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Version 3d

Home > Resources > Money Rock > This For That

This For That

This For That: Schoolhouse Rock - Learn about barter and trade

Music & Lyrics: George R. Newall
Sung by: Bob Dorough
Animation: Phil Kimmelman and Associates

Lyrics from:

When we lived in caves
There were no shopping malls
And people's manners were Neanderthal
No bodegas, no delis, no corner stores
Shopping trips turned into tugs of war
When not having pull got this man mangled
He thought he'd try an easier angle
I'll give you this for that
That for this
We'll make a trade called "barter"
I'll give you this for that
That for this
We'll have it made with barter

Now, barter worked well
At least in theory
But a wallet full of yaks
Could make you weary
Making change for a cow
Wasn't easy to master
Unless you were ready
For an "udder" disaster
Shiny shells were far more portable
Why not use them for what's affordable?

I'll give you this for that
That for this
With shiny shells, why barter?
I'll give you this for that
That for this
Shelling out shells is smarter

For farmers in ancient Mesopotamia
The barley they grew was the money mania
When hauling big sacks put their backs in traction
They invented coins to lighten transactions
Now, when a man had a debt to settle
He'd dig out some coins made of precious metal

I'll give you this for that
That for this
Silver or gold or copper
I'll give you this for that
That for this
With coins you're a smarter shopper

Then China made money even more desirous
Printing it on paper made of crushed papyrus
Take one from Column A and one from Column B
The Chinese paid their checks in paper currency
When Columbus set out on that famous charter
He had no paper money, so he had to barter
He took along some beads for currency
So barter played a part in our discovery
Balboa and Pisarro and Sebastian Cabot
Even Coronado had the trading habit

I'll give you this for that
That for this
They loaded up with gold, then parted
I'll give you this for that
That for this
And soon the whole world was charted

Today we use cash and spend with ardor
But that doesn't mean we don't still barter
When a football team needs a pulling guard
Or a kid like you is into trading cards

Take this for that
That for this
Bills and coins are smarter
But when you pay for that
Remember this
It all started out with barter

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