Clean Up On Aisle Five

Album: Behind This Guitar (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • If you spend enough time in a grocery store, you inevitably hear the announcement, "clean up on aisle..." meaning there is a spill that needs immediate attention. In this song, Mo Pitney encounters an ex-lover in the grocery store, and he becomes a metaphorical mess, as he's not over her and might not ever be.
  • Pitney wrote this song with Wil Nance, whose credits include "Round About Way" by George Strait and "She's Everything" by Brad Paisley. Nance came up with the title.
  • The story of seeing an old lover in a grocery store is familiar to those who know the 1981 Dan Fogelberg song "Same Old Lang Syne," and that's what Wil Nance had in mind when he started writing it. Pitney was born in 1993 though, so he didn't know the song - Nance played it for him at their session.
  • When Wil Nance came up with the title, he brought it to a songwriting session with other writers, but they imagined it as a jocose song performed tongue-in-cheek. Pitney heard it as "sad and slow," so they wrote an earnest and sensitive song about heartbreak.
  • The 2005 Lee Ann Womack song "Last Time" was an inspiration on this track. In our interview with Mo Pitney, he explained: "The song is about losing a guy at a fairground, and I wanted a heartbreak song that didn't have to do with a girl cleaning out her closet or slamming the front door and leaving because I wasn't really living through that at the time."
  • Pitney got a standing ovation when he performed this song at the Grand Ole Opry on June 20, 2014. "It took me about a week to come off that feeling," he said.

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