What does Money for Nothing mean?

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Dire Straits: Money for Nothing Meaning

Song Released: 1985

Money for Nothing Lyrics

Now look at them yo-yo's 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 chicks for free
Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain't...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Feb 5th 2009 report

    The wikipedia article on the song (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money_for_nothing) states:

    "The song's lyrics are written from the point of view of a blue-collar worker watching music videos and commenting on what he sees. To achieve the effect of such a layman making such casual everyday commentary, Dire Straits' lead singer and songwriter Mark Knopfler used a vocal style known as Sprechstimme.

    Knopfler described the writing of the song in a 1985 interview with critic Bill Flanagan:

    'The lead character in "Money for Nothing" is a guy who works in the hardware department in a television/custom kitchen/refrigerator/microwave appliance store. He's singing the song. I wrote the song when I was actually in the store. I borrowed a bit of paper and started to write the song down in the store. I wanted to use a lot of the language that the real guy actually used when I heard him, because it was more real.'"


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Oct 13th 2006 report

    This one is about a tired worker lamenting that he should have learned the guitar, and become a star. Knopfler supposedly wrote the song while in an elecronics store, while an employee moaned about the yoyos on the mtv.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Nov 30th 2008 report

    Everyone seems to thing "That ain't working" is referring to the fact that playing in a band isn't really working; they get money for nothing and chics for free. While this is what most people thought I tend to think "That ain't working" refers to the shitty blue collar jobs, as in, their jobs "ain't (subtext: really) working" because a much better job (or "the way to do it") would be to play guitar on MTV.

    Just my thoughts. Peace.

  4. anonymous
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    Apr 11th 2022 report

    Light work = big money
    Just like the cebs today who do very insignificant work and make a pile of cabbage.

  5. anonymous
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    Jul 4th 2020 report

    This song is about: he wish he learned to play the guitar and drums so he could make money. I don't know why I have to write 100 letters on this.

  6. anonymous
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    Nov 22nd 2017 report

    I think that this song is about the consumerism in America in 1985 (the year when the song was released)

  7. anonymous
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    Mar 3rd 2013 report

    Te song relates a working man's lament at the extravagant lifestyle of rock stars,who make vast amounts of money for seemingly little effort.
    Interestingly, this was the first music video shown on MTV !

  8. anonymous
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    Dec 5th 2012 report

    This song is about going against the popular MTV and making fun of it. In interview Mark had said he was in a tv shop when he was in the back and a worker was making fun of a singer on the music video. Mark went up to the front of the store and got a pen and paper and wrote down what the man was saying.

  9. anonymous
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    Sep 9th 2009 report

    As to the first response he is talking about Elton John with the earring and the makeup and he was the first one with an airplane.

  10. anonymous
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    Jun 12th 2009 report

    It was also written as a response to Motley Crue and how good they weren't.

  11. anonymous
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    Dec 17th 2007 report

    I think mark knopler makes a satirical touch while jetting dawn his pen to write the song.It's automatically addressed to those tasteless workers who claim that music is a piece of cake and through this later ONE can strike it rich and become a millionaire without least talent.Thant you Mr. Knopfler for the song.

  12. anonymous
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    Feb 17th 2007 report

    It's about how with the advent of MTV, there are no real artists. You get good-looking people with no musical talent on there instead of true musicians who aren't exactly attractive(Ex: Ramones, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, etc.)

  13. remo_conan
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    Sep 4th 2006 report

    Back in the 80's blue collar workers got mad at how much money music artists made for what they considered "not working." in the song "that ain't working" is a reference to them being upset that they work hard physically and they turn on mtv and see these guys getting "money for nothing." The band wrote this song to further make them mad. "the f***ot with the earing" is what I thought Elton John since both dire straits and Elton are from the uk

  14. anonymous
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    Aug 14th 2006 report

    The author was in a tv/appliance store an overheard the workers as they watched mtv - talking about how easy music artists had it. The little 'f*g*t' in the song points to prince and the way he was dressed in a video....

  15. anonymous
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    Jul 12th 2006 report

    This song is about how a few foreign workers who install appliances see punk rockers on MTV. "I shoulda learned to play the guitar, I shoulda learned to play them drums" means they wish they were famous "for nothing".

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