10 Songs About Shopping
The last time we went scouring the ‘Net for shopping-themed songs, the madness of Black Friday was right around the corner — and with it the start of the holiday shopping season. Nothing as exciting (or obnoxious) is in our midst at the moment, but seeing as how we live in America, the time is always ripe for buying s—. And it doesn’t matter if you’re hitting the mall with friends, window shopping by yourself, perusing the shadowy underground black market or simply boycotting the whole endeavor altogether, there’s a song to fit your shopping style. Don’t believe us? Check this list: 10 Songs About Shopping.
‘I’m In Love With the Girl On the Manchester Virgin Megastore Check-Out Desk’
The Freshies singer Chris Sievey (aka Frank Sidebottom) tells the tale of his crush on a Virgin store clerk — who hasn’t fallen for a record-shilling cutie behind the counter? — in this slab of classic ’80s British punk. And get this: The girl at the Manchester Virgin Megastore actually existed (apparently her name was Helen) and was constantly asked to sign copies of the disc. Hopefully she charged for the service!
‘You Can’t Buy a Gun’
With all the gun control legislation coming (and going) in the States these days, this tune seems more than apt. It’s from the similarly named 2007 album ‘You Can’t Buy a Gun When You’re Crying,’ which is not only the first in a string of discs credited to Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs, but also a more-than-reasonable gun control tactic: Maybe we should flat-out ban selling firearms to people who are crying when they’re trying to be buying. Perhaps it’s just us, but it seems like that scenario could only lead to bad things.
‘Nan You’re a Window Shopper’
A pretty clever (and pretty dead-on) parody of rapper 50 Cent’s ‘Window Shopper,’ Lily Allen’s ‘Nan You’re a Window Shopper’ is about the British singer’s grandmother and her tendency to take a look but never buy (which just so happens to be one of our favorite shopping methods). It was included as a bonus track on the U.S. version of Allen’s 2006 debut album, ‘Alright, Still,’ and now it’s here on our 10 Songs About Shopping list, too.
The undisputed novelty hit of 2013 (so far), ‘Thrift Shop’ follows Seattle rapper Macklemore and his production partner Ryan Lewis into the thrift store as they see what second-hand threads they can pick up for $20. In the video, he snags a plethora of goodies, including a man-sized, Batman-themed pajamas onesie. F—ing awesome!
The B-side of ‘Beat Surrender,’ the final single ever released by the Jam, ‘Shopping’ finds the ever-stylish Paul Weller and his band of merry mods searching for a good buy. “I’m trying to pick up a friendly bargain/ But it’s not like the adverts all make out,” Weller sings, obviously frustrated by his experience.
‘Too High for the Supermarket’
The sheer size of those super-mega-giant supermarkets is intimidating enough without the, uhhh, compromised focus of a stoner. On ‘Too High,’ Los Angeles-based ’90s rockers the Uninvited invite their modest but fiercely loyal cult following along for their nightmarish trip in search of a tuna fish sandwich — and land on our 10 Songs About Shopping list in the process.
Some people would rather die than spend a day at the mall, but it’s the lyrics and not the the title that landed ‘Dead’ on our 10 Songs About Shopping tally. “I came back as a bag of groceries/ Accidentally taken off the shelf/ Before the date stamped on myself,” frontman John Flansburgh (or is it his bandmate John Linnell?) sings, confounding a generation of TMBG fans trying to understand just what the heck he’s getting at.
‘Shopping for Girls’
The title of this tune could come off as completely innocuous — think hitting the mall to pick up some jeans for your little sister — but it’s a dirtier sort of shopping for girls that Bowie‘s getting at. “These are children riding naked/ On their tourist pals,” Bowie sings, bringing to mind disturbing visions of underage prostitutes strolling down the hippie dippy black market known as Khao San Road in Bangkok. “You gaze down into her eyes for a million miles/ You wanna give her a name and a clean rag doll.” If only it were that easy to change things.
‘Been Caught Stealing’
The aforementioned Black Friday brings with it some of the biggest sales during the busiest of shopping seasons, but it’s the so-called five-fingered discount Perry Farrell alludes to in Jane’s Addiction‘s ‘Been Caught Stealing’ that always affords the best prices. “When I want something/I don’t want to pay for it/ I walk right through the door,” he sings, followed by, “It’s mine/ Mine all mine.” Let’s go!
‘Store Bought Bones’
Leave it to the twisted mind of Jack White to front a band singing about ‘Store Bought Bones.’ But despite its gloomy title, the tune off the Raconteurs‘ ‘Broken Boy Soldier’ album offers at least one universal shopping truth: “You can’t buy what you can’t find what you can’t buy.” No matter what you’re buying — cereal or soap, bones or brie — that’s a fact, Jack.