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Don't send in a reso to do a J-35's job....


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A couple of weeks ago I posted a video of a new song, "The Eviction Notice Blues," but something about the song bugged me. Actually, several things about it bugged me, but the main thing was the song was trying to say and do too much.


I was sitting on the beach in Sri Lanka last week and started re-thinking the song. We were there for a week and I took my Republic reso with me (it is indestructible so good for traveling) but the song just wasn't coming. The minute we got home, I pulled the J-35 out and the new version came out, like a dam being burst. Or like diarrhea. Either way, there was a lot of clean-up and editing involved afterwards. This is a song meant for a Gibson slope dread, and I was silly to think it wasn't.


I started over, with only the title, and wrote from a perspective I understand (up to a point) but don't agree with. The protagonist is a guy in a poor and predominately white neighborhood in Milwaukee. He's afraid if he falls any further down the ladder, the only place he can afford to live is in a predominately black neighborhood. (The article that inspired the first version of the song said the biggest fear whites in the study had was that they'd have to live in a black neighborhood.) The guy thinks that because he doesn't wear a white sheet, he isn't racist, but he is. He'll be in debt forever and he doesn't have the skills or education to improve his lot in life. He thinks others have it easier than he does. Coming from the rural Midwest and having lived in the cities, I've known plenty of folks like him.




And the new lyrics:

The Eviction Notice Blues

© 2017 by David Hanners


This neighborhood thrived after the Second World War

Now worn-out duplexes and corner stores

Whites afraid they'll wind up in Metcalfe Park

Places we don't go after dark


Crazies in white sheets on TV

That's not my wife and that's not me

We're not racist, just don't wanna live around

The blacks and foreigners taking over this town

Blacks and foreigners taking over this town


Wanted what our parents had, just more

Then they busted our unions, shipped our jobs offshore

'Tween the Greatest Generation and right now

Working man lost a lot of ground somehow


Still paying off the emergency room

If you get sick, better be a tycoon

Debt so deep there's no daylight

But I'm past where it keeps me up at night

Past the point it keeps me up at night


Water pump's whining and it's gonna go

Replaced the fan clutch couple weeks ago

Can't take it in, not this week

Paycheck barely covers rent and gasoline


Sonny next door, maybe he can take a look

Knows a Detroit motor like a teacher knows a book

Mountain Dew mouth, jailhouse tattoos

An ex-con running from the eviction notice blues

We're all running from the eviction notice blues

We're all just running from the eviction notice blues

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I still can't see the songs performance - something wrong with this old apple I suspect. Interesting tenant you pose here - writing songs takes on a certain flavor or direction depending upon what is sitting in your lap. The lyric and topic of this song seem like a multi- faceted challenge, in my mind much more suited to a slope than a reso.

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