Pawn Shop

Album: Sublime (1996)
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  • 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.

Comments: 29

  • Jacob Estes from NvBud was a friend, and Nichole was a sister. What does dike-a-bird mean guys?
  • Susie Squeaks from Tucson, AzWhen I here him say about “not strictly stone, but made of flesh and bone” I thought he was talking about diamonds and jewels that are being mined by people as slaves as in blood diamonds and such.
  • Bobbydigs from MiamiI heard that it's not about a pawnshop at all but about prostitution/brothels and what you're buying/panning is women (flesh and bone) and (not stone) meaning to remember its not an inanimate object you're "pawning" aka essentially borrowing for a limited time. Just an interesting take I once heard.
  • Charlie from TampaMan its just a Great song man okay, just a great song,
  • Alh from ClevelandYo sublime is straight trash for this one. There is “inspired by” and there is plagiarism, this is the latter. 100% stole the beat and melody and replaced the lyrics. Like ew, “based on” get the f--k out of here y’all stole that s--t be real about it. I doubt wailing souls gave you permission to completely rip off their song.
  • Dan from MnI personally think this song is Brad talking about pawning his soul away.. Hear me out, I’m not a total loon, these things happen in the industry.
    Any way, I think “not strictly made of stone” is a brief description of pawning something. Hoping that you can get it back, it’s not set in stone. The next line is what describes the fear that comes alongside the hope of getting back something you desperately pawned away. Also what makes me think he is referencing his soul;
    “Just remember that it’s flesh and bone”

    Meaning that you have to choose and consider your mortality, this life; “it”, is contained in “flesh and bone”. It can end, and if the pawn shop still has your precious item... who knows. Hence the foreboding “Just remember”.
    Also the chorus line “Down here at the pawn shop” is six syllables. *shrug* idk if there’s anything there. Strange things do happen in the industry as most people know, but even contracts in blood, which most don’t know.

    A couple corrections, the line is “like dike-a-bird”. Not flight like a bird. So yeah, the whole heroin reference isnt there.
  • Nick from Virginia Beach
  • Pedro from Bentonville ArI'm a fan of all music and I'm aware that many Sublime fans are not fans of the southern rap style chopped and screwed or fans of any hip hop/ rap. But if your open minded enough hear me out. If your PC has a way of slowing down music or "screw" it. Then do it to Pawn Shop. I did it by accident but found it to sound amazing. It might not be for everyone and I'm sure I can't be the only person to have heard this song like that but just wanted to put it out there.
  • Mike from Manchester, NhI 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.
  • Joe from Somehwere, CtI 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:
  • Harlo from Chicago, IlIt's real sad when you think about it. The song itself has such a somber tone.
  • Christian from Huntington Beach, CaThis 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.
  • Dexter from Grand Rapids, MiI 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 from Grand Rapids, MiI feel like none of what you speak matters, the voice is an instrument.
  • Samantha from Livonia, Miatlanta 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 know
  • Cody from St Joe, Moi 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 grove
  • Patrick from Livermore, CaPerhaps 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 story
  • Patrick from Livermore, CaPedro, 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 own
  • Pedro from Chula Vista, CaRachelle, 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.
  • Wendie from Houston, TxYeah 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.
  • Briana from Orange, Cayes 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?
  • Bankhead from Atlanta, GaBrad 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?
  • River from IstanbulPawn Shops are a great place to meet quality women...
  • Dylan from New Britain, CtThis song owns. I feel like putting it on a boom box and strollin' he town whenever i hear it. Great beat, great instrumentation, great everything
  • Darrell from Eugene, United StatesI 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.
  • Paul from Cincinnati, OhI 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.
  • Serena from Auckland, New ZealandIt's just all too sad.
  • Juan from Topeka, Kansas, Kythe truth is that brad nowell did pawn his guitar and also pawned other instruments for money.
  • Rachelle from Brentwood, CaWhere 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 ?
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