F**k Valentine's Day: An Anti-Fourteenth of February Playlist
Money. Money, Money
Valentine's Day is bogus.
It's a sham. A con.
It's an opportunity to make money.
Over $20 billion.
That's how much Valentine's Day generates each year.
Twenty. Billion. Dollars.
It's not about celebrating your relationship: It's about cash, baby.
Cold, hard money.
So, if you're feeling lonely today, as if you’re somehow missing out, just remember what the 14th of February is really about: The economy.
And, if you're struggling to remind yourself of that fact, here's a short playlist to ram the message home. A selection of songs that will make the absence of Cupid easier to bear:
1. 'Let's Talk About Me' by The Muppets & Chris Cooper (2011)
Let's ease ourselves into this with... yes, The Muppets.
On the one hand, this is one of those utterly joyous and surreal cinematic moments that comes out nowhere, and blindsides you so much that you begin wondering if you didn't imagine the whole thing.
You didn't. That really was the ultra-serious Chris Cooper rapping about the joys of being rich. With The Muppets. It's so ridiculous, it's genius.
But, it's also incredibly apt for this time of year. For this is what online florists actually sing to themselves everyday during February. It's almost their hymn.
All together now, "I've got so much gold, I gold-plate my gold, I even gold-plate my cat, I don't regret much - but I do regret that."
2. 'Money, Money, Money' by Abba (1976)
Next up, a bit of camp frippery courtesy of Sweden's greatest export, Abba.
Capitalism never sounded so jolly!
Forget Whitney warbling about how much she'll always love you; this is what Valentine's Day is about. So much so, that CEO's of greeting card manufacturers probably have this as their ringtone.
It's a rich man's world all right, and never so than in the middle of February.
3. 'Money' by Pink Floyd (1973)
Time to get a bit darker now... Okay, a lot darker... with the first song I learnt to play on the cash register (that joke will make more sense once you've listened to the track).
Leaving aside the hypocrisy of multi-millionaires pointing out the evils of money, it's still a fairly scathing attack on how wealth skews society in favor of those who have it, and their unwillingness to share it. "Money, it's a crime; Share it fairly, but don't take a slice of my pie."
And if you own a company that makes cuddly bears, and other cute animals, your slice is pretty big this time of year.
4. ‘It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)’ by Bob Dylan (1965)
Granted, this isn't a song solely about money. But it does have the lyric, "Money doesn't talk, it swears" which probably says just as much about the whole issue in one line as the rest of the songs in this list combined.
And in February, that money is cussing away like a drunken sailor.
5. 'For the Love of Money' The O'Jays (1973)
Time to darken the tone once again.
If the O'Jays were preaching harmony with 'Love Train', they were delivering a distinctly less harmonious message with this masterpiece.
Are there any better lyrics about the negative effects of money than...
For the love of money, people will steal from their mother
For the love of money, people will rob their own brother.
Or, make you shell out a lorry-load of money on unnecessary gifts for your other half.
Trust me: You might be lonely on this day, but at least you're not part of this nonsense.
6. 'Money' by The Beatles (1963)
More rich people singing about money.
Granted, it’s a cover. They didn’t write it. And given how shambolically they presided over their later business ventures, The Beatles weren’t exactly the poster boys for capitalism. They may have made a lot (a lot) of money but they seemed to have no clue how to manage it.
However, as an ode to the green stuff, this track is hard to beat. It’s what restaurant managers (normally) listen to on repeat this time of year.
7. 'Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)' by The Pet Shop Boys (1986)
Given that the 1980s were the ‘greed is good’ decade, it’s only right we should have a song from the period. And none blatantly so deified cash as this offering.
It’s as subtle as Donald Trump. It’s probably even one of his favorite songs.
Along with those people who’ve roped Z-list celebrities into delivering ‘personalized’ Valentine’s Day messages to you via your smartphone.
8. ‘Goldfinger’ by Shirley Bassey (1964)
Okay, I take it back... This is the undisputed hymn to capitalism.
The original script for ‘Goldfinger’ had 007 facing off against a rogue chocolatier who wanted to turn everyone in the Western World into unthinking zombies who thought everyday was Valentine’s Day...
Alright, that’s a lie.
But I can guarantee you that there is a chocolatier somewhere in the world right now who is skipping around their factory singing this, thinking about the bullion they’re amassing.
By being single you’re stoping them from acquiring even more. Well done, you.
9. ‘Gold Digger’ by Kayne West (2005)
Contrary to popular belief, this song is actually about supermarkets that throw together a small microwaveable starter, with a small microwaveable main course, with a small (possibly microwaveable) desert, and a bottle of wine that no-one normally buys, and call it ‘A Romantic Meal In For Two.’
Kayne has had his fingers burnt on this meal-deal before, so he wrote a song about it. Be like him, and boycott such travesties!
10. 'The Money Song' by Monty Python (1972)
I've saved the best for last.
Money is not only morally corrupting, it's also daft. Luckily we have Monty Python to show us just how daft.
If you're feeling sorry for yourself, put this on, and imagine the managing director of a cable-station that only produces low-budget rom-coms dancing around his office as he sings this.
This is what Valentine's Day is about. "...And my dollar bills could buy the Brooklyn Bridge... There is nothing quite as wonderful as money..."
Money. Money. Money.
Twenty billion dollars of the stuff.
That's what this special day revolves around.
Don't buy into it.
If you must, spend the money on yourself. On something you need or want.
And, as you do, listen to these songs, and remind yourself that by being single, all you're doing is not buying into a consumerist myth.
(Oh, and by the way; Chris Cooper and The Muppets? That's an ear-worm - once you hear that, you're going to be humming it for days... And if you seek out the video, you'll be smiling too... and that is a far, far better way to spend the day).
If you've liked what you've read, please check out the rest of my work on Vocal. Among other things, I write about film, theatre, and mental health: The story of my admission to a psychiatric ward, and my attempts to rebuild my life following my discharge, starts with 'Flow: The Psychiatric Ward.'
You can also find me on Elephant Journal and The Mighty.
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