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.

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