Discussion Assignment: Are the Best Things in Life Free?


“The Best Things in Life are Free” is a song written by B.G. DeSylva, Lew Brown, and Ray Henderson for the musical Good News which opened on September 6, 1927 in the 46th Street Theater in New York City. It played for 557 performances. A movie version was produced in 1930 and remade in 1947. A movie musical, The Best Things in Life Are Free, based on the careers of the songwriters, was made in 1956.

The song’s lyrics imply that love and marriage are costless:

The moon belongs to everyone
The best things in life are free,
The stars belong to everyone
They gleam there for you and me.
The flowers in Spring,
The robins that sing,
The sunbeams that shine
They’re yours,
They’re mine!
And love can come to everyone,
The best things in life are free.

  1. Go back and re-read the lyrics of “The Best Things in Life are Free.” Do you agree with the song’s sentiments? Are the best things in life free? Explain your answer in one well-developed paragraph. Be sure to use examples to support your opinion.
  2. Consider the costs of any choice that a married couple makes; the choice the two of them together decide upon may be very different than the choice each partner would have made if he or she were not married. These costs are called ‘opportunity costs.’ For instance, a single person may choose a small one-bedroom apartment that has a low rent. A married couple may need a bigger place to live and will probably purchase a house at some point—one that comes with a large monthly mortgage payment. Another example might include how the couple chooses to spend their holidays. A single person would have a considerably easier time choosing to spend time with family or friends whereas married people must choose between two (or more) family sets and might have to choose whether to travel or stay at home.

Considering such choices of married couples vs. those who are single, in your opinion, what is wrong with applying the statement “The best things in life are free” to the topics of love and marriage? Explain your answer in one well-developed paragraph. Be sure to use examples to support your opinion.

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