Music is a force that connects the world. It depicts human activities in all spheres of life. Hence, song titles send a message to the listeners. The most common song themes are love, drugs, and sex. But, many songs tell us about other aspects of life.
Selfishness is an act of putting yourself first at the expense of others. It’s our natural tendency to want to get more than our fair share. Perhaps the theme of selfishness has piqued your interest, you’re not alone in this! Many artists have written songs about selfishness. In this article, we will round up the top 20 songs about selfishness. Let’s go!
What is the Most Used Word in Songs?
The most used word in songs is “Love”. Well, this goes without saying. Most songs’ lyrics are about the topic. As a result of the overuse, writing about love is getting difficult for songwriters. Besides, the phrase “I Love You”, now feels cheesy when added to lyrics or the song.
Hence, as a songwriter, you need to learn a few tricks to use the word. You can do this by putting it in a sentence that will say the opposite. For example, you can use a phrase like “I don’t wanna love you” instead of saying “I love you”.
Here are some song lyrics with love in them:
Give me love like never before – Ed Sheeran
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love – Bob Dylan
Love the way you lie – Eminem
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20 Top Songs about Selfishness
Here’s our roundup of 20 top songs about selfishness:
Queen – ‘I Want It All’
Eddie Vedder – ‘Society’
Here’s a song from one time frontman of grunge band Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder. The song is about refusing to be a part of a society that is ethically and morally bankrupt. He questions the notion that we require more things to make our lives meaningful. This merely binds us to the system.
The Wonderstuff – ‘Give Give Give Me More More’
The wonderfully titled ‘Give Give Give Me More More More’ is a part of The Wonderstuff’s eponymous LP, The Eight Legged Groove Machine. It’s a song about the selfish pursuit of things.
The narrator wants his “trousers pressed and his shoes shined by a rich girl.” Moreover, his love for money is a little sad. His main concern is whether the bank is large enough!
Seth Lakeman – ‘Greek and Gold’
This song by Seth Lakeman is all about selfishness. It tells the story of a Lady Howard from Tavistock who was killed by her lover and then haunts him for the rest of his life. He appears to have gotten his sweet revenge! Besides, this song is also a great Halloween song.
Janis Joplin – ‘Mercedez Benz’
Many people consider your car to be a status symbol. You have no street cred if you drive a 15-year-old, beaten-up Vauxhall Astra. But, you’re a member of the elite if you drive a brand new Range Rover Evoque with 20-inch tires.
Janis Joplin laments in this witty song about cars, “all my friends have Porsches, I must make amends.” She believes that a Mercedes could be the answer to all of her prayers. Well, she wouldn’t be the first to do so!
The Ramones – ‘I Wanted Everything’
John Cale – ‘The Endless Pain for fortune’
Here’s a song by John Cale of the Velvet Underground. It’s a post-colonial critique of the early 1900s gold rush in South Africa by settlers (Transvaal was a province in South Africa.)
“They would have played all night, even with loaded dice,” they were full of selfishness. The goldmines, on the other hand, had the last laugh. Without a doubt, this is a too song about selfishness.
Killing Joke – ‘Age of Greed’
This angry song is a scathing indictment of the greed culture of the Thatcher years in the 1990s. As The Guardian points out, much of it is still true today.
Singer Jaz Coleman goes on a rant about the ruling elite, saying that “ten percent of the rest is the hand that pulls the strings,” while the poor struggle just to put food on the table, “exchanging the hours of your life for the cash you’ve already spent.” It’s one of the most powerful songs about social inequality and the need for change you’ll ever hear.
Johnny Marr – ‘Little King’
Ex-Smiths member Johnny Marr told the NME that the song is “specifically talking about property developers and those kinds of characters who are turning everything into a car park.” It’s like a modern-day ‘Big Yellow Taxi.’ Marr also appeared in the Talking Heads’ song ‘Nothing But Flowers,’ which was about being too much.
Silverstein – ’Vanity and Greed’
The theme of this song is how selfishness can bring out the worst in people. “A guiltless crime that goes unpunished never brought to light,” the lyrics say. “Your hands are filthy, but you don’t mind.” This is a great example of how evil isn’t always obvious. It’s sometimes hidden behind a friendly facade, waiting to erupt when you least expect it.
Bob Dylan – ’Disease of Conceit’
‘Disease of Conceit,‘ from Dylan’s brilliant album, Oh Mercy!, is about moral corruption and delusions of grandeur. Besides, conceit means ‘excessive pride in oneself’. Though no names are mentioned, the song was inspired in part by a series of televangelists in the 1980s who were accused of immoral sexual behavior. Without a doubt, this is a top song about selfishness!
Joni Mitchell – ’Big Yellow Taxi’
Here’s an environmentalist song about not taking things for granted, like nature, and missing them when they’re gone. Hence, the expression “you paved paradise too late.”
The tree museum concept is based on an actual tree museum (Foster Gardens in Waikiki) where people “pay just to see them.” There is also a call for farmers to discontinue the use of ‘DDTs’ (an insecticide known for its environmental impact). Overall, this song is about how human selfishness impacts the environment.
Robert Plant – ‘Calling to You’
Humans have an insatiable desire to break new ground, conquer new horizons, and acquire new possessions. We never stop exploring, whether on our planet, in our biology (biophysics), or in outer space.
This curiosity has served us well as a species, but greed and selfishness are the ugly flip side of the coin. That is the theme of this song. What is the thing that is calling? That is entirely up to you.
Roger Walters – ‘Deja Vu’
For decades, ex-Pink Floyd member Roger Waters has been singing about the ills of selfishness. ‘Déjà Vu,’ formerly titled ‘Lay Down Jerusalem (If I Had Been God),‘ is a more recent meditation on greed.
Besides, he expresses dismay at the people’s election choices in the United States, saying, “you lean to the left but walk to the right.” Greed is still abundant (“bankers get fat”), and “there’s ninety-nine cents worth of drunkards and fools” below him as he flies in the gulf stream.
Prince and the New Power Generation – ‘Money Don’t Matter 2 Night’
Money alone isn’t everything. How many times has that been said to you? We roll our eyes and say, “yeah, right.” The late, great Prince reminds us in this critique of selfishness and money (one of the best pop songs on the subject) that money comes and goes, but what matters is “making sure your soul’s alright.” We must all pay attention to what he says.
Crosby & Nash – ‘Take the Money and Run’
Here’s another song about selfishness. It is often confused with a song by Steve Miller Band that has the same title. According to David Crosby in an interview for Johnny Rogan’s Complete Guide To The Music of CSN&Y, ‘Take the Money and Run’ is about people who don’t give a damn about anything except the money. They believe that cash rules. Moreover, so many people are like this!
Godsmack – ‘Greed’
This song is about a man who is tired of the selfishness in the world. He talks about how people are only concerned with money and power, and that they are unconcerned about others. “All you do is take, take, take, never giving,” the song says. If you’re frustrated with the world, this song is a great one to listen to.
The Beatles – ’Piggies’
‘Piggies’ is a song about the selfishness of the ruling classes by George Harrison. Like the rest of the Beatles, he grew up in a very working-class environment. The song has historical significance for another, more gruesome reason.
When a crazed Charles Manson murdered Sharon Tate, the LaBianca’s, and others in the late 1960s, the words ‘pig and piggy’ were written on the walls with the victims’ blood.
Pet Shop Boys – ‘Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)’
This one is all about the dollar bill! It’s a song about our insatiable desire to make more money. Many listeners in the 1980s, when consumer capitalism was at its peak, were likely unaware of this satire of capitalist culture.
While watching the film Wall Street, many people probably admired Gordon Gekko (the ruthless financier played by Michael Douglas).
In Flames – ‘Greatest Greed’
Finally, we are wrapping up our list of songs about selfishness with this anthem by In Flames. This song is about how selfishness can drive people to commit heinous crimes.
“You’re the one who leads the way, you’re the one I despise,” the lyrics say. It is a great reminder that greed can cause you to lose your moral compass. You become so obsessed with accumulating more and more that you do terrible things.
Why Do Many Artists Sing about Money?
Many songs become popular because it takes people away from their daily lives. Artists who sing about fame and fortune can inspire listeners to aspire to a better lifestyle.
However, they can sing about topics and situations that are relevant to the vast majority of their audience. This could include reflecting on the mood of the listeners and finding common ground by singing about financial hardship.
In any case, money (or a lack of it) can be a universal joy or a source of concern for almost everyone.
Do People Really Learn from Music?
Yes, absolutely! You can learn from music. According to Johns Hopkins University, studies have shown that music can help people retain learned information. “The soundtrack increases interest and activates the information mentally, physically, or emotionally,” says Chris Boyd Brewer.
Can I become a Famous Singer at Age 13?
Yes, you certainly can! Being a famous singer at the age of 13 is an amazing feat. Though it’s a difficult one to pull off. Nonetheless, it is possible. Some notable examples of these singers are Grace VanderWaal, Lena Stamenkovic, Tanner Massey, Evie Clair, and Lexi Drew, to name a few. At the age of 13, they had become famous singers.
So there you have it, top 20 songs about selfishness. Besides, the songs were carefully handpicked across many genres of music for your listening pleasure. Whether you want to vent your frustrations or be reminded of the dangers of selfishness, these songs have you covered. What are you waiting for? Plug your speakers and blast off your roof!
What are your thoughts on our compilation of the songs about selfishness? Which song is your favorite? Share your thoughts and recommendations via the comments section!