Fidelity Fiduciary Bank (Mary Poppins)

Thanks to Brian O’Roark and Dirk Mateer for creating this video. The bankers singing the song Fidelity Fiduciary Bank in the movie version of Mary Poppins provide a perfect example of how lending and saving go hand in hand to facilitate investment. This is a rare song that includes the topic of compound interest and […]

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Shipyard (The Last Ship)

The musical The Last Ship is set in Wallsend, England.  In this town, there is one shipyard that will close in the near future. The workers sing about how “the only life we’ve known is in the shipyard”. With the closing of the shipyard, the workers will be unemployed. If their skills don’t translate easily into […]

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The Winner Takes It All (Mamma Mia)

The singer, Donna is singing to her one-time romantic partner.  In singing “The Winner Takes it All”, she is implying that romantic relationships are a zero-sum game, that one person’s gains are another person’s losses.  This is an incorrect view, as consenting relationships must provide benefits to both parties.   Discussion Questions for “The Winner Takes […]

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Welcome to the Renaissance (Something Rotten)

This song sets the stage for Something Rotten (the musical), but it also gives us insight into an interesting period of time. Many new products were invented during the renaissance period. These new products improved the well-being of society dramatically, and include the printing press and improved methods of freezing food products. Discussion Questions for […]

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96,000 (In the Heights)

The manager of the convenience store and his friends find out that somebody purchased a winning lottery ticket worth $96,000 from his store. This group, all of whom live in a poorer area of New York City called Washington Heights, dream about what they would do if they won that much money. This song highlights […]

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Bilbao Song (Happy End)

The singers are singing about Bilbao, an old hangout for the crowd that has gathered. They remember the good times they used to have at a low cost, lamenting the higher costs that they must pay now that their favorite establishment is more respectable. The singers also lament that their hangout has become too “bourgeois”. […]

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And the Money Kept Rolling In (Evita)

Eva Peron is loved – in part because of the money she’s giving away. Those who obtain the money she’s giving love Eva Peron – even though it isn’t actually Peron’s money. The money was obtained from taxing others. The themes of this song are relevant today. Is somebody compassionate when they tax some individuals […]

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You Gotta Get A Gimmick (Gypsy)

The ladies are singing about how to be a better stripper. While entertaining and funny, this song is a a good illustration of a couple economics concepts. First, this song illustrates the returns to human capital, as the ladies all invested time and energy to “get a gimmick” in order to receive higher wages. Because […]

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How the Money Changes Hands (Tenderloin)

In this song, the singer sings how money cycles through the economy from the landlord to the farmer to the grocer to the banker. This is a good example of why there is what economists call the “multiplier effect”. When one person gets extra money, not only is their life improved, but their extra spending […]

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