Queen of the Supermarket

Album: Working on a Dream (2009)


  • Springsteen told the Observer Music Monthly January 2009 the story behind this song, which concerns a man pining over a check out girl. He explained: "They opened up this big, beautiful supermarket near where we lived. Patti and I would go down, and I remember walking through the aisles - I hadn't been in one in a while - and I thought this place is spectacular... it's a fantasy land! And then I started to get into it. I started looking around and hmmm - the subtext in here is so heavy! It's like, 'Do people really want to shop in this store or do they just want to screw on the floor?'" [laughs]

    Springsteen added: "In the States they're sort of shameless, the bounty in them is overflowing. So the sexual subtext in the supermarket; well, perhaps, it's just twisted me."
    Springsteen concluded: "I'm telling you, it's there! So I came home, said: 'Wow, the supermarket is fantastic, it's my new favorite place. And I'm going to write a song about it!' If there's a supermarket and all these things are there, well, there has to be a queen. And if you go there, of course there is. There's millions of them, so it's kind of a song about finding beauty where it's ignored or where it's passed by."
  • This song marks a rare example of Springsteen dropping an F-bomb in a lyric: "I turn back for a moment and catch a smile that blows this whole f--king place apart."

Comments: 9

  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny*** 'With my shopping cart I move through the heart of a sea of fools so blissfully unaware' ***
    On June 4th 1939, grocer Sylvan Goldman of Oklahoma City mounted wheels on a folding chair and thus the first shopping cart made its appearance...
    Also; with the song "Reno" he doesn't drop the F-word but he certainly refers to it ('Two hundred dollars straight in, Two-fifty up the ???')...
  • Max from Beaverton, OrAlso Rob, F-bomb in LONG TIME COMIN':
    "I Reach 'neath your shirt, lay my hands across your belly
    And feel another one kickin' inside
    I ain't gonna **** it up this time"

    Q ot S is one of Bruce's worst. Each album has to have this amazing range from Genius to absolute drivel. My iTunes Springsteen library is 222 songs, but this is not one of them.
  • Laura from Bracknell, United KingdomI can Rob, the early bird catches the f**kin' worm. From 'My best was never good enough' on the Ghost of Tom Joad album.
  • Rob from Woodstock, GaIs this the only song in which Bruce drops the F-Bomb? I can't think of any other
  • Will from Schoolcraft, Miholy crap, how does this song even remotely stand up to Mary Queen of Arkansas, dude?

    am i the only one who finds this song to be cheesier than a seven layer quesadilla.
  • Scott from Sydney, AustraliaThe thing about the F-bomb: Because he so rarely uses it, it becomes so much more powerful and real when he does use it.
  • Matt from Ft. Lauderdale, FlBest song on 'Working On A Dream"! Love the F Bomb! The Boss Rules!
  • Nancy from Winnipeg, MbLOVE the authentic supermarket scanner sounds at the end of the song! Cool, whimsical tune...
  • Marty from Mount Vernon, Iathis song harkens back to springsteens early songs like Mary Queen of Arkansas or does this bus stop at 82nd street. Great song.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & TearsSongwriter Interviews

The longtime BS&T frontman tells the "Spinning Wheel" story, including the line he got from Joni Mitchell.

Black SabbathFact or Fiction

Dwarfs on stage with an oversize Stonehenge set? Dabbling in Satanism? Find out which Spinal Tap-moments were true for Black Sabbath.

Album Cover InspirationsSong Writing

Some album art was at least "inspired" by others. A look at some very similar covers.

"Stairway To Heaven" Lawsuit: A TimelineSong Writing

Untangling the events that led to the "Stairway To Heaven" lawsuit.

Don Brewer of Grand FunkSongwriter Interviews

The drummer and one of the primary songwriters in Grand Funk talks rock stardom and Todd Rundgren.

Glen BurtnikSongwriter Interviews

On Glen's résumé: hit songwriter, Facebook dominator, and member of Styx.