From time to time here at the blog, I like to mention a few things about one of our songs. Sometimes I do it just to remind you that the song exists. Other times there's something I way to clarify (or defend) about the song that isn't self-evident. Which is cheating, whatever the listener thinks the song is about, then that's what it's about. What I think shouldn't really matter.
Anyway, "Dollar For Every Dime" is next up in the barrel.
Songs About Money
There are not enough of them, if you ask me. The two things that dominate everybody's life, emotionally and otherwise, are love and money. There are countless love songs all circling the same territory ("I wanna fuck you", "I love fucking you", "I miss fucking you" and "fuck you"). If you're a songwriter and want to make your song a little more interesting, maybe write 6 love songs on a record instead of 7 and then write one more about something thought-provoking.
Look at the first Google result for songs about money, and this page of 30 songs is pretty shabby. (We will correct that ourselves soon with a good Spotify playlist for you of the best songs about money.)
Two things can keep you up at night: heartbreak and being broke. There's definitely a disparity between those topics for songwriters.
Listen, Lyrics, Personnel
One thing I want to clarify about the chorus which I might not have done artfully enough. "Happiness ain't guaranteed, but things never get that bad." What I meant there was something like: having money doesn't buy happiness. Nonetheless, when you have money then you can only bottom out so much.
Writing about 7-11s having "everything - sugar, booze, smokes, pornography" allowed me to bring up one of my pet hypotheses that convenience stores are little hubs that traffic in and profit off of all of our worst impulses. If I was a cop, I would just post up outside a 7-11 and pick off customers coming out of there at 1am.
This song has been such a great way to start a set for The Bigfellas and also whenever I have to play by myself. For starters, it's an easy song to sing when your voice isn't warmed up. It's pretty low and not demanding. (The key to Sinatra's extended success was that all of his songs were in really low keys and he could still talk-sing his way through them deep into his 70s.)
It's also a great starter to an audience who has never heard you and may be just half listening to throw the words "sober", "drunk", "6-packs", "8-balls", "pornography", "lust", etc. at them up front. It sends a message that you're about to sit through a lot of sensitivity.
Lastly, the bouncy straight 4/4 beat of the song is something that both Shay and I have loved in The Bigfellas. I'd rather play songs with a toe-tapping British music hall vibe than white guy reggae every day of the week.