The Songs We Will Sing.

#70: Pink Floyd: Money: 1973 on the Album: The Dark Side of the Moon.

It is the first Tuesday of November so in Australia it is Melbourne Cup Day. Regarded as the race that stops a nation, Melbourne Cup is a bit of an all round party. Victorians have a public holiday and all over the nation there are Melbourne Cup Luncheons, Sweeps amongst work colleagues and bets placed on some nag that will probably come in last. Australians are known for their tendency to bet, we play 2Up on ANZAC Day, the only day of the year it is legally allowed, and it is said we will bet on two flies going up a wall. To our shame advertising to promote betting and gambling is prominent in our culture and a great deal of financial harm is visited upon many.

The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s biggest one-day gambling event, with punters wagering a record $221.6 million on last year’s [2021] race. I cannot find any stats on today’s figures but I will wager that the figure is higher.

I must not be very Australian as the race is run at 2.00pm and I have not seen it. I will wait for tonight’s news and it won’t make a lot of difference who won. Hopefully no horses will need to be put down as the odds in recent years have not been too good. Melbourne Cup 2022 will run with greater scrutiny than ever before, as opposition grows to The Race That Stops a Nation due to horse deaths in the 3200m showpiece at Flemington. Six horses have died in the Melbourne Cup, and seven in total on Cup Day, in the past decade. Here is the list of fatalities.

Which brings me to the song for today, Pink Floyd’s Money because so much of what we do in this world revolves around money and how to get more of it! It is quite ironic that the lyrics of this song highlight the negative aspects of money but for Pink Floyd it really was a gas; their Money song sold over 34 million copies and made them A LOT of money! Still there does seem to be some sort of social conscience there that recognizes the vast abyss between those who have a lot of money, and grab with both hands the lifestyle it affords, and those who do not. Although written in 1973 the lyrics are relevant for today as the gap between the haves and the have-not’s continues to widen.

The third verse, money, so they say is the root of all evil today actually misquotes a section of the New Testament (1 Timothy 6:10) which states that it is the love of money that causes much harm, not simply money. A great deal of good can be done with money if it is used in the correct way. The problem is revealed in the preceding lines, share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie, which indicates our best selves would like to see a fair society but only if it means nothing will be taken from our own share of the pie.

The final section of the song seems to fall into some disarray; the important message is in the first three verses. We all need some money but just as with a lot of things, too much can be as troublesome as too little. I will close with the words of Socrates, born 470 BCE, Athens [Greece]—died 399 BCE, Athens) grant that I may grow to beauty in the things within, and that outward possessions may not disturb the harmony of the inner man. The wise man only may I consider rich; and of wealth may I have so much as only the wise man can bear. “Life and Thought in the Greek and Roman World,” Cary & Haarhoff, p201.

Wisdom is truly the greatest of riches and I can’t help thinking that maybe that 221.6 million + gambled away by Australians on the Melbourne Cup could have done a lot of good elsewhere.


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