No one likes a recession. It makes people poor, divides countries and makes rich people richer. Through these times of trouble, one art form has always been able to articulate peoples’ thoughts and galvanize them into believing that everything might just be okay a little further down the road. For some reason, music allows people to see that little bit clearer and make sense of everything that has gone wrong. Here are four songs about the recession that will make you feel that little bit better about the demise of the economy.

“I Hate Banks”, Mojo Dixon and Skid Roper


This most recent recession has mainly been the faults of the banks. These institutions’ reprehensible actions dragging everyone down into the abyss of financial toil, yet those who work for them still seem to be rewarded for their actions. Mojo and Skid wrote this song in the 80s and warned us of what could happen. Pity no one listened.

“Detroit Breakdown”, The J Geils Band


Detroit used to be the epicentre of American manufacturing. Unfortunately, because cars are being produced for so much less overseas, and the quality of these American products are inept, the car companies now have to request a bailout so that they can survive. The J Geils Band’s song is a funky number that hides a serious message beneath its core.

“Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”, EY Harburg and Jay Gorney


The title really says it all, doesn’t it? It’s so integrated into American pop culture that even “The Simpsons” named one of their episodes after EY Harburg and Jay Gorney’s song. An anthem for those affected by the Great Depression when it was written in 1932, this song tells the tale of ordinary Americans who helped to build the country and were then discarded when the stock market crashed.

“Whatever You Like”, Weird Al Yankovic


You know you’re in trouble when Weird Al’ Yankovic writes a song making fun of your plight. Yes, it’s hilarious, and yes, Weird Al is great, but come on Yankovic! Too soon.