Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pearl District Blues

An urbanist satire of Tom T. Hall's immortal "Subdivision Blues", just 'cause I love the People's Republic of Portlandia so much.

Down on Northwest Tenth I bought a studio place
With a sofa I can fold, to save myself some space
Day and night I'd work, and I'd save up every dime
Just so I could send the mortgage check in time
The walls are full of holes and the rug's coming apart
My Realtor she told me I should think of it as art
The HOA sent me a bill for eight months of dues
I've got them mean old Pearl District blues

Someone climbed onto my balcony, just the other day
Knocked over all the flowerpots and took my bike away
The four-year-old upstairs is bouncing off the walls
The county's housing inmates in the units down the hall
The lady downstairs sued me 'cause she doesn't like my plants
The laundry in the basement is crawling with ants
I need to get permission if I want to change a fuse
I've got them mean old Pearl District blues

I moved into this place 'cause it was on the streetcar line
But the city cut the budget, now it only comes at nine
The couple just below me they do nothing else but fight
The girl next door she has a different boyfriend every night
The city sent a letter telling me to pay a tax
So they could build a statue of some ugly person's ass
They took away the inmates 'cause the ACLU sued
I've got them mean old Pearl District blues

As soon as I unpacked and I could kick up my feet
They started on a skyscraper right across the street
The ceiling's leaking water from the unit just upstairs
The building super says it's not his job to do repairs
The dumpster's overflowing and it's really, really smells
The preacher on the corner says I'm going straight to Hell
The building 'cross the street has completely blocked my view
I've got them mean old Pearl District blues
One day I dreamed I died and I came back as a steer
I eat lots of burgers, so it serves me right, I fear
I was herded from a pasture and loaded on a truck
The rancher told me "dogie, don't you know that you're in luck"
They took me to a feedlot with a million other head
But it was far more spacious than my flat--this ain't so bad!
Out here there's far less bullshit and the air is fresher too
Karma is mean old Pearl District blues
I can hear the neighbor's wild party over all the moos
I've got them mean old Pearl District blues