Cash Rules Every Song Around Me Yen for a currency events quiz? Make cents of this: Jonathan Coulton parodies songs with "money" in the title, making them about international tender.
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Cash Rules Every Song Around Me

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Cash Rules Every Song Around Me

Cash Rules Every Song Around Me

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JONATHAN COULTON: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton, here with puzzle guru Greg Pliska. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Thank you, Jonathan. Before the break, we met our contestants Kathleen and Patrick. Our next game is all about currency. They say more money, more problems. But if you're like me, you've also thought, eh, I'd work it out.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Kathleen, you and your siblings planned a pretty ambitious 70th birthday party for your mother in Jamaica.

KATHLEEN DURKIN: Yes.

EISENBERG: How did that go?

DURKIN: It was great in planning the process. But when you're making connections, a little bit...

EISENBERG: With flights and...

DURKIN: So my sister and I were meeting up in Philadelphia. We were supposed to get on the same flight, but her connection was late. So I put on the waterworks pretty extensively on the plane.

EISENBERG: Did it work?

DURKIN: To the extent that the flight attendant - head flight attendant and pilot got off the plane with something to do until my sister arrived.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Yeah.

DURKIN: Pretty good. I don't recommend this practice, but...

EISENBERG: Nope.

DURKIN: ...Worked in that case.

EISENBERG: No, people here are applauding because they're like, that's how you do it.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Patrick, your friends have often teased you about the fact that there are coins at the bottom of your shower.

PATRICK DRISLANE: Yeah. The best way I can piece it together is that you take a nap. And you're - it's warm in the summer. And then maybe coins fall out of your pocket. And you take a shower after your nap, and that's where they end up, maybe.

EISENBERG: Oh, so the - oh (laughter)...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So the coins...

DRISLANE: They stick to you...

EISENBERG: The coins stick to you.

DRISLANE: Apparently this doesn't happen to a lot of people, but...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I mean, first of all...

DRISLANE: ...I was not that embarrassed by it, but...

EISENBERG: ...I like that you're just napping, just covered in coins.

(LAUGHTER)

DRISLANE: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Let's go to your next game. Kathleen, what country do you think has the snazziest currency?

DURKIN: I'm going to have to go with countries like Canada or the U.K. Their money has color. It's got women - something a little different.

EISENBERG: It's got women.

DURKIN: Yeah, who would have thunk?

EISENBERG: Yeah, it's true. Queens everywhere.

DURKIN: (Laughter).

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Patrick, what country do you think has a snazziest currency?

DRISLANE: Any country that has, like, managed to poke holes and have interesting little shapes that lack any - you know, where the metal is not there, but there's holes in the middle.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

DRISLANE: That takes some dedication to put forth that.

EISENBERG: Right, when it's not just, like, a circle, and that's it.

DRISLANE: Right. That's easy to make, right?

EISENBERG: Correct.

COULTON: Also, when they have holes in them, they don't stick to you as easy.

(LAUGHTER)

DRISLANE: I appreciate that.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: According to the money exchange company Travelex, there are 180 different currencies in the world - 181 if you recognize my currency, Ophira Eisen-bucks (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So contestants, you have to identify a mere handful of them in this music parody game called Cash Rules Every Song Around Me. Kathleen, you won the last game. So you win this, and you're in the final round. Patrick, you need to win this, or you have to listen to my brother-in-law explain how the stock market really works.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: We rewrote songs with the word money in the title to make them about global currencies. So ring in to identify the currency used in the place that I'm singing about. And if you're right, for a bonus point, you can give me the title of the song I'm parodying. You ready?

DURKIN: Ready.

COULTON: OK, here we go.

(Singing) To avoid all confusion, there is no collusion. She works hard here in Moscow, which is why she's paid in these.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Patrick.

DRISLANE: The ruble.

COULTON: Ruble is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus...

EISENBERG: Fake clues, fake clues.

COULTON: Fake clues.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That's a good one. For a bonus point, can you name the original song?

DRISLANE: "She Works Hard For The Money" - Donna Summer.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Here's your next one.

(Singing) Canada has this money. Australia and New Zealand, Singapore has this money. Taiwan and the place I stand.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Patrick.

DRISLANE: The dollar.

COULTON: The dollar is the answer. That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you name the song that I sang very poorly?

DRISLANE: It's already out of my head, sorry.

COULTON: Hmm, no offense taken.

(LAUGHTER)

DRISLANE: Sorry.

COULTON: The name of the song is - rhymes with which - "Better Have My Money."

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Here's your next one. (Singing) Money - first from Spain, now used by some ex-colonies post-reign. Argentina and Chile - also Philippines, Cuba, Mexico.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Patrick.

DRISLANE: Peso.

COULTON: That's right, peso. Can you name the song?

(APPLAUSE)

DRISLANE: Pink Floyd - "Money."

COULTON: Yeah, you got it.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Just for a visual in everyone's mind - when I was 9 years old, I took jazz dance. And for our number, we did it to Pink Floyd's "Money." We're in gold lame unitards, and we rolled all around the...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Ground and then, all of a sudden, sat up with like, (singing) money. And we were 9.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That's remarkable for another reason - which is that song is in 7/4, which is an odd time to dance to.

EISENBERG: We were advanced.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Yeah. It was jazz dance, man.

EISENBERG: It was jazz dance.

COULTON: That's why it's in seven, man. It's jazz.

EISENBERG: That's right, man.

COULTON: Here's your next one.

(Singing) Norway, Denmark, Iceland - a very nice land. They use cash called this. Czech Republic, Sweden - they're proceeding to use a cash called this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Kathleen.

DURKIN: I was about to say what is.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Glad you stopped yourself.

DURKIN: What is...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: You still have to do it inside.

COULTON: If you have to...

GREG PLISKA: It's a good filler.

COULTON: If you have to say it in order to get the answer out, I...

DURKIN: Is it a crown?

COULTON: It is a crown. That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you name the song?

DURKIN: Too caught up on not saying what is to remember what it is.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I understand. The name of the song was "Money Money Money" by ABBA. OK. Here we go.

(Singing) Finland, Belgium, Greece, Italy. It's like these countries ditched their separate bucks. Now they just use me.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Kathleen.

DURKIN: Euro?

COULTON: Euro. You got it.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Can you name the song for the bonus point?

DURKIN: "Mo Money Mo Problems"?

COULTON: You got it. That's right.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: This is your last clue.

(Singing) They'll stick to using this money. They will withdraw from the union later. Don't even bother with negotiations. Thanks, Brexit.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Kathleen.

DURKIN: The pound.

COULTON: The pound sterling. That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you name the song?

DURKIN: If I say money in a funny voice, will that help? Money?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: It helps me, Kathleen, but it's the incorrect answer. It's - that was called "You Never Give Me Your Money." It's a Beatles song. Puzzle guru Greg Pliska, how did they do?

PLISKA: Patrick is the winner of this game.

(APPLAUSE)

PLISKA: And that means Kathleen has won one game. Patrick's won another. So we're going to go on to a quick game three. I'll give you a category, and you'll go back and forth naming things that fall into that category. The first contestant to mess up will be eliminated. Buzz in to answer first. Here's your category - name the 10 largest countries by area.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PLISKA: Patrick.

DRISLANE: Russia.

PLISKA: Russia is correct. Kathleen?

DURKIN: China.

PLISKA: Correct. Patrick?

DRISLANE: Canada.

PLISKA: Correct. Kathleen?

DURKIN: United States.

PLISKA: Correct. Patrick?

DRISLANE: Brazil.

PLISKA: Brazil. Correct. Kathleen?

DURKIN: Australia.

PLISKA: Australia is correct. Patrick?

DRISLANE: India.

PLISKA: India is correct. Kathleen?

DURKIN: Greenland?

PLISKA: I'm sorry. That's incorrect. The other answers were Algeria, Argentina and Kazakhstan. Kathleen, we're sorry to see you go. Thank you so much for being with us.

DURKIN: Thank you.

PLISKA: And, Patrick, congratulations.

(APPLAUSE)

PLISKA: You're going on to the final round.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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