Big Spenders

Happy birthday Ody!

The Nest has long endeavored to make Mondays great again by providing you with only the finest earworms… may they be from Mecca, the archive of my brain, or one of these silly countdowns I’ve created.  It’s time for us to flip another page in the Little Golden Book of nutty music greatness with our next entry in my Top 30 Novelty Songs of All Time countdown!  DJ Scratchy’s about to make it rain on this blog.  Though for lack of any real currency, we’ll be dropping Monopoly money onto the dancefloor instead.  Don’t spend your newly gained treasure all in one place…

#23. “If I Had $1,000,000” – Barenaked Ladies

One of the better novelty song acts of recent years emerged from the Great White North in the 1990’s, and features one of the most disappointingly misleading band names in music history.  Barenaked Ladies is no stranger to The Nest’s Monday muzak posts… I’ve featured a couple of their songs already in my Mecca Muzak feature.  Given the offbeat nature of their music, it was a given one of their songs was going to fall somewhere in this countdown.  I chose what may be their most popular song… or most annoying depending on your point of view.  I don’t care, this song is gold… which is fitting since it’s all about being filthy rich…

Not surprisingly, “If I Had $1,000,000” began its life as a campfire singalong band member Ed Robertson came up with to entertain the children.  Early versions of “$1,000,000” appear on most of the band’s earliest releases… and became so instantly popular with the group’s fans, that a radio single was eventually released.  I was unaware of this song’s existence until the year 2000, when it got a surge of popularity in the US due to that hit game show that was airing at the time that I once failed at.

Here’s a million fake dollars, kid! Go buy yourself all kinds of fake things with it!

The lyrics and particularly the spoken parts between verses have changed throughout the years, and are usually completely improvised when the band performs the song in concert.  But I absolutely love the cute things and plays on words that exist in the official single lyrics.  Llamas and emus and Kraft dinners, oh my!  But nothing cracks me up quite like the opener of the final verse about buying the green dress, which is a play off of the fur coat in the previous dress.  To be honest, I always thought it was a clever pun in the vein of “but not a real green dress, that’s crewel.”  Apparently, it was a mis-sung lyric that the band thought was so funny, that it had to stay in the final cut.  And crewel, as I just discovered via the power of Google, has nothing to do with green dresses…

president bill clinton

Now real blue dresses, those are cruel.

I’ll be back with another novelty work of art (not Garfunkel) next Monday….

About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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14 Responses to Big Spenders

  1. thanks for bringing this song today… it’s a bad sh..-day and yeah a million would make it to a good sh-day…

  2. Oh gosh – once again I must confess that I am NOT familiar with this song AT ALL… I need to determine if that is a GOOD thing or a BAD thing that it’s not ringy-dinging a bell with me.


  3. This song definitely falls into the ear worm category. I’ll be singing it all week now. 🙃 The band has a large following in Colorado; they sell out Red Rocks every time they’re here. Rocky Mountain High is all about quirky.

  4. ody N biskit…..we due knot rememburr thiz barenaked song….for sure will give a listen two…we all wayz waz amazed at how they could get thru “one week” without missin a beet….ore a werd !!! 🙂

  5. You know, I’ve never listened to anything. I’m an embarrassment to myself. Worse, I don’t seem to feel particularly bad about it. That definitely proves there’s something terribly wrong with me.

  6. Trisha says:

    Somehow I don’t remember this! I miss the days when BNL were on the radio, especially now that I’m driving a car so old that it still has a cassette player and radio is my only option!

  7. draliman says:

    That’s a fun song! Apart from the exotic pets they’re being quite sensible with their money too. Though 1m Canadian dollars isn’t actually a huge amount of money if you’re looking at buying a house…

    • It especially isn’t a huge amount of money when you consider that you also need a barn to keep your llama and emu in. Unless you don’t mind sharing a bed with them…

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