"Dear Landlord" as written by and Bob Dylan....
Dear landlord
Please don't put a price on my soul
My burden is heavy
And my dreams are beyond control

When that steam-boat whistle blows
I'm gonna give you all i've got to give
And i do hope you receive it, well
Depending on the way you feel that you live

Dear landlord
Please heed these words that i speak
I know you've suffered much
But in this you are not so unique

All of us at times, we might work too hard
Too heavy, too fast and too much
And anyone can fill their life up with things
They can see but just cannot touch

Dear landlord
Please don't dismiss my case
I'm not about to argue
I'm not about to move to no other place

Now each of us has our own special gift
And you know this was meant to be true
And if you don't underestimate me
I won't underestimate you


Lyrics submitted by Girlsdontgocrazy

"Dear Landlord" as written by Bob Dylan

Lyrics © BOB DYLAN MUSIC CO

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Dear Landlord song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentGiven the general political tone of this album, I believe this song (one of my favorites from "To All We Stretch An Open Arm") is an appeal to emotionally connect past class and income boundaries.

    The landlord has an inherently superior social status to his/her tenants (the landlord can kick out tenants, but not vice versa), but serves as an ideal model for cooperation and understanding because a landlord also is responsible for keeping things working and comfortable for the tenants--a landlord isn't a baron with an inherited fiefdom, but a working person.

    The song does have some references to American slavery--"don't put a price on my soul"..."when that steam-boat whistle blows / I'm gonna give you all I've got to give"--but it has a modern voice and feel ("don't dismiss my case," "I'm not about to move to no other place") that let us know the song's subject is more contemporary.

    This song is about mutual respect between social barriers, creating lateral negotiative relationships (tit for tat) rather than heirarchal social ones. Especially the last verse emphasizes the narrator's desire for a mutually beneficial arrangement.

    So, in summary, it's about breaking down class distinctions (or at least the popular image of class distinctions).
    thriggleon April 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI also question the comma placement in the second line of the second verse.

    I think it should be: "And i do hope you receive it well" not "And i do hope you receive it, well"
    thriggleon April 28, 2008   Link

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