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Mark
How do you document real life
When real life is getting more
Like fiction each day
Headlines - bread-lines
Blow my mind
And now this deadline
"Eviction - or pay"
Rent

Roger
How do you write a song
When the chords sound wrong
Though they once sounded right and rare
When the notes are sour
Where is the power
You once had to ignite the air

Mark
And we're hungry and frozen

Roger
Some life that we've chosen

Together
How we gonna pay
How we gonna pay
How we gonna pay
Last year's rent

Mark
We light candles

Roger
How do you start a fire
When there's nothing to burn
And it feels like something's stuck in your flue

Mark
How can you generate heat
When you can't feel your feet

Both
And they're turning blue!

Mark
You light up a mean blaze

Roger
With posters -

Mark
And screenplays

Roger & Mark
How we gonna pay
How we gonna pay
How we gonna pay
Last year's rent

Joanne
(On phone)
Don't screen, Maureen
It's me - Joanne
Your substitute production manager
Hey hey hey! (Did you eat)
Don't change the subject Maureen
But darling - you haven't eaten all day
You won't throw up
You won't throw up
The digital delay --
-Didn't blow up (exactly)
There may have been one teeny tiny spark
You're not calling Mark

Collins
How do you stay on your feet
When on every street
It's 'trick or treat'
(And tonight it's 'trick')
'Welcome back to town'
I should lie down
Everything's brown
And uh - oh
I feel sick

Mark
Where is he?

Collins
Getting dizzy

mark & Roger
How we gonna pay
How we gonna pay
How we gonna pay
Last year's rent

Benny
(On cellular phone)
Allison baby - you sound sad
I don't believe those two after everything I've done
Ever since our wedding I'm dirt - They'll see
I can help them all out in the long run
Forces are gathering
Forces are gathering
Can't turn away
Forces are gathering

Collins
Ughhhhh-
Ughhhhh-
Ughhhhh- I can't think
Ughhhhh-
Ughhhhh-
Ughhhhh- I need a drink

Mark
"The music ignites the night with passionate fire"

Joanne
Maureen - I'm not a theatre person

Roger
"The narration crackles and pops with incendiary wit"

Joanne
Could never be a theatre person

Mark
Zoom in as they burn the past to the ground

Joanne
Hello?

Mark & Roger
And feel the heat of the future's glow

Joanne
Hello?

Mark
(On phone)
Hello? Maureen?
-Your equipment won't work?
Okay, all right, I'll go!

Mark & Half the Company
How do you leave the past behind
When it keeps finding ways to get to your heart
It reaches way down deep and tears you inside out
Till you're torn apart
Rent

Roger & Other Half of Company
How can you connect in an age
Where strangers, landlords, lovers
Your own blood cells betray

All
What binds the fabric together
When the raging, shifting winds of change
Keep ripping away

Benny
Draw a line in the sand
And then make a stand

Roger
Use your camera to spar

Mark
Use your guitar

All
When they act tough - you call their bluff

Mark & Roger
We're not gonna pay

Mark & Roger w/ Half the Company
We're not gonna pay

Mark & Roger w/ Other Half of Company
We're not gonna pay

All
Last year's rent
This year's rent
Next year's rent
Rent rent rent rent rent
We're not gonna pay rent

Roger & Mark
'Cause everything is rent


Lyrics submitted by babeee

Rent song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentIt's pretty cool watching this song in the movie...at the end when they are all throwing fire out the windows...thats pretty awesome
    ASgotHot!on June 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song had me from the beginning. Such much force this songs brings when you hear it live.
    suchaheroon January 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti dont get why they throw the flaming paper out their window. dont they want heat? what happens to the people on the street below? they dont seem to notice that flaming trash is being hurled at them
    ebonyeyeson August 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song! One of my favourites in the play and the movie! And in response to ebonyeyes: Of course they want heat, but the fire was getting kinda of out of control what with all the paper they were adding into it. So, with the very rock and roll moment going on they chose to through it out their window at the 'enemy'.The people on the street can obviously dodge flaming trash pretty well as they probably do this every time Benny makes a visit and asks for rent.
    Caitlinh24on February 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe fire bit, according to chris columbus, was just because he thought it was such a rock and roll moment with the music that they should create mayhem, really opens up the film version good.

    best part in the movie version

    when Benny gets out of the car and sings

    "draw a line in the sand and then make a stand"

    All the hairs stand up everytime i hear that part.

    It just works so well.
    Secretlyshecrieson January 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdefinately my favorite song in the show, right next to La Vie Boheme. <3
    chexiaon January 10, 2009   Link

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