"Shoplifter" as written by and Billie Joe/wright Iii Armstrong....
Shoplifter, you'll never learn
When you commit the crime
Shoplifter, you're getting burned
And now you gotta do the time

It's a one two three on the felony
Well, not everything is free
Now that you served the community
It's the life of a petty thief

It's not considered stealing
Unless you're getting caught
But it isn't called stealing
Tryin' to take something you haven't got

Shoplifter, you'll never learn
What lies behind your back
Not a burglar or a bank robber
Just a kleptomaniac

It's not considered stealing
Unless you're getting caught
But Jimmy caught stealing
Tryin' to take something you haven't got

Shoplifter, you'll never learn
When you commit the crime
Shoplifter, you're gettin' burned
And now you gotta do the time
Oh, now you gotta do the time
Oh, now you gotta do some time


Lyrics submitted by Alucard, edited by Jackpothead

"Shoplifter [Non-Album Track]" as written by Frank E. Michael Pritchard

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Shoplifter song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI think it's about St. Jimmy (aka the Jesus of Surburbia) having to steal things to survive on the streets.
    Ganonx321on April 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this one is self-explanatory. It's a pretty good song.
    juffon October 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentpost the correct lyrics:
    ------------------------------------
    Shoplifter, you'll never learn
    When you commit the crime
    Shoplifter, you're getting burned
    And now you gotta do the time

    It's a 1 2 3 on the felony
    Well not everything is free
    Now that you've served the community
    It's the life of a petty thief

    It's not considered stealing
    Unless you're getting caught
    But you've been caught stealing
    Tryin' to take something you haven't got

    Shoplifter, you'll never learn
    What lies behind your back
    Not a burgler or a bankrobber
    But a kleptomaniac

    It's not considered stealing
    Unless you're getting caught
    But you've been caught stealing
    Tryin' to take something you haven't got

    Shoplifter, you'll never learn
    When you commit the crime
    Shoplifter, you're getting burned
    And now you gotta do the time
    And now you gotta do the time
    And now you gotta do some time
    ---------------------------------------
    if anyone has any other correction please correct where needed
    nvc-on October 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcorrected version up now, sorry about the wrong lyrics before
    Alucardon November 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentis it me, or is the melody behind

    It's not considered stealing
    Unless you're getting caught
    But you've been caught stealing
    Tryin' to take something you haven't got

    VERY VERY familiar? I can't put a finger on where I've heard it before....
    orang55on December 02, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI heard that this song had relation to the rest of the "American Idiot" story. It's about how Jesus of Suburbia and Jimmy have to steal things to get by when they are living on the streets.
    littleermingdudeon December 22, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlittleermingdude is right about this song, it's about how when Jesus of Suburbia has taken on the identity of rebellious St. Jimmy, he has to steal.
    fruitonpieon December 31, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentorang55,
    It sounded familiar to me too. I think the line "Tryin to take something you haven't got" has the same melody as "For blood, sex, and booze you give me." However, I don't have my iPod with me right now so I'm not sure. I agree with fruitonpie as to the meaning.
    Vivienneon January 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlittle correction:

    Shoplifter, you'll never learn
    What lies behind your back
    Not a burgler or a bankrobber
    JUST a kleptomaniac

    Nyways...not something big...
    green_day_FREAKon March 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song sounds like it was originally part of Homecoming on the American Idiot. Apparently, Homecoming was supposed to be 10 minutes long, and it falls just short. It probably went in between The Death of St. Jimmy and East 12th Street, because in E 12th St., Jimmy/Jesus is caught for doing something, and it would definitely complete the story.
    Anyways...I kinda like this song. It's not great, but it's catchy and the lyrics are funny.
    amazinagain2005on March 31, 2005   Link

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