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"The Eviction Notice Blues"


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Came up with a new one, although in the video, I'm using my Republic reso, not my J-35. This is kind of a first draft of "The Eviction Notice Blues," and the song is still finding itself tempo and attitude-wise. I wrote the song after reading a review of "Evicted," a new book by sociologist Matthew Desmond. It is about the epidemic of evictions, particularly in the cities -- in this case, he studied eight people in Milwaukee. While people have always gotten evicted, the economy has quickened the pace, plus, landlords and others have discovered there's money to be made off evictions. And people can be evicted through no fault of their own. Desmond writes of a woman who was evicted because she called 911 after her boyfriend beat her up. Not only was she a victim of domestic abuse, but because she called the cops to report the crime, she became homeless.


I borrowed a couple of Desmond's people and used a few other details from the review.


Still trying to decide how the song needs to be performed. And no doubt there will be more rewriting. I'm not sure I give these characters enough humanity, and that's something I want to do.




Here are the lyrics:


The Eviction Notice Blues

© 2017 by David Hanners


Arleen's got a job but she'll never earn enough

Dwayne is unemployed and sometimes drinks too much

Arleen called the cops one night when she tired of Dwayne's abuse

Next day the landlord handed her the eviction notice blues


There's a plague in the cities, you know what I'm talking about

Poor black men get locked up, poor black women get locked out

Trickle down never made it past Fifth Avenue

Here, the sheriff's handing out eviction notice blues


Paint's peeling, there's no heat, plumbing is Third World

Shining City on the Hill looks a little blurred

Streets are a time bomb we never will defuse

Landlords set the timer on the eviction notice blues


Streets of sagging duplexes, corner stores, faded signs

'Though Heroin Susie's clean for weeks she still pays for her crime

When you're always starting over you're always gonna lose

Packs all she owns in Hefty bags with the eviction notice blues


This trailer park was something back in 1964

Now driveways filled with rusted cars of the young, the white, the poor

They fear they'll wind up living where the black folks do

But they can't outrun the landlord with the eviction notice blues

They voted for a conman who gave 'em enemies to boo

He's just another landlord handing out eviction notice blues

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As opposed to a sound file , or a badly framed video I would think


Can't beat a video with guitar and chord shapes in full view


Yeah. I guess that's a plus. Sort of like going to YouTube to see "Journey" play a song, and all you get is on old photograph of them for 4 minutes.

I always click those off. That's the point of YouTube - otherwise, I'd just listen to them on YouTunes.

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Just wow. Nice job.


I've spent a fair amount of time walking around that city, and yes, they have a serious problem. I would never write a song about that, I admire your courage and your restraint, coulda been all kindsa politics and stuff.



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I like this alot, David! Can't see that it needs much tweaking, but you'll figure it out later, if it does.

I lived in MKE for 5-6 years, back in the early '80's, when "trickle down" first entered the vernacular. I can still see genious-boy David Stockton's dumb mug on the cover of Time magazine...

Great song!

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