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Love at the Five and Dime

[Nanci Griffith]

Nanci Griffith sang her own song Love at the Five and Dime on her 1985 album Last of the True Believers and on her 1988 live album One Fair Summer Evening.

American Country singer Kathy Mattea sang Love at the Five and Dime on her 1986 album Walk the Way the Wind Blows. The song reached #3 in the Country charts.

Ian Bruce sang Love at the Five and Dime on his 2004 solo album The Naked Truth Volume 2. He noted:

I bought [Nanci Griffith’s album] Last of The True Believers from lan Green’s Discount Folk Records in Edinburgh. He had recommended it. Though still uncertain, I bought it, played it, then went off in search of all her other CDs. Wonderful stuff.

This song has to be amongst her best so I hope I have done it justice. It’s always difficult when the definitive version is already out there but I just love it and have put it no here for my partner Tony. It’s a favourite of his too.

Jon Boden sang Love at the Five and Dime as the 7 November 2010 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day.


Jon Boden sings Love at the Five and Dime

Rita was sixteen years, brown eyes and chestnut hair,
She made the Woolworth counter shine.
Eddie was a sweet romancer, and a darn good dancer
And they’d waltz the aisles of the Five and Dime, and they’d sing …

Chorus (after each verse):
Dance a little closer to me, dance a little closer now,
Dance a little closer tonight.
Dance a little closer to me, it’s closing time
And love’s on sale tonight at this Five and Dime

Eddie played the steel guitar and his mother cried cause he played in the bar
And he kept young Rita out late at night.
So they married up in Abilene, lost a child in Tennessee;
Still that love survived, dancing …

One of the boys in Eddie’s band took a shine to Rita’s hands
So Eddie ran off with the bass man’s wife.
Oh but he was back by June, singin’ a different tune,
Sportin’ Miss Rita back by his side. Singing …

Eddie played in the barroom bands till arthritis took his hands,
So he sells insurance now on the side.
Rita’s got a house to keep, she likes dime store novels of a love so sweet
They waltz to the radio late at night. They still sing …