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Aisle of Plenty

This song is by Genesis and appears on the album Selling England by the Pound (1973).

"I don't belong here"
Said old Tessa out loud
"Easy, love
There's the safe way home"

Thankful for her fine fair discount
Tess co-operates
Still alone in o-hell-o
See the deadly nightshade grow

English ribs of beet cut town to 47p lb
Peek Freans Family assorted from 17 1/2p to 12p
Fairy Liquid Giant - slashed from 20p to 17 1/2p
Table jellys at 4p each
Anchor butter down to 11p for a 1/2p
Bird's Eye dairy cream sponge on offer this week

It's scrambled eggs


Aisle of Plenty

...Tess Co-operates (1)

Still alone in o-hell-o (2)

- see the deadly nightshade grow (3)

...Its Scrambled Eggs. (4)

(1)"Thankful for her fine fair discount, Tess co-operates...." At the time, Fine Fare was a major grocery store chain in the UK, and both Tesco and the Co-op (The Co-operative Group) were, and still are, names of grocery stores. The name "Tessa" is chosen for a pun. Tesco was actually named after a woman called Tess, the wife of the founder of the grocery store. Puns to suggest the English, major supermarkets: Safeway - Home Stores - Fine Fare - Tesco - Coop.

(2) o-hell-o: hello to salute and hell for the inferno. For the old fashioned Tessa, the world of the modern supermarkets is like a hell, but this might come from the salute (hello) of supermarket's director.

(3) The deadly night shades suggest the walls of products in the aisles of the supermarket that she cannot trust in.

(4) In "Foxtrot" there is an unanswered question. What was for supper in "Supper's Ready"? "It's scrambled eggs", do Genesis merrily answer on this album.

One meaning seems to be an homage to Paul McCartney and the Beatles, especially interesting since much of SEBTP is about the "yesterday" of England. One of McCartney's greatest songs, covered by a record number of artists, is the poignant ballad "Yesterday". McCartney conceived the melody in a dream, (coupled with the lyric "Scrambled Eggs / Oh my darling you've got lovely legs") and was not sure for some time that it was original. It was referred to as "Scrambled Eggs" until the title was solidified. Another bit of interest is the idea of eggs as people. Egg heads:

1907, "bald person," from egg (n.) + head. Sense of "intellectual" is attested from 1918, among Chicago newspapermen; popularized by U.S. syndicated columnist Stewart Alsop in 1952 in ref. to Adlai Stevenson's presidential campaign. This was first used in 1952 to describe presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson. The word essentially meant that all intellectuals have heads shaped like eggs, such as higher beings like aliens.

In the slang of the United States, egghead was an anti-intellectual epithet, directed at people considered too out-of-touch with ordinary people and too lacking in realism, common sense, virility, etc. on account of their intellectual interests. The term egghead reached its peak currency during the 1950s, when vice-presidential candidate Richard Nixon used it against Democratic Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson. It was used by Clinton advisor Paul Begala in the 2008 presidential campaign to describe Senator Barack Obama's supporters when he said, "Obama can't win with just the eggheads and African-Americans." The term is rarely used, having been replaced in U.S. politics by other anti-intellectual epithets and socially by terms such as elitist, nerd and geek.

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning historical essay on American anti-intellectualism, historian Richard Hofstadter wrote: "During the campaign of 1952, the country seemed to be in need of some term to express that disdain for intellectuals which had by then become a self-conscious motif in American politics. The word egghead was originally used without invidious associations, but quickly assumed them, and acquired a much sharper tone than the traditional highbrow. Shortly after the campaign was over, Louis Bromfield, a popular novelist of right-wing political persuasion, suggested that the word might some day [sic] find its way into dictionaries as follows:

"Egghead: A person of spurious intellectual pretensions, often a professor or the protégé of a professor. Essentially confused in thought and immersed in mixture of sentimentality and violent evangelism. A doctrinaire supporter of Middle-European socialism as opposed to Greco-French-American ideas of democracy and liberalism. Subject to the old-fashioned philosophical morality of Nietzsche which frequently leads him into jail or disgrace. A self-conscious prig, so given to examining all sides of a question that he becomes thoroughly addled while remaining always in the same spot. An anemic bleeding heart."

'The recent election,' Bromfield remarked, 'demonstrated a number of things, not the least of them being the extreme remoteness of the 'egghead' from the thought and feeling of the whole of the people'" (Anti-Intellectualism in American Life [New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1963], pp. 9-10).

In their Dictionary of American Slang (1960; 2nd supplemented ed. 1975), Harold Wentworth and Stuart Berg Flexner cite two earlier meanings of egghead, one referring to baldness, the other to stupidity. Wentworth and Flexner note that the meaning under discussion here was during presidential campaign of 1952 when the supporters of Adlai Stevenson, Democratic candidate, were called eggheads. Thus originally the term carried the connotation of 'politically minded' and 'liberal'; today its application is more general. May have originated in ref. to the high forehead of Mr. Stevenson or of the pop. image of an academician"

So...what would scrambled egg-heads be?

Think back to the lost children in the song Supper's Ready and the imagery of seeds and eggs being compared. Could Scrambled Eggs be all those who are confused by all of the rapid changes caused by an oscillating economy, development, and hardcore advertising? Are their minds not scrambled by all the different signals being transmitted?

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