Unnecessary plastic objects

I’ve been listening to Springsteen’s latest release (WORKING ON A DREAM), and particularly to the ‘Queen of the Supermarket’ song, which I love. The idea of writing an ode to a girl who bags the groceries in a supermarket is so sweet and so eloquent, and in typical Springsteen style it expresses the universal nature of our ordinary passions and dreams, and the aching sadness of unfulfilled lives.

And it got me thinking about other shopping songs – especially Nanci Griffith’s ‘Love at the Five & Dime’. There are at least two versions of this song of hers, and one of them has almost two and a half minutes of talk before the song begins about Woolworth’s, and how much she loves Woolworth stores all over the world, and how when she first came to England – well, son of a gun, there was another Woolworth store! And she wanted to ask the driver to stop the car so she could run into the store right then and purchase some more “unnecessary plastic objects”. Well, alas, never no more chance of doing that, Nanci, now that Woolworth stores closed in the UK. But the song’s lovely, and very like Springsteen’s in tone and sweet sadness.

The version with the pre-song chat’s on the WINGS TO FLY AND A PLACE TO BE CD, but the song itself’s on several of Nanci’s other CDs. And here’s Nanci singing it on YouTube.

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