"Man In the Corner Shop" as written by and Paul John Weller....
Puts up the closed sign does the man in the corner shop
Serves his last then he says goodbye to him
He knows it is a hard life
But it's nice to be your own boss really
Walks off home does the last customer
He is jealous of the man in the corner shop
He's sick of working at the factory
Says it must be nice to be your own boss, really

La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la

Sells cigars to the boss from the factory
He is jealous of the man in the corner shop
He is sick of struggling so hard
Says it might be nice to own a factory

Go to church do the people from the area
All shapes and classes sit and pray together
For here they are all one
For God created all men equal

La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la

Go to church do the people from the area
Go to church do the people from the area
Go to church do the people from the area
For God created all men equal, they know
That God created all men equal, they know
That God created all men equal, they know
That God created all men equal, they know
That God created all men equal, they know

La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la...


Lyrics submitted by planetearth

"Man in the Corner Shop" as written by Paul John Weller

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Man In the Corner Shop song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentAside from some of the most awesome slow guitar riffs in rock, this song is an expression of the Jam's left-leaning politics--the comparison of the factory worker (proletarian) to the corner shop owner (petit bourgeoisie) and then to the owner of the factory (grand bourgeoisie) is focused on socio-economic class hierarchy while the contrasting reference to church is an ironic reference to the egalitarian pretentions of religion--god may have created all men equal, but here we have three stratified social classes--in two verses.
    MikeBCon March 09, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is a great Jam song, and one of the highlights off of "sound affects" so im surprised no one has commented. The lyrics are pretty simple, and mostly i think about everybody wanting what someone else has. The only especially interesting thing is probably the turn around of the phrase "god created all mean equal," which in this case doesn't refer to equal rights, but rather to the idea that all sorts of people essentially act the same way. The factory worker wants to be his own boss, while the man in the corner shop wants to work in a factory. Everybody is equal in that they want something that someone else has, regardless of their social status.
    a10dency2askon December 15, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti agree the lyrics are very conversational for Paul Weller around this period. this is my favourite 'slow' Jam song; just love that melancholic refrain!
    Boss Manon July 21, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI suppose everyone has noticed the strength of the lyrics in this day and and age. This country has a huge problem with integration/segregation. This piece of genius by weller identifies all religions/mans desire to be better. When he states all the people from the area pray together .............whats the difference we are all men......take a bow weller at his best here.
    kurtskillenon November 22, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentlovely, understated and proof that a power 3 piece can be versatile without having to add instruments for the sake of it
    sivillaon December 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou have all got it wrong the song actually is an anti racism song the man in the corner shop refers to a person of asian descent who owns his own business the factory worker is jealous of the man because he is not english. This was a very typical situation that arose in the 70s and 80s where corner shop owners had to endure racism towards them. MikeBC you use all those posh words but say nothing. Weller would not be impressed.
    ngboothron April 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment'He is jealous IS the man in the corner shop'. Not 'jealous OF' . Whole dynamic of the lyric changes. Worker in the factory wants to own a corner shop, corner shop owner wants to own a factory, factory owner smokes cigars. Fabulous social commentary, still valid 40years later, was probably valid 40years earlier. Almost brings a tear to my eye, could be sentimentality though ;-).
    Snogleton December 07, 2016   Link

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