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Landlady, song lyrics

Song: Landlady
Lyrics: Peter Berryman(1)

Music: Peter Berryman(1)
Year: ©1980 L&P Berryman
Genre: Spoken Rap then Folk
Country: USA

(Spoken patter)

You signed your lease I see,
Before I let you go,
You'd better listen to me,
There's some things you ought to know:

Don't stack shit in the hall,
Don't stack shit in the hall,
Keep it in your closet,
Or lose your deposit;
And one more thing:
This song was originally posted on

No dogs, no cats,
No snakes, no bats,
No kangaroos, no drinkin' booze,
No marmosets, no cigarettes,
And keep that fridge defrosted;
Give me the first month's rent,
And the last month's rent,
A cleaning depost and a damage deposit;
It's more for the furniture,
More for the driveway;
No parkin' in the street,
And you pay for the heat,
For the lights, for the gas, and cut the grass;
Shovel the snow or out you go;
And keep them baseboards free of dust,
Oh, keep them baseboards free of dust;
No bookshelves or bricks and boards,
And no goddam extension cords,
And one more thing:

No overnight guests, no sublets,
No kinky sex, no waterbeds;
Don't lose your key 'cause I won't let you in;
Take out the garbage once a week,
Clean them windows till they squeak;
No parties after ten, no children under ten,
No gatherings over ten;
No tacks in the walls, no bikes in the halls;
And lock the doors, and mop the floors:
And one more thing:

I'm comin' over now and then
With a white glove on my hand;
Gonna run it all over your
Windowsill, stovetop, molding, shelving, 'frigerator,
And, if I want, up your tenant's hinder(2);
So clean as a church and quiet as a mouse;
It's your chore but it's my house.

Rent's due on the 31st;
Might be steep but could be worse;
Break it down and you will see,
I'm a reasonable landlady;
This is all you have to pay:
One thousand eight hundred eighty-two dollars and sixty-five cents
Every day!

(Folk portion with guitar accompaniment:)

Landlady I agree,
You have a right to keep your eyes on me,
But as sure as you're privledged to ring my door-bell,
I'm gonna keep my eyes on you as well.

One of these days I'll inspect where you stay,
I'll be there shortly and here's what I'll say,
Hello landlady your tenant is here,
To see if you meet with my standards my dear.

Landlady, seriously,
I wouldn't have pissed on your property,
But if I have to listen to that kind of speech,
I'll move to Tahiti and sleep on the beach.


1 - Peter Berryman biography. And be sure to check out the Lou and Peter Berryman website for CDs and mp3's. We thank Peter for his permission for posting these lyrics.

2 - According to Peter Berryman regarding his use of "hinder" (as in rhymes with "kinder"), "that's apparently a Wisconsin usage, pronounced with a long "i" (as in "behind"), meaning rear end".