Robert’s Marxist Analysis of Chumbawamba – She’s Got All The Friends That Money Can Buy

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byXI2sHTYug[/youtube]

This song, I find, is espousing a number of Marxist ideals. The chorus “She’s got all the friends that money can buy, she’s the apple of her Daddys eye” is referencing not only that a member of the Bourgeoisie more often than not has friends among the proletariat only because it allows those members of the proletariat to “get close” to that money , hence ” The family money has a magnetic pull”. It is also implied that this theoretical “She” has friends among the bourgeoisie only due to the fact that “she” is also a bourgeoisie, because as a human being her value in this case is dictated by her sign-exchange value.  The line about being the apple of her dad’s eye is also talking about her sign-exchange value that is, her father only values her for the increases in status she will grant him once she is married off to some one of even higher status within the bourgeoisie.

The line “And both her faces–so easy on the eye” is talking about how “she” wears two faces, presumably one for interacting with the proletariat to maintain her apparent connections there and the sign-exchange value that such interactions grant her. (Rather like Tom Buchannan in this way).  The other face she wears for interacting with her fellow bourgeoisie where she undoubtedly discusses her unrivaled contempt for the proletariat.

“Style has a price without much change … If you have to ask then it’s out of your range ” Is talking about the folly of consumerism. The latest style is the new hot thing that you must have! But it’s really no different than what preceded it. In addition the cost of acquiring this new style is irrelevant to the bourgeoisie.

“Well, you can buy your friends, but I’ll hate you for free Hate you for free” This line is speaking to the hatred the proletariat should be expressing towards the kind of bourgeoisie this song is talking about. Its placement late in the song is meant to bring the hatred that the proletariat has to a boil as they have had time to think of an example in their day to day life about the bourgeoisie that irritates them.

 

The end-cap on the song (that is only in the album version) refers to two other major Marxist elements.

“You see, it’s magic, and it shouldn’t work

I still look at it most surprised it does”
The magic referenced here is the illusion that by befriending the bourgeoisie a member of the proletariat can ascend to the bourgeoisie. The continual surprise is aimed at the proletariat that is still buying into the lies of the bourgeoisie that keep them in their current place; unwittingly supporting the bourgeoisie. The final lines ” Pass it along, pass it along ” Are asking the bourgeoisie in a tongue-in-cheek way to “pass along” their wealth to the masses because they are ” make[ing] too much money”.

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