It is an understatement to say that we live in uncertain economic times. In today’s world, prices have gone up due to inflation, and some of the biggest beneficiaries of unstable markets are capitalists. While most artists will compose songs about capitalism to show the bad side of it, there is more than meets the eye.
Most of the song composers and their listeners generally believe that a capitalist society shamefully rewards the bad behavior of millionaires and leaders.
Some of the artists in this compilation have praised the idea of money-making to create personal financial stability, and it is not only about its corrupting power.
21 Songs About Capitalism
These songs can show the process of making it big and escaping poverty which is socially acceptable.
1. Money, Money, Money – ABBA
The first song on the list is one of the most popular pieces on the subject of capitalism. The song has both a philosophical and practical perspective as it is centered on a woman who works very hard but is in debt in the end.
The composer’s first verse is a direct jab at capitalism and the endless cycle of fruitless monotony it has established in society. ABBA’s message has proven to be timeless.
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2. Money – Pink Floyd
According to Pink Floyd, this song is often misinterpreted as an attribute to money, but that is not the case. The song acknowledges the income inequality created due to capitalism, greed, and a world focused on luxuries.
It accurately represents the capitalistic dream of getting more money and the idea that it can solve all problems.
3. Take This Job and Shove It – Johnny Paycheck
Are you tired of living in a miserable cycle of capitalism? Are you stuck in a job that pays you peanuts despite making them great revenue?
Take This Job and Shove It by Johnny Paycheck is a country song that would fulfill your fantasy of dramatically telling your boss off.
4. I Get Money – 50 Cent
If you are a rap song fan, this piece will take you back to the greatest era of Hip hop. 50 Cent, in this song, praises his entrepreneurship skill as a major reason for his financial success.
He shows that he bets on himself to be a successful person by showing that there is a good side to capitalism. Smart and hard work will make you a lot of money.
5. Me Myself & I – Kevin
Though it is the least popular song about capitalism on this playlist, it holds the heaviest message against the system.
This folksy track is a contrast to the capitalistic concept as it has a stripped-back sound that creates an evoking ambiance. It revolves around the evils of a society that glorifies and rewards the darkest impulse of the human soul.
6. Take This Job and Shove It – Dead Kennedys
Dead Kennedy made this rendition of Johnny Paycheck’s song of a similar name for their album, “Bedtime for Democracy.” The whole album is full of sarcastic political punk anthems that call out the ugly brought forth by capitalism.
If you want to make a protest song about the current state of the world’s economy, this piece should definitely be part of it.
7. Material Girl – Madonna
Madonna’s Material Girl is beyond the gold-digging persona that the song’s lyrics create at first glance. The song encourages materialism which is a mask of capitalism.
The chorus highlights that we live in a material world driven by capitalistic values, leading to more people engaging in unethical behaviors to manipulate others for their own purposes.
8. Money – Jerry Lee Lewis & Berry Gordy Jr. & Janie Bradford
This song is a testament to what capitalistic culture is all about. While most artists’ versions were light-hearted, the version of The Flying Lizards makes it threatening, showing the other side of capitalism.
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9. General Strike – D.O.A
General Strike is one of the best punk songs about capitalism I have ever listened to. The anti-capitalism anthem is a great example of how punk rock can serve as the best outlet for anger against a system that keeps workers oppressed.
The lyrics call for a strike action in which all participants cease all economic activities to strengthen their bargaining position against their bosses.
10. American Capitalist – Five Finger Death Punch
American Capitalist is an accurate illustration of the nature of capitalism that dominates the American culture. A culture of no mercy for the weak and domination of all is the path of a capitalist.
The lyrics show that capitalism is rooted in a psychopathic approach to business.
11. Embrace Capitalism (until it strangles you) – Abraxas
The song’s message is quite clear from the titles, as it shows the dangerous effects of capitalism. The dance-pop piece is a satire of capitalism and the effects it has brought to those in society that have embraced the system.
The dark track piece, which has a spoken word structure, is a call to action against the system and maybe to embrace another system.
12. The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan composed this piece as a deliberate attempt to create a song about changing times as Scottish and Irish ballads influenced him. The song went on to be popular and is used as a protest anthem by frustrated youth.
It sums up the anti-establishment feeling that workers experience in a capitalistic environment.
13. If Capitalism Doesn’t Kill Me, This Song Will – Honest Iago
This is one of the best songs about capitalism as it is truly raw, bearing the truth of capitalism. The track has a unique emo sound with a post-punk atmosphere.
It features hard-hitting truths through the lyrics. The composer did a great job creating a genre-bending song with nostalgic harmonies and pain-struck vocals.
14. Sleep Now In The Fire – Rage Against The Machine
By the turn of the century in 199, Rage Against The Machine was an established band through their unique heavy guitar riffs and furiously rapped vocals.
Their song Sleep Now In The Fire is a strong message about the evils of the capitalistic economic system and the era of greed that it has brought up.
The song shows the burning need for rich people to maintain their financial status while enjoying what befalls the suffering workers.
15. When the Shit Hits the Fan – Circle Jerks
Circle Jerks are a hardcore punk band formed in 1979. The band has a number of brilliant punk songs that highlights the current state of American society.
Their song When the Shit Hits the Fan is making a statement against the trickle-down economic policy, which the band saw as a way of robbing the middle class.
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16. They Don’t Care About Us – Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson wrote the piece to show the pain of prejudice and hate. The song is commonly used to draw attention to political and social problems.
Though Michael’s intention was the plight of minorities, this song can be the perfect protest anthem for anti-capitalism as it is a statement that those at the top don’t care about us.
17. American Dream – Switchfoot
American Dream is one of the playlist’s most popular songs about capitalism. Its lyrics talk about how we are obsessed with money and falling into the trap of capitalism.
The song eludes from defining success to money being acquired as it will deprive a person’s freedom. The title of the track is an oxymoron, as the song highlights how American society has changed and is the exact opposite of the values of the founding fathers.
18. 9 to 5 – Dolly Paton
Dolly Paton’s song 9 to 5 is a complaint about the multiple frustrations experienced within a workplace due to inequalities and injustices.
The lyrics show that some of the frustration of a genuine person is because of capitalism. The song is a movie soundtrack of a similar name that tells the story of ambition, daily disappointments, and horrible bosses that overwork a worker only to underpay them.
19. Money – Liza Minnelli & Joel Grey
This track is an offbeat and dark tune about capitalism. The song is sung from the perspective of a person that doesn’t have any money making it off as wishful thinking.
Though the artist is against the accumulation of excessive wealth, money indeed makes the world go around.
20. Anthem of Mr. Dark – The Arcadian Wild
Anthem of Mr. Dark is an underrated break-free song from capitalism. It is a message to show how capitalism is just darkness that consumes your time and controls every aspect of your life. Let the song be your mantra and teach you to say no and live a life of freedom.
21. Drunk With Power – Discharge
The last song in this playlist is from Discharge. This masterpiece from their debut album aims at the greediest members of society, ‘capitalists.’
It showcases how they ill-treat others like disposable chess pieces. It is a simple song that features repetitive lyrics serving as an indictment of plutocracy.
Most of the songs about capitalism ever composed show that the system is built on inequality. The song shows that the common man who works hard for his family is destined to doom.
The song also shows that there are opportunities for financial success through innovation and being business oriented.