Song Lyric Sunday — Money For Nothing

Jim Adams has given us the theme “occupation” for today’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt. So here’s a classic rock song from Dire Straits that compares working for a living to being a rockstar. It’s called “Money For Nothing.” (Below is the music video of the song. The longer album version appears at the bottom of the post after the lyrics.)

A track from their 1985 studio album Brothers in Arms, “Money For Nothing” was Dire Straits’ most commercially successful single, peaking at number 1 for three weeks in the United States. It won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1986.

The song is about rockstar excess and the easy life it brings compared with “real” work. Mark Knopfler wrote it after overhearing delivery men in a New York department store complain about their jobs while watching MTV. He wrote the song in the store sitting at a kitchen display they had set up. Many of the lyrics were things they actually said.

Sting sings on the recording and contributed to writing it. It’s his voice at the beginning of the song (album version) singing “I want my MTV.” Sting did not want a songwriting credit, since it was mostly Knopfler’s work, but his record company insisted because they would earn royalties from it. They claimed it sounded very similar to a song Sting wrote for The Police, “Don’t Stand So Close To Me.”

Here are the lyrics to the album version of the song.

I want my—I want my MTV [4x]

Now look at them yo-yos, that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free

Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain’t dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb

We got to install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We got to move these refrigerators
We got to move these colour TVs

See the little faggot with the earring and the make-up
Yeah buddy that’s his own hair
That little faggot got his own jet airplane
That little faggot he’s a millionaire

We got to install microwave ovens
Custom kitchens deliveries
We got to move these refrigerators
We got to move these colour TVs

We got to install microwave ovens
Custom kitchens deliveries
We got to move these refrigerators
We got to move these colour TVs

I shoulda learned to play the guitar
I shoulda learned to play them drums
Look at that mama, she got it stickin’ in the camera man
We could have some fun

And he’s up there, what’s that? Hawaiian noises?
Bangin’ on the bongoes like a chimpanzee
Oh, that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Get your money for nothin’, get your chicks for free

We got to install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We got to move these refrigerators
We got to move these colour TVs

Listen here

Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free

Money for nothin’ and chicks for free
Get your money for nothin’ and your chicks for free
Money for nothin’, chicks for free
Get your money for nothin’, chicks for free

Money for nothin’, chicks for free
Get you money for nothin’, get your chicks for free
Get you money for nothin’, and the chicks for free
Get you money for nothin’, and the chicks for free

Look at that, look at that

I want my—I want my—I want my MTV [repeat until the end]

Get you money for nothin’, and the chicks for free
Money for nothin’, chicks for free
Get you money for nothin’, and the chicks for free
Get you money for nothin’, and the chicks for free

Easy-easy money for nothin’, easy-easy chicks for free
Easy-easy money for nothin’, chicks for free

That ain’t workin’

Money for nothin’ chicks for free
Money for nothin’ chicks for free

18 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Money For Nothing

  1. J-Dub March 3, 2019 / 6:17 am

    “That’s the way you do it!”
    Excellent choice. Lots of chair dancing and head bobbing going on around here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. newepicauthor March 3, 2019 / 7:03 am

    Great choice Dango and oddly enough I selected Don’t Stand so Close to Me for my song today.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Marleen March 3, 2019 / 7:53 am

    My [middle of the middle or third] son and his girlfriend, from New Zealand, and I were playing games with music in the background last night… a Chris Isaac station. My son hadn’t known of him before but said if he could sing like that he’d sing everywhere he went all the time. It was a station that had not an insignificant amount of Roy Orbison on it, too, for example. What my son recognized, which I didn’t at all, was Chris Stapleton. (I guess that’s what happens when you go to New Zealand. It was very good, though… Tennessee Whiskey.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen March 3, 2019 / 1:32 pm

      Oh; Chris Isaac includes Dire Straits on his station playlist as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. scr4pl80 March 3, 2019 / 9:09 am

    I want my MTV back! Those were the good days. Thanks for sharing this fun song.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A.C. Melody March 3, 2019 / 10:10 am

    Definitely an old favorite! Never knew the part about Sting, that was interesting to learn, thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mary B March 3, 2019 / 10:25 am

    Oh Man! This song brings back quite a few memories. MTV!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. magnoliajem March 3, 2019 / 12:15 pm

    Back in the day, I sometimes had MTV going in the background just hoping to catch this video ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bee Halton March 3, 2019 / 12:25 pm

    I have wondered for years what the Minecraft characters remind me off. You just gave me the answer. Great choice. Love the song 🙋🐝

    Liked by 1 person

  9. msjadeli March 3, 2019 / 2:27 pm

    Great song and one of the first music videos I saw. Looks kind of primitive compared to what they can do these.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. leigha66 March 12, 2019 / 10:16 am

    Ah, the good old days of MTV, when the M meant music instead of mindless. Good song!

    Like

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