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In the song, "Money for Nothing," are the lyrics "chicks" or "checks" for free?

Heymatt:

In that song "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits, are the lyrics "money for nothing, and your CHICKS for free," or is it "...and your CHECKS for free"?

-- Randolph Boggs, email-land

As laughable as the idea of "free chicks" is, the concept of "free checks" is even more ludicrous. When was the last time your bank gave you anything? It's the chicks. The chicks. Can we assume this has been weighing on your mind for, what?, 10, 15 years?

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Heymatt:

In that song "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits, are the lyrics "money for nothing, and your CHICKS for free," or is it "...and your CHECKS for free"?

-- Randolph Boggs, email-land

As laughable as the idea of "free chicks" is, the concept of "free checks" is even more ludicrous. When was the last time your bank gave you anything? It's the chicks. The chicks. Can we assume this has been weighing on your mind for, what?, 10, 15 years?

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1

As laughable as you find it, it is actually both. Here is why.

Mark Knopfler was in our store where I worked. I was the night receiving manager. I had a lazy young man that worked for me. I was going through the list of things that needed to be done that night. My coworker was complaining about having to actually work. I asked him, "You think you get money for nothing and the check's for free?" The idea was that you have to work for your check. He went into a tirade about the performer that happened to be on the televisions in the electronics department. Mark Knopfler overheard our conversation. His English accent and my southern accent made it difficult for him to determine whether I said chicks or check's. He approached me and asked me if I said chicks or checks. I told him checks to which he replied, "Hmmm, chicks would work better!" I looked at him strangely and he then told me he was a song writer. He proceeded to write the lyrics to the song on a borrowed legal pad while sitting in the furniture department at a dining room table that was on display. The lyrics are pretty accurate quotes of what I said. He offered to have his attorney arrange for royalties for me since he was quoting me. He also asked me if I owned the copyright to those lines. He explained that I could make a lot of money from the royalties. I, thinking he was a song writer wannabe. told him he was free to use it. I also told him to make a lot of money from it. I laughed and walked off. You will notice in one part of the song that it is difficult or impossible to tell if he is saying checks or chicks. I think he purposely did that to stay true to what he initially heard. He is a talented song writer and musician.

July 3, 2020

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