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Lyr Add: Landlady (Peter Berryman)

DigiTrad:
ARE YOU DRINKING WITH ME, JESUS?
F-WORD (A CHAT WITH YOUR MOTHER)
HERE'S LOUIE WITH THE SPORTS
IF (Dueling Paranoias)
IT'S BETTER THAN THAT
PERENNIAL BEGINNER (F-Chord Song)
SAUERKRAUT (Cleaning the Refrigerator)
SCIENCE MARCHES ON
SQUALOR
WONDERFUL MADISON
YOUR STATE'S NAME HERE


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Charley Noble 29 Nov 04 - 09:38 PM
GUEST,Stuart Thiel 08 Nov 10 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Stuart Thiel 08 Nov 10 - 02:16 PM
Charley Noble 08 Nov 10 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,leeneia 08 Nov 10 - 09:51 PM
Charley Noble 09 Nov 10 - 01:10 PM
Art Thieme 09 Nov 10 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,leeneia 09 Nov 10 - 07:12 PM
Charley Noble 09 Nov 10 - 08:24 PM
Charley Noble 28 Jan 11 - 09:21 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: LANDLADY (Peter Berryman)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 09:38 PM

More notes from the draft Housing Songbook


The rental housing lease ? who could forget their first lease? Like a bill of rights in reverse. Like signing your life away before your life even begins. I remember thinking that some of these clauses must date back to medival times, if not before. Singer-songwriter Peter Berryman from the university town of Madison, Wisconsin, captures the spirit of this experience in one incredible diatribe, to be chanted as rapidly as possible:

^^
LANDLADY

(Words by Peter Berryman © 1980)

You signed your lease, I see,
Before I let you go
You'd better listen to me,
There's some things you ought to know:
Don't stack shit in the hall,
Don't stack shit in the hall;
Keep it in the closet
Or lose your deposit;
And just one thing:
No dogs, no cats,
No snakes, no bats,
No kangaroos, no drinkin' booze,
No marmosets, no cigarettes,
And keep that fridge defrosted,
Oh, keep that fridge defrosted;
Give me the first month's rent
And the last month's rent,
A cleaning deposit and a damage deposit;
It's more for the furniture,
More for the driveway;
No parkin' in the street
And you pay for the heat,
For the lights, for the gas, and cut the grass;
Shovel the snow or out you go;
And keep them baseboards free of dust,
Oh, keep them baseboards free of dust;
No bookshelves of bricks and boards,
And no goddamn extension cords,

And one more thing:
No overnight guests, no sublets,
No kinky sex, no waterbeds;
Don't lose your key 'cause I won't let you in;
Take out the garbage once a week,
Clean them windows till they squeak;
No parties after ten, no children under ten,
No gatherings over ten;
No tacks in the walls, no bikes in the halls;
And lock the doors, and mop the floors;
And one more thing:
I'm comin? over now and then
With a white glove on my hand;
Gonna run it all over your
Windowsill, stovetop, molding, shelving, 'frigerator,
And, if I want, up your tenant's hinder;
Be clean as a church and quiet as a mouse;
It's your home but it's my house;
Rent's due on the 31st;
Might be steep but could be worse;
Break it down and you will see,
I'm a reasonable landlady;
This is all you have to pay:
One thousand eight hundred eighty-two dollars and sixty-five cents
Every day!

Warm regards,
Landlady's Daughter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Landlady (Peter Berryman)
From: GUEST,Stuart Thiel
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 01:59 PM

There's a sung tag:

Landlady, I agree
You have a right to lay your terms on me
But if I have to listen to that kind of speech
I'll move to Tahiti and sleep on the beach!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Landlady (Peter Berryman)
From: GUEST,Stuart Thiel
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 02:16 PM

oops. It's

Landlady, I agree
You have a right to keep your eyes on me
But if I have to listen to that kind of speech
I'll move to Tahiti and sleep on the beach!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Landlady (Peter Berryman)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 04:23 PM

Thanks, Stuart!

Having been a landlady myself for years, I've grown to appreciate this tirade.

Landlady's Daughter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Landlady (Peter Berryman)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 09:51 PM

About the time this was written, I considered attending the university at Madison, Wisconsin (where Peter Berryman lives.)

At that time, the U was surrounded by faded old houses whose lawns were nothing but mud and short weeds. The houses were subdivided to stuff in as many students as possible, and most of them were a color we call 'landlord gray.'

I can easily picture a landlady like the one in the song owning a string of those depressing firetraps.

(I decided not to attend there.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Landlady (Peter Berryman)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 01:10 PM

Leeneia-

Those hovels and their sisters in East Lansing are what triggered my interest in collecting and composing tenant organizing songs.

Landlady's Daughter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Landlady (Peter Berryman)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 05:13 PM

Shortest song I know.

If you've never been in love with a landlady's daughter,
Then you cannot have another piece of pie.

Art


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Landlady (Peter Berryman)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 07:12 PM

Good for you, Charlie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ANN ARBOR TENANT SONG (Kathy Taylor)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 08:24 PM

Leenia-

This is what you missed:

Written by Kathy Taylor © 1971
Tune: traditional Caledoni-o

THE ANN ARBOR TENANT SONG


Come all ye weary tenants, and listen to me song,
I'll sing for ye a verse or two; it's about a familiar wrong –
Of nine poor unfortunates as ever did fall pray
To the injustice of the Establishment and the Ann Arbor screwlords' ways.

Now the place that they had rented was down on old East U.
A wretched old rooming house of a kind well known to you;
But if ye think they were taken in, ye better listen first;
That old rat-hole was bad enough but ye haven't heard the worst.

The fellow that they rented from, an ugly little toad,
Knew all the "ins and outs" of the City Housing Code;
His rents were beyond reason; his lease a legal sham;
His place was a dangerous fire-trap, and he didn't give a damn.

Now being an A-square landlord, he knew just how to lie;
He promised repairs, he promised to clean, he promised the stars in the sky;
But every time the rent fell due the landlord would come and say,
"I'll take care of that tomorrow but I need yer checks today."

About the time the plumbing broke down, the tenants began to fight,
For the upstairs toilet was leaking into the downstairs ceiling light;
Their begging and pleading brought no results, as they came to realize;
So they got their shit together and began to organize.

They told the landlord "No more rent," till he brought the place up to par;
Says he, "I'm up to all yer tricks and this won't get ye far;
I'm suing for eviction, so ye might as well move out;"
And then commenced the battle that I'll now tell ye all about.

The landlord broke into their rooms while the tenants were out one day;
He took the doors off the hinges and he hid them safe away;
And one of the boys had a pistol and a permit if ye please;
The landlord took the pistol too, just to set his mind at ease.

The tenants fought him blow for blow; they knew they had a case;
They bought new doors, they got new locks, and they always locked the place;
But the landlord played the burglar and moved some of their stuff away;
The tenants stole it back that night; it 'twas "cat and mouse" they'd play.

Now the tenants wanted justice so they took the man to court;
But the judges aren't long on justice when yer money's running short;
And the landlord being a law student, he knew just how to proceed;
He obtained the "summary judgment" and evicted eventually.

And now me story's over but before I end me song,
God stay between ye all and the landlords, and preserve ye from this wrong;
Now ye've heard about the "Rent Strike;" I will it may go far;
But take me hint and never rent a room from James G. Farrar.

Warm regards,
Landlady's Daughter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Landlady (Peter Berryman)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 09:21 PM

refresh


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