Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Queen of the Supermarket": Bruce Springsteen

This is from Bruce Springsteen's latest album, Working on a Dream, and it already has some co-op world aficionados. For a more critical view, go to the blog of Black Eyed Dog.

I am so used to seeing – and creating – a supermarket (read: food co-op) in the image of my idealism (the 7 International Cooperative Principles) that I don't have visions of WalMart when I hear the song. Instead, it reminds me of the wonderful people who work the front end at Bloomingfoods and other locally-grown cooperative grocery stores. (Want to start your own food co-op, with the help of your friends? Go to Food Co-op 500 for a how-to kit!)

I just found more negative criticism of the song, making me wonder if it doesn't find its source in the less-than-happy shopping experiences that are routine for most people. It's true: the typical trip to the supermarket, especially to a Big Box store, can be pretty grim. But travel instead to Outpost Natural Foods in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; or Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op; Community Food Co-op in Bozeman, Montana; Weavers Street Market in Carrboro and Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Lakewinds Natural Foods in Minnesota; Wheatsville Food Co-op in Austin Texas; Cook County Whole Foods Co-op in Grand Marais, Minnesota; Lost River Community Co-op in Paoli Indiana; or any of the other stores in the co-op network, and you'll find a world alive with great food, music, artisan energy, and a continuum of radiant community connections. You could even say we are "working on a dream."

I was going to post a YouTube video of the song, but the ones I found are filled with really ugly images of trips to uninspired grocery stores. I'll wait until something more creative is available. I'm guessing it will come from the co-op world, where more effort goes into the creation of human scale stores. Here is a picture of our original Bloomingfoods, in an old carriage house in the alley off Kirkwood Avenue in Bloomington, Indiana. It's still in business, after 33 years!

Queen of the Supermarket

There's a wonderful world where all you desire
And everything you've longed for is at your fingertips
Where the bittersweet taste of life is at your lips
Where aisles and aisles of dreams await you
And the cool promise of ecstasy fills the air
At the end of each working day she's waiting there

I'm in love with the Queen of the Supermarket
As the evening sky turns blue
A dream awaits in aisle number two

With my shopping cart I move through the heart
Of a sea of fools so blissfully unaware
That they're in the presence of something wonderful and rare
The way she moves behind the counter
Beneath her white apron her secret remains hers
As she bags the groceries her eyes so bored
And sure she's unobserved

I'm in love with the Queen of the Supermarket
There's nothing I can say
Each night I take my groceries and I drift away
And I drift away…

1 comment:

hoping for better things said...

Don't have much to say except just I'd never heard the song before and I LOVE IT! (OK, still haven't heard it, just read the lyrics here but still, I LOVE IT!)

Thanks for sharing various gems, dear Elenabella.

Love, you know who