Mobile Life

by Lisa Fierstein

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"Mobile Life" was written by Lisa Fierstein as a final project for her Material Culture class in the American Studies Department at Skidmore College. The song is inspired by two works of art in the Classless Society exhibit at the Tang Teaching Museum, "Roller Roaster" by Cris Bruch and "The Reunion" by Tina Barney. The song explores the nature of shopping carts, a material object that has evolved as a symbol of the homeless. The song also comments on the cycle of turbo-consumption and how our class determines what we have access to in society. Through her song, Lisa creates a dialogue between the two contrasting works of art—what the two works would say to each other if they could speak.

Learn more about the Classless Society exhibit here:


Mobile Life
by Lisa Fierstein

Shopping cart left on the side of the street
Rusty pots and pans
Dangling by the wheels
You said that you would return it
But you just needed to survive
You sir, committed a victimless crime

What you’re gonna buy is
Who you’re gonna be and
Who you’re gonna be is
What they’re gonna see

Faceless stranger roaming around with a cart
Their day begins and ends
Before it even starts
There is an ongoing cycle
The impulse to work, spend, buy
While others don’t have the means to thrive

What you’re gonna buy is
Who you’re gonna be and
Who you’re gonna be is
What they’re gonna see

All of you
In black dresses and pearls
You might see dirty faces
But these faces have stories
That need to be heard


released May 4, 2014
Lyrics by Lisa Fierstein
Composed by Lisa Fierstein and Danny Pravder
Vocals by Lisa Fierstein
Piano by Danny Pravder
Recorded by George Dilthey in the Skidmore College Grossman Recording Studio
Produced by Ian Bakerman
Cover photo by Jennifer Hoffer



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Lisa Fierstein Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Lisa Fierstein is a jazzy lady.

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