The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

The Euro Crisis Has A Beat (And You Can Cry To It)

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 8:52 pm

Who says disco is dead? Or that it can't be used to explain complicated news events, like the debt crisis that threatens to disassemble Europe as we know it. A number of eurzone-themed songs are making their way up the monetary charts.

Take, "The Euro Crisis Song," a funky little number courtesy of The Guardian, which starts this way:

"Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain

Who's going to bail them out?"

But you've got to wait for the hook...

"They call you PIGS

But they don't understand

You're not the only ones

To spend more than you can ..."

Marketplace revived a different musical genre to explain the crisis — comparing the eurozone to a barbershop quartet, which only works if every member is singing. "When the baritone, bass and the tenor can all gather around Germany's lead, they form a quartet or a Eurobond that's backed up by the entire eurozone," Christopher Werth explained.

A quartet named Harmonious Rex sang:

"Every morning, every evening, got Eurobonds!

Not much money, oh but honey, got Eurobonds!"

The Atlantic this week said the euro crisis is just like Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe."

"Neither will go away," wrote associate editor Matthew O'Brien. (In fact, the song is so irresistible NPR hosts and reporters recently took turns singing it.)

O'Brien then took on the crisis, line by line.

"It's hard to look right at you, baby."

"Is there any doubt Carly Rae Jepsen is really talking about Spanish bank balance sheets here?"

And:

"I beg and borrow and steal."

"Sometimes even the cryptic Carly Rae Jepsen speaks plainly. This is one of those times. The line above is clearly about Greece."

Last fall, Planet Money brought us the history of the European Union in a song called "European Union Wiz Me."

"France: You naughty boy you tried

To keep me occupied, mais oui

But relations would be warma'

If you snuggle up and form a

European Union wiz me

Germany: I luff your perfume

France: Your GDP

Both: A european union

Wiz/vith me!"

And Merle Hazard (his website says he's "the first and only country artist to sing about mortgage-backed securities, derivatives, and physics.") came up with the "Greek Debt Song":

"They borrowed short

At a lower rate

Like the Wall Street brokers we have grown to hate."

His musical analysis continues:

"Some say that Greece may drop the euro, the euro, the euro

So their products can compete.

And if it still is not enough, not enough, not enough

Maybe they can sell off Crete."

Share your European monetary verses in the comments section below.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.