Behind the Counter


They're always hitting on me
But I'm getting thin
From waiting on
They just want me to be

Behind the counter

The hen centre (1)
Was always picking on me
There they are tucking in all over shop
Got no time
For dinner or tea

Behind the counter
Every car I see
Is always picking on me
They take a left turn when I cross, guaranteed
They park on the pavement
Some have paid parks on the pavement

I say "Wait sir, wait sir,
You'd better wait sir"

I'm getting thin
From idiots who write rock books
Ex-groups cold would've played this
"For Nose Pin and the Punk Piggies (2)
Didn't quite make it," they say
Get behind the counter
The other side of the counter

Chill it, boy

The other side of the counter


1. "Hen" is sometimes used as a slang term for a fussy or nosy old woman, and that may have something to do with the lyric here. ^

2. This is an odd way for MES to portray himself being portrayed; his scorn for any band that such a name could fit would surely be at least as heavy as would be that of the rock writers he is complaining about here.  ^

Comments (1)

  • 1. dannyno | 30/04/2017
From interview with Simon Price, 18 December 1993, p.8:

MES on shopping and consumer choice (the apparent subject of "Behind The Counter").

"I'm a very instinctive shopper. Are you? Where are you from? Wales? Have you heard of Arthur Machen, the writer? He's from down there. No one from Wales has ever heard of him. Stephen King ripped off everything from him. I used to be into horror fiction as a teenager.

"Shopping's different where I live. People are being told about stuff that they don't really need. In Manchester people are so fucking stupid. You get women who see some chocolate or Cosmetics To Go, and they're on the fucking dole, but they think they have to have it, so they buy it, then they never use it! The streets are packed with people in a trance, gazing in shop windows at stuff they can't afford. I just know what I want - I don't care what it costs - and I get it. And if, after going into a few shops, you can't find it, it's time to go 'ome. What I hate is when you go out, you'll stand next to some fucking cunt in a bar, and he'll look at your leather shoes (displays shiny but distinctly unstylish lace-ups and go 'Yuppie!' And he's got fucking trainers on that cost 10 times more than your shoes! He's wearing a baseball hat worth more than my jacket, a Swatch watch worth more than mine, and I'm the yuppie?!"

The lyrical relevance of this is not immediately obvious, but maybe it tells us something about what was in MES's head at the time.

It does seem either that MES is putting himself as an artist in the metaphorical role of shopkeeper, or accusing others of doing this to themselves.

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