The Middle Of The Grocery Line

I was milling about the grocery store today when something startled me.

Hey, don’t write yourself off yet

No, it wasn’t only in my head, but I certainly felt left out, as it were. Left out of why Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” was decided as a song meant to soundtrack the most mundane of everyday experiences. Jimmy Eat World were created and inspired as a reaction to the middle class mundane. So what big wig at Stop & Shop thought, yeah, this song would be a perfect match to continue to lull people into their Sunday shopping experiences. How does JEW suddenly fit so perfectly between smooth jazz, the meaningless ramblings of Coldplay, and the usual softish 90s one-hit wonders?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the song… I mean, it’s hard to see who wasn’t when that played constantly for a solid year+ on commercial radio and continues to crop up in the cultural milieu like only a handful of other songs out there. But, there’s something oddly perplexing, perhaps even enlivening about “The Middle” blasting through the droning overhead soundsystem while being cut through with calls for clean ups on isle 9. So often what messages may occur in a song get lost in transmission when spread en mass to the public like “The Middle” and countless songs like it. When you hear it everyday, it’s often hard to notice a song after a while, never mind pick up on the lyrics and what they’re discussing.

But there, amongst the dozens of cereals and boxed foods of some kind or another, rang out a voice that was decidedly different than the usual “don’t pay us any mind” music played in big supermarkets. One that talks about individual choice and doing what you want. And for some reason, that sounded pretty clear through the nascent call for price check near the beginning of the song.

That’s right, nevermind the General Mills and Kellogg’s, it’s not about the cereal out there that defines the individual, but the way they eat it.


…Perhaps it may not have been the best place for that song to play. But, if people hear the words, more power to ’em!

Jimmy Eat World – “The Middle” (video):


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