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 I shoot what I want

What the last ten minutes have taught me
Bet the hand that your money's on
Where the Hell have the '70s brought me?
You trade me away, long gone

For the love of a god, you said
Not a letter from an occupant

The time that your enemy gives you
Good times are not the ones you want
I've cried five rivers on the way here
Which one will you skate away on?

The tune you'll be humming forever
All the words are replaced and wrong
With a shower of "yeahs" and "whatevers"
You trade me away, long gone

For the love of a god, you said
Not a letter from an occupant

Where've all sensations gone?
Where've all sensations gone?
Where've all sensations gone?
Where've all sensations gone?

For the love of a god, you said
Not a letter from an occupant

For the love of a god, you said
Not a letter from an occupant

For the love of a god, you said
Not a letter from an occupant

The song, the song, the song that's shakin' me
The song, the song, the song that's shakin' me
The song, the song, the song that's shakin' me
The song, the song, the song that's shakin' me

For the love of a god, you said
Not a letter from an occupant

For the love of a god, you said
Not a letter from an occupant


Lyrics submitted by tumblweed15

"Letter from an Occupant" as written by Carl Allan Newman

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Letter from an Occupant song meanings
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26 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentBased on some lines, I get the impression that it's a break up song. Cliche, yes, but look:

    "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. "

    The breakup ("eventual downfall") is caused by something trivial ("just a bill from the restaurant").

    "You traded me away long gone" obviously says "you dumped me."

    and the line "Where have all sensations gone?" basically says "What happened to this relationship?"
    getaccusedon November 04, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThere's also an allusion to Dexys' "Come On Eileen" ("That tune you'll be humming forever"). The singer is saying she's cynical about the guy's promises of love.
    stormvilleon April 03, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI really like the "shoot what I want" line. Whenever i hear it, I think of shooting the moon in the card game hearts, which probably has no relevance, but i find it funny. Basically, He's saying that she can have whatever she wants as long as she does it herself, so he's not offering her anything. Getting away from the whole hearts thing, you generally order meat at a resteraunt, which, requires you to shoot an animal, and the moon is just the extrapolation of this? To be honest, this makes a lot more sense to me than having the line be "just as long as it's you that I want."

    Thinking further on the chorus lyrics, and reading the tie in line that you have there makes me think that you're definately on the right track there, just that we really don't have enough information to figure that part of the song out.
    Unarmedon January 14, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment'Which one will you skate away on' is a play on Joni Mitchell's song 'River' which has a famous chorus "I wish I had a river, that I could skate away on."
    jg89on April 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationGuys, I just had a brilliant idea reading this lyrics.

    Do you think that "You told me I could order the moon, babe/ Just as long as I shoot what I want," means that she can order anything, so long as she shoots what the food is she wants. For instance, 'You can order the high-end steak, dear, but shoot the cow yourself.' The unnamed guy could be telling her to get lost and do whatever on her own.

    What do you guys think?
    ihateyoukennyon December 10, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwell, 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.

    xxx
    Fede
    fedethefixerfoxon January 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat does "an occupant" refer to?
    source_4on May 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYa know, I usually have a lot of trouble understanding lyrics in songs, but I've never really had any trouble at all understanding the what Neko's saying in this song.
    Moses19on February 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentso enlighten us, Moses...
    Chinupon February 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentChinup, I agree with you on all three accounts: "shoot what I want","skate away on", and "traded me away long gone" It's really quite clear.

    And also, like you, I have not even the slightest idea what it could actually be about.
    Moses19on February 11, 2005   Link

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