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© Bob Wright

They pay their rent in tenements with lots of time in ditches
And grumble that the landlords are a bunch of sons of bitches
They freeze there in the wintertime and broil there in July
And there’s not a soul amongst them believes they’ll leave before they die

There’s nothing wrong with tenements
They’re just a pile of bricks
There’s nothing wrong with tenements
A wrecking ball won’t fix
There’s nothing wrong with tenements
I won’t go back again
I’d rather be a beggarman
At least I’d see the sun

You can tell by all the snoring when the men have been out drinking
they pack you in so tightly you can hear your neighbor thinking
They drown themselves in gin and beer that barely has fermented
There’s no reason to be sober in the palaces they’ve rented


It seems to them they’re living in a cavern or a stable
But most of them still rise and shine and do what they are able
They’d heard that in America all things are vast and wide
But it’s hard to see the good of things when you’re always stuck inside


Now Mister Jacob Riis has sworn to change the way things run
He went there with his picture box he should have brought a gun
For if ever there was anything that needed facing down
It’s the landlord of a tenement when the rent comes back around



from The Oyster Aristocracy, released January 1, 2009


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Bob Wright/ Harbortown New York, New York

He is a multi-instrumentalist, an award winning songwriter and Bob Wright songs are often mistaken for traditional songs because their immigrant roots run deep beneath the surface of America and back to the places they came from for nurturing and inspiration. They surface in a modern world, constructed with a modern sensibility and a comforting resonance with the past. ... more

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