• The Hesh

Lyric of the Week: EVERYBODY’S IN THE MONEY (BUT US)

Updated: Oct 18

Jeff got a job in his spare time

Holding some photographer’s flash

A hundred bucks a wedding he’s doing just fine

And he don’t know what he’ll do with all the cash

There’s Just So Much I Don’t Know What To Do With It he says

Maybe I’ll Buy Myself A Car

Well Jeff old pal think about your old friends

Who desperately need bucks to make a start

Everybody’s in the money

Everybody but us

Uptown folks trade in their Cadillacs

Because the ashtrays got full

They blow all their “spare change” at the racetracks

Hard earned from the deals that they pulled

Caviar champagne rolls royce cocaine

Easy money blown away on junk

That they can’t take it with them, it’s all in vain

Why can’t they help out folks like us, stuck in the dump?!

Everybody’s in the money

Everybody but us

Holy Land refugee

Becomes a millionaire overnight

She won the New York lottery

But in spite of it all she’s uptight

‘Cause once the state takes its cut

She’ll “only” get two fifty grand a year (ain’t that a shame)

Just think what we could do with just a tenth of her glut

It would be more than enough to start our career

Everybody’s in the money

Everybody but us

©2015 The Hesh Inc.


Artwork by Kathryn M. Karew, for my short-lived album on mp3.com

The music to this song has an interesting story: In summer camp in the mid-1970s, there were times we campers waited interminably to get served our meals in the dining hall, and to spur the waiters on, we would bang out a familiar rhythm on the tables using our hands or silverware:

BAM! BAM! BAM BAM BAM! BAM BAM BAM BAM—BAM BAM!

It would invariably start with one camper, then his bunk seated at his table, then the surrounding tables, until the whole dining hall was pounding this rhythm out and the head counselor had to silence it by blowing his whistle into the PA system microphone. Well, one snowy winter day back home I thought back to these times, and imagined a riff in a Spanish or Middle Eastern scale together with this rhythm—and thus the main riff for this song was born.

One night in the late 1980s, I sat in a guard booth on a military base somewhere in central Israel, and I thought of several incidents: An Israeli woman in New York had won the megabucks, and then had the chutzpah to complain that it wasn't enough! And at the same time, I had heard from an old high school buddy of mine who was making extra bucks as a wedding photographer's assistant while in college, and he said he didn't know what he was going to to with all this money. Meantime, I was planning for my future once the army was done with me, and I knew I wanted to go back to the USA and kick my musical ambitions into high gear ... but I would need money for it, which I would no doubt have to work hard for. Why was it that some people happen to have the dumb stupid luck and walk into a fortune, while others have to slave away? It wasn't a question about class consciousness ... just the sheer reality of it all. If some people don't know what to do with all their money, I have a few ideas.


So mix the music with lyrics about these incidents, add a catchy chorus, and voilà! My first pop hit. Or at least it should have been. In a perfect world, with the right connections, it might have been. But the music business is funny that way.

It became one of the signature songs of my first band at the Jersey Shore, and I must have played it zillions of times in the local clubs and places like New York's Bitter End. It would especially get humorous when Jeff, the friend named in the first verse, actually showed up to the show, which happened on more than one occasion.

My musical partner Izzy Kieffer and I recorded it for our REALITY SHOCK album, There's A Voice, which we released in 2002. Later on, when I assembled an album of assorted demos and oddities, this became the title track. I put it out on mp3.com, and I managed to sell a few copies, but then mp3.com itself was decimated when the music biz decided they didn't like such democratic means of releasing albums and sicced a tech company on it. That's the way it goes.

But the pop hit lives on, on my Boardwalk Mystic collection, released in 2015. Listen to the song here:


#originallyrics #BoardwalkMystic #money

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