Marketplace Scratch Pad

Recession Rock

Scott Jagow Mar 24, 2009

It’s time to rock out, people. There’s nothing like a good song to make the economic blues disappear, at least for a few minutes. And this downturn is bringing out the musical genius in some people.

Kai Ryssdal forwarded me a YouTube video featured in the Freakonomics blog. It’s called “Hey, Paul Krugman,” and it’s one catchy, relevant tune about the economist and New York Times columnist. Here’s the song:

Some lyrics from “Hey, Paul Krugman”:

I mean, don’t you have some influence?
Why aren’t you secretary of the Treasury?

For God’s sake, man, you won the Nobel Prize.
Timothy Geithner uses TurboTax.

When I listen to you, things seem to make sense.
When I listen to him, all I hear is blah, blah, blah.

I followed up on the singer and found a gold mine of recession art. His name is Jonathan Mann, and he’s writing, recording and posting one song a day at his website, A lot of them have an economic theme.

Here’s a demo clip from what Mann is calling “Saving Newspapers: The Musical.” He believes he has the answer to rescuing newspapers from the Web. And that’s… well, I won’t spoil it:

Jonathan will make you a custom ringtone for 10 bucks. And he’s taking donations as well. If you like his stuff, I encourage you to support it. A recession artist has to eat, ya know.

And thanks, Jonathan. I feel a little better now.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.