song.

‘Money’ by Pink Floyd

This now-classic hit from 1973 is famous for its opening of jangling coins and cash register sound effects. The slightly sarcastic lyrics include lines like ‘think I’ll buy me a football team,’ but despite the British rockers’ claims that money is the ‘root of all evil;’ there’s no denying that the funky bass line and stellar guitar solo make dough pretty desirable.

‘I Got Cash’ by Brooklyn Funk Essentials

From their 2000 album Make Them Like It, this multicultural funk and hip-hop group tells it like it is on their expletive-filled track about money. Obscenities and playful death wishes aside, the track is a pretty hilarious rant about stereotypical high society of the time. The vocalist puts down everything from Saab convertibles to low-cholesterol ‘designer bagels,’ shaming Starbucks customers everywhere.

‘If I Had a Million Dollars’ by The Barenaked Ladies

The sublimely optimistic song by Canadian alternative rock group The Barenaked Ladies is essentially a wish list of all the things that a million dollars could buy, including ‘a nice reliant automobile’ and ‘pre-wrapped sausages.’ Although they claim to be able to buy our love– which The Beatles said is not possible– they keep their morals in check, insisting that a real fur coat would be an unethical purchase. The song is upbeat and silly and perfect for our wishful thinking.

‘For the Love of Money’ by the O’Jays

It was back in the 1970s when these soulful singers suggested that we ‘talk about cash, money– dollar bills, y’all,’ but the song is most known today as the theme song for Donald Trump’s hit television show The Apprentice. Taking its inspiration from Biblical warnings against coveting money, the song’s mood is happy and danceable despite talking about the effects that money can have on our minds.

‘Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems’ by Notorious B.I.G.

Although he’s no longer with us, Biggie’s wisdom is just as applicable today as it was at the time of the 1997 posthumous release of this number one hit. Reminding us that money is not the answer to everything– and sometimes creates more problems than it fixes– Notorious B.I.G. samples Diana Ross’s ‘I’m Coming Out,’ while Kelly Price’s iconic refrain continues to make this song a hit favourite today.

‘Money (That’s What I Want’) by Barret Strong

In 1959 the Motown hit-maker sang what we’re all thinking about. ‘The best things in life are free/ But you can keep ‘em for the birds and bees,’ sang Barret Strong and a slew of artists since then. Everyone from Etta James to Led Zeppelin and even the Beatles found truth to these words, and the contagious tune has since been at the forefront of pop culture.

‘Money’ by Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey

‘A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound,’ it doesn’t matter what you call your cash. The 1972 film version of Cabaret features a young Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey singing a number about what ‘makes the world go around.’ This comical number about monetary obsession expresses our fears for when times get tight with talk about hunger knocking at the window and love flying out of the door.

‘Deception’ by Blackalicious

The opening words to this 1999 hip-hop track are words to live by. The group’s vocalist Gift of Gab exclaims ‘Don’t let money change you,’ before sharing the tragic story of a young rapper’s climb to fame. When the limelight and money get to his head, the young performer loses sight of what’s important, reminding us all that no matter the size of our paycheque; there is more to a successful life than money.



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Melissa Howell
Written by:
Melissa Howell
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Writer - Former 360 employee that came back for more. Social media wizard and fine dining specialist whose many addictions include drooling in front of Food Network.