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Who wants to be a billionaire?

By August, 2010December 13th, 20232 min read

Travis McCoy‘s song Billionaire is really annoying me on two levels. First of all, it’s so catchy and banal, once stuck in my head it’s very difficult to get out. Because of this, the lyrics sit there begging to be analyzed, and thus the underlying premise troubles me.

He aspires to be a billionaire, not to become one or to achieve that level of wealth – to already be there without any of the accompanying effort and time. This is quite distinct from someone who wants to win the lottery because (a) he’s after an amount far greater than the biggest of lottery prizes, and (b) in addition to having more money than he could ever need, he seeks the fame associated with great wealth (on the cover of Forbes magazine etc).

I wonder how many people who have gone through the journey to actually make a billion dollars do it for the fame, or enjoy the fame and attention that goes with it. And is fame associated with wealth more desirable than that associated with being a hugely popular entertainer? I wouldn’t think so.

Perhaps I’m giving him too much credit for the amount of thought that went into the lyrics. This could be no more than the ramblings of a second-rate performer eager to write a catchy song that will ultimately be purchased for a huge windfall by a large corporation for an ad campaign. Then we’ll really struggle to get it out of our heads! One thing I know is that neither that, nor just selling cheap mobile plans will lead to billionare-level wealth.

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