Heat up your summer playlist with these tunes, which include numbers or other finance-related terms (Getty Images/Flashpop)
Ah, numbers and music. The alchemical connection between the two has long fascinated researchers. Some studies say, for example, that playing an instrument enhances mathematical ability—and listening to music does too.
So with those musings in mind, we’ve stretched our ears over the years to put together a list of tracks that should speak to the accountant in you—whether they include numbers or money or other finance-related terms in the title. With picks spanning genres from rock to pop, you’re bound to find a tune or two that you’ll soon have on repeat.
by Travie McCoy, featuring Bruno Mars
In this popular reggae and pop-rap, Mars belts out his aching desire to become a billionaire. If his dream came true, he says, not only would he appear on the cover of Forbes and play golf with the president; he’d leverage his new-found wealth and numerical skills to help those in need: “Toss a couple milli in the air just for the heck of it/But keep the five, twenties tens and bens completely separate/And yeah I’ll be in a whole new tax bracket/We in recession but let me take a crack at it/I’ll probably take whatever’s left and just split it up/So everybody that I love can have a couple bucks/ And not a single tummy around me would know what hungry was.”
BILLS, BILLS, BILLS (1999)
by Destiny’s Child
Released as the lead single from Destiny’s Child’s second studio album, this song serves as the angry goodbye cry of a woman whose boyfriend initially showered her with gifts, then started asking for loans and running up her credit card—dubious financial practices that would make any accountant cringe. Critically acclaimed, the song became the quartet’s first chart-topper on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for two Grammy Awards.
OPPORTUNITIES (LET’S MAKE LOTS OF MONEY) (1985)
by the Pet Shop Boys
Written in 1983, during the U.K. synth pop duo’s formative years, Opportunities takes the perspective of a self-described (but probably not bona fide) math whiz who wants another character to join with him in a money-making venture. An accountant might not necessarily agree with the logic, but that probably wouldn’t deter the would-be tycoon: “You’ve got the brawn/I’ve got the brains/Let’s make lots of money/You can tell I’m educated/I studied at the Sorbonne/Doctored in mathematics I could have been a don.” Not only did Opportunities become the duo’s second Top 10 single in the U.S., it is also the only single from the band to chart higher in the U.S. than in the U.K.
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MONEY, MONEY, MONEY (1976)
First released as a single by the Swedish group and memorably performed by Meryl Streep in the 2008 musical Mamma Mia, this Baroque pop classic tells the tale of a woman who can barely keep her head above water with her finances (“I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay/Ain’t it sad”). With its unique piano opener and driving beat, the song rose to No. 1 in seven countries and placed 10th in Ranker’s Best pop songs about money.
EIGHT DAYS A WEEK (1964)
by The Beatles
Written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, this song was released in the U.K. on the album Beatles for Sale. McCartney credited the title to a chauffeur who once drove him to Lennon's house. When asked how things had been, the chauffeur replied, “Oh working hard—working eight days a week.” (That is probably just about the way tax accountants feel during busy season.) The song was the band’s seventh No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, and it also hit No. 1 in Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands. It appears in second place on Ranker’s Best songs with numbers in the title.
SWEET LITTLE SIXTEEN (1958)
by Chuck Berry
Although Chuck Berry’s legendary hit was first released more than 60 years ago, it has lost nothing of its infectious, can’t-sit-down rock and roll energy. Not only that, but the subject of the song seems to have mastered her numerical skills: “She’s just got to have/About half a million/Framed autographs/Her wallet’s filled with pictures/She gets ’em one by one.” The song was included in the documentary film Jazz on a Summer’s Day, and in 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number 272 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
GET READY FOR SUMMER
If you’re looking for some solid business reads for your vacation, these eight books will keep you entertained. Or enjoy a movie or TV marathon at home with picks from our compilation of our favourite clichés about the accountants.