A sign of the times

How is this guy not on the list?

How is this guy not on the list?

If you’ve ever read Rolling Stone or Entertainment magazine, or a newspaper for that matter, you’ve read one of those “Top 10 (fill-in-the-blank) of all-time” lists.

Top 100 songs, albums, guitarists, movies, actors, movie quotes, sex scenes, etc. of all-time.

Well, the Los Angeles Times Music Blog has issued it’s list of the top 15 songs of all-time about being broke. Given the state and direction of the economy, that’s to be expected.

Songs on the top-15 list include:

Blind Alfred Reed, “How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?”

Geto Boys, “Ain’t With Being Broke”

The Clash, “Career Opportunities”

Crystal Waters, “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)”

The Beatles, “Can’t Buy Me Love”

Bruce Springsteen, “Atlantic City”

Dolly Parton, “Coat of Many Colors”

Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son”

Loretta Lynn, “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Sham 69, “Hey Little Rich Boy”

Bob Marley, “Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)”

Pulp, “Common People”

Erik B. and Rakim, “Paid In Full”

Desmond Dekker, “The Israelites”

Ruben Blades, “Adan Garcia”

The best of the rest include: Soundtrack to “Annie,” “Hard Knock Life”; Roger Miller, “King of the Road”; Townes Van Zandt, “Marie”; Stevie Wonder, “I Wish”; Ray Charles, “I’m Busted”; Randy Newman, “Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man)”; Merle Haggard, “Workingman Blues”; Phil Collins, “Another Day In Paradise”; The Temptations, “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”; Gwen Guthrie, “Ain’t Nothing Going On But The Rent”; Elvis Presley, “In the Ghetto”; Run DMC, “Hard Times”; Donnie Hathaway, “Little Ghetto Boy”; Clarence Carter, “Patches”; Kanye West, “Spaceship”; Jerry Reed, “She Got the Goldmine, I Got the Shaft.”

In the initial top 15, I’m very familiar with the songs by Reed, Springsteen, Marley, Parton, Lynn and CCR and understand their inclusion.

Reed’s song, recently covered by Springsteen on the Seeger Sessions, is as authentic as you get. Shortly after releasing it, his most well-known song, he died of STARVATION. I’d call that authentic.

I’m not sure the Beatles’ song fits here, and many of the others, I’m simply not familiar with.

It’s much the same for the next 16 listed … in fact, I know more songs on this list.

But just to show how these lists can be off … I think it’s virtually impossible to have a list of the best songs about being broke and not including some songs from Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. These artists chronicled the Great Depression and influenced the next generation of artists.

And how can there be so few blues artists on the list?

Just goes to show that these lists, as much as they reflect a consensus among a certain group of people, even more so they reflect the breadth, or lack thereof, of that group’s musical knowledge.

Here’s a couple songs from the list:

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