“Money can’t buy it,” Annie Lennox once sang (on the best track on Diva, her 1992 debut solo album). To be fair, according to Annie, neither can sex, drugs or you. (Keep reading after the video.)
In 1964, 28 years earlier, The Beatles had taken the limited purchasing power of funds a bit further: “Money can’t buy me love,” the Fab Four insisted on their fourth No. 1 hit in the U.S and according to Rolling Stone magazine at one point, the 289th greatest song of all time.
“For the love of money,” The O’Jays insisted on another Top 10 single nine years later, people will do just about anything despicable. “Don’t let money change you,” the trio warned — no, pleaded — in conclusion.
Show me the money? On second thought… For something so highly desirable, money has such a rotten reputation. Money talks, but too bad it can’t defend itself. “Money can’t buy happiness.” “Money is the root of all evil.” “The love of money is the root of all evil.” So go the old cliches and Biblical aphorisms (the latter one, from 1 Timothy 6:10). For something that so many people spend their lives striving to accumulate, money sure gets the raw deal. It’s a good thing it doesn’t grow on trees.
If nothing else, money has inspired a lot of excellent music over the years, from different songs named “Money” by The Babys, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson and countless other acts who’ve borrowed the title (and probably the actual stuff as well), to Psychedelic Furs’ “All That Money Wants,” one of my all-time favorite money songs.
Money may not always make the world go ’round, but let’s not underestimate the value of cash (liquid and otherwise). Leave it to General Hospital‘s Luke Spencer, possibly the wisest flawed character ever to walk the streets of a fictional soap town and definitely the only one who has saved the world, to size up money and put it firmly in its place, which he did nicely and eloquently on the May 8 episode.
“It’s been my experience that money may not eliminate misery, but it certainly makes it easier to bear.”
Having never had an unlimited abundance of money but being all too familiar with misery, I can’t speak from personal experience, but I’d bet what money I do have that old Luke Spencer is right.