I’m all lost in the supermarket
I can no longer shop happily
I came in here for the special offer
A guaranteed personality
I wasn’t born so much as I fell out
Nobody seemed to notice me
We had a hedge back home in the suburbs
Over which I never could see
I heard the people who lived on the ceiling
Scream and fight most scarily
Hearing that noise was my first ever feeling
That’s how it’s been all around me
I’m all tuned in I see all the programmes
I save coupons from packets of tea
I’ve got my giants hit discoteque album
I empty a bottle I feel a bit free
I kick through halls and the pipes in the walls
Making noises for company
Long distance callers make long distance calls
And the silence makes me lonely

☛ The Clash (1979). “Lost In The Supermarket“, written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, album London Calling.

Among the many striking lyrics in the song “Lost In The Supermarket” is the line “I wasn’t born so much as I fell out”. It is reminiscient of the way Kaspar Hauser, in Werner Herzog’s movie The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974), recount his experience of “coming into the world,” down to how it relates to language:

He is outside of language and outside of difference. Much later, after acceding to subjectivity, Kaspar describes his entry into the symbolic order as a “terrible fall”; a fall from plenitude into difference, from all-inclusiveness into a partitioned world. (read more)

In the song by The Clash, language and communication also play a central role: “making noise for company” in order to evade the feeling of loneliness induced by silence (the noise that is the primordial feeling).

Photo of  bassist Paul Simonon smashing his guitar on stage, September 20, 1979
Photo by Pennie Smith taken during a show at the Palladium in New York City September 20, 1979. Used for the album cover of ‘London Calling’ released on Dec. 14, 1979.

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