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The New Pornographers – Letter from an Occupant Lyrics 12 years ago
well, english is not my first language, but this song always meant something really strong to me and the meaning came always very clear to me even if it doesn't really match the real meaning of the song. Being quite simplistic and basing it all in my experience as an overlydumped renting artist, the song is another one about spirit and money or money and the poet as I like to call this recurrent situation in my life.

'You traded me away long gone
For the love of a god, you say
Not a letter from an occupant'

She blamed the breakup to his lacks of moral and not to the several letters this guy got from his landlord asking him to pay the bills, but he thinks that is just a lot of bullshit. Most artists while they're young have to face this. They behave in ways that society is not usually well acquainted with but they're very normal to them. Of course he would have said, landlord and not occupant if this was the case, but then again is just my interpretation as 'occupant' really rings in my head as related to renting a flat, and as for a poetic license or inconscious songwriting I always took it that way.

I'm told the eventual downfall
Is just a bill from the restaurant
You told me I could order the moon, babe
Just as long as as I shoot what I want.
What the last ten minutes have taught me
Bet the hand that your money's on

here I see the idea of "the dream or the beans" repeating again. She tells him he can dream as much as he wants as long as he becomes a 'professional' artist and not a lazy bohemian that can't even pay his rent... but he really wants to be that bohemian with a love for pure uncommercial art and "bet the hand that your money's on".

"I've cried five rivers on the way here
Which one will you skate away on?"

He has been through a lot already and thinks she's still at the starting point, never stiring away from home, thinking of all the good values that society brainwashed her with. He has tried getting a job and behaving 'normally' as well in the past, it's one of the five rivers... so he thinks she'll just do something he has done already and bet your money he'll call him one day when she finds out he was right in by inch and probably very succesfull by stiking to his own rules.

I know all this might be completely wrong, but that's what the song means to me and I always think of "fox in the snow" by belle and sebastian when I listen to this one as i think they deal whit the same topic.


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