During my teen years, the Beatles influenced everything from fashion, politics, culture, and music trends. Some 50+ years later, you can still feel their influences. Beatlemania was unlike anything before, and I doubt it will be like anything in the future.
It occurred to me when reviewing a list of Beatles songs (there are over 200 original recordings) that many of their song titles can be interpreted as encrypted messages about financial fitness and personal development. I searched the many titles and found the top 12 songs I interpreted as money-matter themes. I admit it's a bit of a stretch, but I wouldn't put it past them if there were hidden money messages for us all!
1. All You Need Is Love (1969)
Oh, what a great life this would be if all we needed in life was love! The truth is that we need love and more for fulfillment, happiness, and satisfaction. While passion is essential, having the ability to feed and clothe yourself with a roof over your head is vital, and it's what all of us work for every day.
The Beatles' lyrics say, “There's nothing you can do that can't be done,” and I believe that. It just means proper planning and dedication to develop good work habits and being motivated to succeed. Know what's important to you and deliver on those values. Take your dream and make it a reality, just like the four lads from Liverpool did back in the day.
2. I'm A Loser (1964)
How many of us have felt like losers at some point? Maybe we lose our job, make a bad investment, or suffer a breakup in our relationship. Then we mope around, pitying ourselves for our misfortune. The message is that luck and misfortune have little to do with long-term success.
The song may talk about losing something important, but the hidden message I take from it is that we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start again. If we are determined to succeed and make a solid plan to achieve our goals, being a loser will be a partial result. The path to success can sometimes be a straight line.
3. You Never Give Me Your Money (1969)
This one seems to be just plain obvious: “Neither a borrower nor a lender is.” Ben Franklin originally said it, but Lennon and McCartney repeated that message in this song. Borrowing should only be done with lots of thought, but we live in a time when borrowing on credit has become so easy and thoughtless that you can run up insurmountable debt almost overnight.
If you lend, it better be in writing with terms of reimbursement. Otherwise, just call it a gift and be nice if you can afford it. I give a lot, but I rarely advise or participate in lending to friends and family. Bad experiences loom on the horizon far too often with those scenarios.
4. Drive My Car (1964)
Paul wrote this as a warning, I'm sure! Never lend your car to anyone. Too many bad things can happen like accidents, tickets, and in some cases you just may never see it again. I have a decent car, nothing fancy, but I worked hard to get it and take care of it.
Lending my car to anyone would be so rare that I almost can't trust someone to return it in the condition I'd expect. Since I own the property, it's my responsibility if something happens. I learned that from watching Judge Judy, so don't ask me to lend you my car! Now, if you'd like to chauffeur me around in your vehicle…
5. Can't Buy Me Love (1964)
Money can buy a lot of things; it's very accurate. But love just isn't one of them. You will be very disappointed if you depend on money for people to like or love you or just to fit in. Money is a means to an end. Your family uses any money you earn and share for their comfort, but it's not why they love you. Mother Teresa and Gandhi were both loved by many people but were not financially well off.
Their wealth came from inside their hearts, and my instincts tell me that hard work, great principles, dedication, and generosity paid them more than any jackpot or lottery ever could. Despite pain at times, they certainly knew that love wasn't coming from any money they kept for themselves but rather from sharing their inner wealth and goodness with everyone.
6. Help! (1965)
There is no sign of weakness when we ask for help. No one succeeds entirely on their own. The most successful people in the world need a team to help support them to get where they want and need to go. This could include an accountability partner to help you save money, a counselor to help you become debt-free, an advisor to help you invest, or simply a friend to cheer you on your way.
Most highly successful people learn from mentors they meet along the way. Mentors (really successful people) love to share with a protégé, and if you can connect on a level that gains them their trust and confidence, asking for help won't even be necessary. It will come to you just because you deserve it.
7. Taxman (1966)
No one likes the taxman. No one. But the reality is that we all must pay him his due. The best thing you can do is to learn about the tax laws and pay no more than your fair share. I'm not going to debate whether the laws are reasonable, and this song sounds like a warning to all with lines like “If you drive a car, I'll tax the street; if you try to walk, I'll tax your feet.” The best thing you can do is to know the law (or seek out someone who does) and try not to make the taxman angry!
8. You Can't Do That (1964)
This song title tells me there are right ways and wrong ways to do things, and you know when you're doing it the right way. Be creative and try new things, even if people say it can't be done. Sometimes that leads to great success. But doing it in ways that may be illegal or immoral just to make money is the stuff that Al Capone was made of.
I'd like to be famous, but infamous? Not so much. I learned long ago that I can't lie to myself and won't. Try to do things that show your true character, abilities, and sense of fair play.
9. Money (That's What I Want!) (1963)
Alright, this one was recorded by the Beatles but not written by them (it was the great one, Smokey Robinson, who did the honors here). In any event, the song is all about the craving for money. It's terrible to place your wants, needs, and desires in nothing but cash, and the Beatles cried that it's all they want. The reality is that the best things in life are free, like respect, love, success, meaning, fulfillment, and gratitude.
I've always believed that money will come along for the ride if you try hard and do the right things. And even if great wealth doesn't, your happiness and satisfaction levels will still be through the roof even though you are not the wealthiest guy on the block.
10. I Should Have Known Better (1964)
There have been so many times I have made money decisions that were just plain stupid that I have said that phrase to myself countless times. Youth doesn't always serve you well, and I usually learn best about things after a big mistake! But sometimes, that's what it takes to learn. Rather than beating ourselves up for what we did wrong, we should take some time to think about how we could have handled things differently so we don't make the same mistakes twice.
11. When I'm 64 (1967)
Okay, I'm stealing a few years here (it's 66 or 67 unless you're shooting for early retirement), but this song is about retirement for me. What shape will you be in when you retire? What will your health be like? Will you still be able to feed yourself, and will you be able to keep up with the grandkids?
This song reminds us to think about all the things that lead up to retirement even though you may still be young…after all, Paul McCartney was only 16 when he wrote this song! You must be diligent about your preparation to be a happy, comfortable camper when you're 64 (or 66 or 67).
12. Baby You're a Rich Man (1967)
This song tells me I'm rich, no matter what money I have. I can have lots of cash or none, but I'm still a beautiful person (and very modest, too!). So how does that feel? It feels great. Beautiful people are happy, making you rich, which is the message. I'm betting that those who lead the most comfortable lives have all the satisfaction and pleasures life can bring them.