‘Ballad of the Landlord’ by Langston Hughes

Thanks to Joe McVeigh for drawing my attention to this.

 

Landlord, Landlord, my roof has sprung a leak.

Don’t you ’member I told you about it way last week?

 

Landlord, Landlord, these steps is broken down.

When you come up yourself it’s a wonder you don’t fall down.

 

Ten bucks you say I owe you?

Ten bucks you say is due?

That’s ten bucks more than I’ll pay you

Till you fix this house up new.

 

What? You’re gonna get eviction orders?
Your’e gonna cut off my heat?

You’re gonna take my furniture

And throw it in the street?

 

Um-huh! You talking high and mighty.

Talk on till you get through.

You ain’t gonna be able to say a word

If I land my fist on you.

 

Police! Police! Come and get this man!

He’s trying to ruin the government

And overturn the land!

Copper’s whistle! patrol bell! Arrest

 

Precinct station.

Iron cell

Headlines in press:

MAN THREATENS LANDLORD

TENANT HELD. NO BAIL.

JUDGE GIVES NEGRO

90 DAYS IN JAIL.

 

 

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