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Pawn Shop by Sublime

Album: SublimeReleased: 1996
  • This is based on a 1984 Wailing Souls song, "War Deh Round a John Shop." They were a roots reggae band straight out of Jamaica. This can be heard in the song's reggae beat.
  • The band had ties to pawn shops. Lead singer Brad Nowell used to pawn his guitar for drug money. Producer and friend Miguel always had to go buy it back before shows.
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Comments: 21

I feel bad owner his famous guitar built by Dan MacDonald... the Custom Ibanez. Which was sold for the damn drug. Was thinking of giving it to his son.Mike - Manchester, Nh
I created an account just to clear up half the gibberish on this page. Pawn Shop is inspired from Brad's real life experience of pawning his guitar on a downward spiral fueled by addiction. In 'Same In The End', Brad says "...the day that I die will be the day that I shut my mouth and put down my guitar". People pawn things often times out of desperation for a few measly dollars. That 'stone' you see at the pawnshop could have once been someone's most prized possession and part of their soul - their 'flesh and bone'. Yes, it is a sort of somber song and unfortunately Brad lived that experience.

Btw, Patrick from Livermore,CA. It's a bit hypocritical to question where people get their information, to find truth, when you make claims that Wikipedia is as accurate as a blog. Wikipedia is comparably accurate to The Encyclopedia Brittanica. Practice what you preach.--- Source: http://news.cnet.com/2100-1038_3-5997332.html
Joe - Somehwere, Ct
It's real sad when you think about it. The song itself has such a somber tone.Harlo - Chicago, Il
This song refers to the times that Bradley would pawn his guitars and Miguel, one of the bands percussionists, would be forced to repay the loan so he could keep the instruments. Bradley could never repay the loans himself because his heavy drug use took nearly every penny he had."What has been sold, not strictly made of stone, just remember that its flesh and bone", i believe refers to the fact that what is sold to the shop, not pawned, will never be bought back by him and to remember that what hes really doing by selling these instruments is taking his flesh and bone.Christian - Huntington Beach, Ca
I imagine what he means simply refers to the non-monetary value of items at a pawn shop because they have been used and cared for by other people before they reach a customers hand. It probably relates to a personal item of his but i do not know whether or not it has to do with selling items for drug money or if that even relates to it. Flesh and Bones is said to represent a lifelike element to whatever is at the pawnshop. That it isnt just an object because it has had value in other senses.Dexter - Grand Rapids, Mi
I feel like none of what you speak matters, the voice is an instrument.Dexter - Grand Rapids, Mi
atlanta GA guy, im pretty sure he says 'and i have heard like dike-a-bird' not flight like a bird, but if anyone knows what that means id love to knowSamantha - Livonia, Mi
i dont want to affend anybody. but sublime was a trio of some fun loving guys. dont you think that some of brads lyrics are exactly what they say they are and that they dont have any hidden meaning beyond what seems to be obvious or common knowledge? i just really dont think brad was the type of guy who thought of his lyrics the way you analyze them patrick from livermore. brad seems like the kinda of guy that may write a song that didnt mean anything more than exactly what the lyrics stated. like garden groveCody - St Joe, Mo
Perhaps even better is the notion that remembering that it's flesh and bone is remembering that what is sold was pawned off in the first place for money, possibly for drugs or for any other hardship, and that which has been sold is a representation of humanities flaws and human nature in general, that it's not just an item but the person attached behind that item and their storyPatrick - Livermore, Ca
Pedro, it does matter where you get your information because credibility-wise, if a source isn't credible then it shouldn't be taken as truth.And by saying "You talk as if you know the most about Sublime. Pshh." Are you saying you do? hypocrite lol. Wikipedia is not a credible source either, any moron can write something, it's only slightly better than a blog or blindly believing some strangers word. Don't silence critical thinking, because that leads to arrogance and ignorance like we see so prevalently in current society. I would have liked to hear a deeper analysis of the lyrics, such as "what has been sold, not made of stone, just remember that it's flesh and bone" possibly referring to the worth of impermanent material goods in the long run, that will fade just like flesh and bone. but who knows to each his ownPatrick - Livermore, Ca
Rachelle, it doesn't matter where we got our information because it's true. Just because you've never heard of it, doesn't mean we're wrong. You talk as if you know the most about Sublime. Pshh. In any case, someone said it up there, it is in some of the documentaries and even Wikipedia.Pedro - Chula Vista, Ca
Yeah this is talking about how he used to pawn his guitars at the peak of his addiction, it says that on Sublime documentaries and even Wikipedia. Plus it's pretty cliche for addicts to get drug money by pawning things, so I think he's singing not only about himself but all the other addicts.Wendie - Houston, Tx
yes it is sad when soome with so much to live for has lost ther life to drugs. but did you ever think that drugs gave them that power to write that song?Briana - Orange, Ca
Brad was supposidly known to pawn the bands instruments for dope money. If you listen close to the lyrics in the middle of the song, "And i have heard, flight like a bird" is a reference to getting high on heroin. Neat huh?Bankhead - Atlanta, Ga
Pawn Shops are a great place to meet quality women...River - Istanbul
This song owns. I feel like putting it on a boom box and strollin' he town whenever i hear it. Great beat, great instrumentation, great everythingDylan - New Britain, Ct
I had a chance at a relationship with a beautiful curly-haired redhead who worked at the (now closed) Cool Cash pawn shop in Eugene, Oregon. Her name was Lydia, and no matter what my current love (named Serena) would like me to think, I could never forget about Lydia.Darrell - Eugene, United States
I can kind of relate to this song since a similar situation occurred in my family (valuables repeatedly pawned for alcohol). Great lyrics, and also a great dub-like groove.Paul - Cincinnati, Oh
It's just all too sad.Serena - Auckland, New Zealand
the truth is that brad nowell did pawn his guitar and also pawned other instruments for money.Juan - Topeka, Kansas, Ky
Where did that come from? Now I am not claiming to be the all-knowing when it comes to Sublime, but I have never heard that he used to pawn his guitar for drug money. Where do you get your knowledge ?Rachelle - Brentwood, Ca