Finders Keepers

Album: Bedroom (2017)
Charted: 8


  • Mabel McVey is a London-based R&B singer-songwriter, who records under the name of Mabel. She is the daughter of recording artist Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack record producer Cameron McVey. This bouncy cut is the lead single from her 2017 debut EP Bedroom.
  • The song is a straight-talking track about hooking up on the dancefloor without commitment.

    I don't need miracles from ya
    Stop going all digital on me
    Don't feel like you need to try and love me
    'Cause I don't need a spiritual journey

    Mabel urges the boy who is showing interest not to overthink things and just go for it – its finders keepers.
  • The song features a guest spot from East London rapper Kojo Funds, whose signature Afrobeat bars sits nicely within the groove of the rhythm.
  • This samples the drums from Lenky's "Diwali Riddim."
  • The video was shot on location in Portugal, ahead of Mabel's first UK headine tour.
  • The old expression finders keepers is based on the very dubious legal grounds that whoever finds something by chance is entitled to keep it. The phrase is sometimes extended as "losers weepers" meaning the person who did not make the find will just have to lament its loss.

    The idea of the expression dates back to ancient times and a variant can be found in the work of the Roman dramatist Plautus.

    Other songs featuring the expression include ones by:

    "Emperor's New Clothes" by Panic! at the Disco ("I'm taking back the crown. I'm all dressed up and naked. I see what's mine and take it. Finders keepers, losers weepers.")

    "Break Your Heart" by Taio Cruz (Whether or not you get it all together then it's finders keepers and losers weepers. See I'm not tryin' to lead you on, no I'm only tryin' to keep it real.)

    "Motivation" by Kelly Rowland ("Make you lose yourself, and finders keepers. It go green light, go Weezy go.")
  • Mabel told the BBC how she wrote the song while trying to kill time as she waited to go to the gym. "I'd booked some dumb exercise class at eight o'clock and it was six - so my brother was like, 'Just get on the piano and see what happens,'" she recalled.

    Forty-five minutes later, she'd penned her first solo hit. "It's amazing," Mabel said. "I just wanted to make something fun for me and my friends."
  • Mabel's intention for the track was to balance out the male-dominated narrative of R&B. "There's so many R&B songs where guys are talking about a clingy girl, like: 'I don't want a girlfriend and this girl's so clingy and blah blah blah,'" she said. "But I'm a woman and I've been in situations that have been the reverse of that, so I wanted to tell that story."


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