"10 Dollar" as written by and Richard/arulpragasam X....
China Girl is a little girl
From a town
That's all ya need to know

Lolita was a man-eater
Clocked him like a taxi meter

Fuck gold, she was platinum digger
Shakin'-ass-making moves on a mover

Visa, then a plane ride to ya
Peace out, she'll kill you like Uma

She skipped away to the shop
She found she didn't have enough
She clocked him looking right at her
And sucked on a lollipop

China Girl grew up to be a big girl
Had her sights set on a bigger world

Dial-a-Bride from Sri lanka
Found herself a Yorkshire banker

Need a Visa?
Got with a geezer
Need some money?
Paid him with a knees-up
Year later, started to ease-up
Got her own way, shouted out "see ya"

She skipped away to the shop
She found she didn't have enough
She clocked him looking right at her
And sucked on a lollipop

What can I get fo' 10 dollar?
Everything you want
And what can I get fo' 10 dollar?
Anything you want
Yeah what can I get fo' 10 dollar?


Lyrics submitted by Maraja

"10 Dollar" as written by Mathangi Arulpragasam Richard X

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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10 Dollar song meanings
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33 Comments

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  • +3
    General Commentactually elanorrigby thats not exactly what shes saying, its a popular rhyme in tamil

    mota pappti (little girl)
    roti sutala ( she made bread)
    enne patillian( she didnt have enough oil)
    kaasu ennala (she counted her money)
    kadaki ponala(and went to the store)
    kassu patulaya (but didnt have enough money)
    kadakarna patu kan-addicala (so she looked at the storekeeper and winked at him)

    it fits in with the lyrics too.

    i love MIA
    foolsxinloveon December 05, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYeah, duodenum and PenguinBoy got it. Sure, there are elements of child prostitution here--no question--but think about why it's prostitution. She could be doing a song about a kid in a sweat shop. The point is that she's using "chinna girl" to show you how kids who have no choice are forced to operate in this ridiculously unfair and exploitative relationship.

    As to zombiewakeup's point, the reason that you THINK it's widely known that it costs $10 to have sex with a child prostitute is exactly PenguinBoys point, and it's what MIA is trying to point out to everyone listening to this song. Unless you've done any shopping, I assume you know how much that a child prostitute costs $10 from what you've seen or heard in the media. People know that this exists, but unless the system that's in place to keep poor people poor changes, nothing's going to change.

    That's my two cents, anyway.
    jackmacon August 20, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOh and I danced on stage with M.I.A. to this song :D
    shanbalabuchon October 02, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwell, the first non english part of the song is actually tamil, her mother tongue. Its a popular rhyme where a lady goes to store to get oil but doesnt have the money, so ogles the shopkeeper.

    'chinna' in tamil means small.
    trentninuson June 07, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnother great song from M.I.A. This woman is a genius. This song is basically about a young prostitute who is only looking out for herself, and doesn't care about the carnage she leaves behind.
    Elasticatedon January 31, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentchinna girl means little girl in tamil

    and she interjects an "aiyo" a couple of times which means "oh no!"

    the beginning goes kind of like "roti, chapatti, roti-illanam, enna pillayan? kaasu illanam. kaadai-ki ponalam, kaasu illayan, kaadai-karan patha, kaanu adichalam"

    which roughly translates to:
    roti, chapatti (indian breads)
    there is no roti in the house
    a boy with no money
    went to the store
    without any money
    the storekeeper saw him
    and hit him on the face
    ElanorRigbyon June 18, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me it's a bit more satyrical...

    Kind of imitating the ignorance of people who may think prostitution is simply a case of playfully going to the shop and not having enough... sucking on a lollipop to get what you want.

    It's just that cute kitschy image of a Lolita-like (maybe a japanese street fashion reference too) girl, that really really is bull shit when it comes to prostitution, women are forced into it by poverty, and suppression, beaten into it.

    Whereas people are still prepared to think of prostitutes as "man eaters". I thought of it as a punchline, sarcasm. Women suppressed by MEN, being called man-eaters, it's just obscene, but people still buy it. I'm just very glad that someone like her is still prepared to inflate that thought, she knows it's the world turned on it's head.

    So yeah people are saying they're getting a less positive view of the character in the song as opposed to a prostitute. But basically that's how a lot of people SEE prostitutes.
    PenguinBoyon February 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyeah, it is about prostitution in 3rd world countries. youd see it all the time where i came from. 60+ white guys with 16-20 yr old girls
    ayawginawaon March 06, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentdoes seem like shes satirizing this
    ayawginawaon March 06, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIT'S ABOUT CHILD PROSTITUTION.

    It is wildly known that it costs $10 to have sex with a child prostitute in 3rd world countries. HINT HINT the title of the song.
    zombiewakeupon April 11, 2008   Link

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