Peter Hammill

The Great European Department Store

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It's a triumph, material triumph
mass consumption and conformity.
Down in hardware, the shelves are stacked up
with the latest line in luxury.
The perfume counter has make-up ladies
all immaculately make-believe;
they sell you lifestyle package
and you'd better buy, because you're never going to leave.
Nations of shoppers consume in a frenzy
the security of branded names;
they're fighting in the food hall
for exotic vegetables and fruit, eco-friendly game.
It doesn't matter which currency you use
becasue they're all exactly the same.

And it's all on offer, everything's on offer
multi-national door-to-door
in the Great European Department Store.

It's on offer, it's all on offer, you can pack it flat to take away:
Scottish heather to Spanish leather,
German turniip to Dutch weather-vane.
If you've got the money the door's wide open,
they are only here to pamper you.
The ethnic art room has plundered several continents
to decorate your living room.
It doesn't matter which credit card you use
or if you even sign your real name
because they're all exactly the same.

And it's all on offer, guaranteed natural, quality control assured
in the Great European Department Store.
Hey, let's shop; let's go!

In the Great European Department Store....

Ooh, the shopping's something shocking now;
ooh, will the shopping neve stop
in the Great European Department Store?

In the Great European Department Store.

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