Is “Queen of the Supermarket” The Worst Springsteen Song Ever?

Scott Lapatine | January 27, 2009 - 4:49 pm

Darkness On The Edge of Town is great, I’ve been listening to it a lot this week. But that’s a post for another day (later this year, when the album gets reissued). Instead we should consider Working On A Dream, because that hits stores today and you’ll be watching a performance of the title track on Superbowl Sunday. Some reviewers say the Boss’s 16th studio album is “classic” (that’s what 5 stars in Rolling Stone means), but most are not that kind. What critics around the country do agree upon, however, is that track #4 is the worst song Springsteen has ever written.

“Queen Of The Supermarket” is a hokey ode to the girl behind the checkout counter at the grocery store.

With my shopping cart I move through the heart
Of a sea of fools so blissfully unaware
That they’re in the presence of something wonderful and rare
The way she moves behind the counter
Beneath her white apron her secret remains hers

This is a sampling of the critical response:

“The worst song Bruce Springsteen has ever written.”
Detroit News

“At the 3:00 mark, it accidentally turns into a Meatloaf song.”
Blender

“Removes this record from consideration as one of the best releases of his career.”
Chicago Tribune

“Unintentionally ludicrous.”
San Jose Mercury News

“Unbelievably melodramatic … sounds like someone doing a Springsteen parody.”
Orlando Sentinel

“Might be the worst song Springsteen has ever released.”
Philadelphia Inquirer

“May be the worst thing he’s ever written.”
Pitchfork

Can it really be that bad? I investigated via YouTube, where one inspired fan has used the song to score footage of a grocery store. Always a good idea.

Yeah, it’s pretty bad. What’s for dinner?

Working On A Dream is out now on Columbia.