Historical and Contemporary Romance Author

Music Monday: Love at the Five and Dime by Nanci Griffith

I don’t remember how I discovered Nanci Griffith. I know I was in graduate school at The University of Chicago at the time and the proud owner of my first CD player, and that Griffith’s live album, One Fair Summer Evening, was one of the first CDs I purchased. But I can’t for the life of me recall who told me about her or how I first heard her music.

This is one of my absolute favorite songs from that album, and it feel appropriate to post it this week, as I shared this song with my husband shortly after we met 23 years ago Saturday (our 22nd wedding anniversary was 22 years ago Friday). He says, “That’s when I knew this was serious.”

Love At The Five And Dime
Copyright Nanci Griffith, 1986

Rita was sixteen years… hazel eyes and chestnut hair
She made the Woolworth counter shine
Eddie was a sweet romancer, and a darn good dancer
They’d waltz the aisles of the five and dime

They’d sing, “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 mama cried ‘cuz he played in the bars
And kept young Rita out late at night
So, they married up in Abilene… lost a child in Tennessee
Still, that love survived


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
And sportin’ Miss Rita back by his side


Eddie traveled with the barroom bands… till arthritis took his hands
Now he sells insurance on the side
Rita’s got a house to keep… dime store novels and a love so sweet
They dance to the radio late at night


[Repeat 1st verse]

They’d waltz the aisles of the five and dime
They’d waltz the aisles of the five and dime

I also lucked out and found the video recording of the performance she did of this song at the concert where One Fair Summer Evening was recorded. This has a pretty long introduction about Woolworth stores that I simply adore, and it’s well worth listening to the whole thing. Trust me on this, Griffith is wonderful!

No Comments

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.