Love at the Five and Dime

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"Love at the Five and Dime"
Song by Nanci Griffith from the album The Last of the True Believers
Released 1986
Recorded October 7–9, 1985 at Jack Clement's Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa, Nashville, Tennessee
Genre Folk
Length 4:33
Label Philo
Writer Nanci Griffith
Producer Jim Rooney and Nanci Griffith
"Love at the Five and Dime"
Single by Kathy Mattea
from the album Walk the Way the Wind Blows
Released 1986
Genre Country
Length 3:38
Label Mercury
Writer(s) Nanci Griffith
Producer(s) Allen Reynolds
Kathy Mattea singles chronology
"Heart of the Country"
"Love at the Five and Dime"
"Walk the Way the Wind Blows"

"Love at the Five and Dime" is a song written and originally recorded by Nanci Griffith and later recorded and released by US country music artist Kathy Mattea. Released in 1986, it was the first single by Mattea from the album Walk the Way the Wind Blows. The song was Mattea's breakthrough hit, becoming her first top 10 hit and eventually peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.[1]

The song was featured on Nanci Griffith's album The Last of the True Believers, also released in 1986. The song inspired the album's cover art, which featured a Woolworths store front.[2] In a live version included on One Fair Summer Evening, over an extended introduction, Griffith explains that the recurring 'ting' sound heard in the music is meant to be a representation of the sound of an elevator in a Woolworths store.

Song story[edit]

"Love at the Five and Dime" recounts a love story between a dime store clerk (Rita) and an aspiring steel guitar player (Eddie) over the years. Early on, Eddie's mother disapproves of the relationship because Eddie plays the bars and keeps Rita out very late. Eddie and Rita marry, and their love survives the loss of a child.

At one point the marriage hits a rocky patch as one of Eddie's fellow band members falls for Rita, and Eddie runs off with the a band member's man's wife. It isn't long, however, before Eddie and Rita are back together, having apparently forgiven each other.

The song then shifts to the present. Eddie is now an insurance salesman and retired from the band, due to arthritis. Rita is now a housewife with a part-time job at the dime store.

Throughout the song, two themes reprise themselves: (1) The parallel between Eddie and Rita's relationship and love stories told in dime-store novels; and (2) the couple dancing to and singing along with a song with the lyrics, "Dance a little closer to me, dance a little closer now/Dance a little closer tonight."

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks 3


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 217. 
  2. ^ Last Of The True Believers at, retrieved 2012-01-02