By Ravi Raman
The verdict is in. The darbar has decided. Banks are dens of iniquity and bankers are just a bunch of greedy, money hungry so-and-sos. Whether they are goldsmiths in the Panchatantra, money lenders crowding a temple, loan sharks demanding their pounds of flesh or merchant bankers preying from Wall Street, handling public money seems to attract the amoral and avaricious.
In this the Song Bar patrons and our musician friends are of like mind. Sell a dream, promise the earth and take the money – as Richard Thompson describes it in his Money Shuffle (with s sarcastic acknowledgement in this live version). Just so we get the point, 10cc explain in their Wall Street Shuffle: “To do the Wall Street Shuffle/ Let your money hustle/ Bet you'd sell your mother/ You can buy another. Kinda extreme but you get the drift.”
No wonder there are a number of protest songs, from Leon Rosselson to Mike Rimbaud (my favourite discovery of the week), castigating the global financial crash and the shameful cover-ups that followed.
In his Where Are The Barricades? the former says: “They ought to be shooting bankers/They're giving them money instead,” (the shooting bankers is a common thread in this week's playlists). The latter's Saving Up To Go Bankrupt is emblematic of the general ignorance of the shenanigans. Tackhead underline this very lack in their cover of O'Jays’ For The Love of Money. “Funky and educational,” as the nominator says.
The bleak interpretation of the topic continues in Strong As Samson (Procol Harum) – “Bankers and brokers ruling the world, Storing the silver and hoarding the gold.” And what do they tell prospective borrowers like Simply Red? Money's Too Tight (To Mention) is what they say showing empty hands.
Tim Bluhm reminds us of a previous occasion when banks went bust and the tragedy of Dust Bowl events in his Raining Gravel. No wonder people like Fredricks & the Clamstones proudly claim I Love Robbin Banks!
The Screaming Blue Messiahs end the A list with a rousing call to Smash The Market Place. Money men be warned.
Avaricious A-List Playlist:
Richard Thompson - The Money Shuffle
10cc - The Wall Street Shuffle
Leon Rosselson - Where Are The Barricades?
Mike Rimbaud - Saving Up To Go Bankrupt
Tackhead - For The Love Of Money
Procol Harum - As Strong As Samson
Simply Red - Money's Too Tight (To Mention)
Jeff Fredricks and the Clamstones - I Love Robbin' Banks
Tim Bluhm - Raining Gravel
Screaming Blue Messiahs - Smash The Market Place
Banking Bonus B-List Playlist:
David Tomlinson & Dick Van Dyke - Fidelity Fiduciary Bank
Frank Zappa - Heavenly Bank Account
George Chandler - Best Dreams Burnley Building Society
Gov't Mule - Mule
Bon Iver - Blood Bank
Captain SKA - Shame On You
Subhumans - Rats
Bruce Springsteen - Johnny99
Asian Dub Foundation - Colour Line
McCarthy - Use A Bank? I'd Rather Die
Papa Levi - Bonnie & Clyde
Guru’s Wildcard Pick:
Squirrel Nut Zippers - Bad Businessman
These playlists were inspired by readers' song nominations from last week's topic: Sound investments? Songs about banks and banking. The next topic will launch on Thursday at 1pm UK time.
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