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Tenants All Over the City, song lyrics

Song: Tenants All Over the City
Lyrics: Elyse Crystall(1)

Music: Elyse Crystall(1)
Year: before 1986
Country: USA

Tenants all over the city,
Heed the words that I say:
"Stop landlord harassment,
And J-51(2) give-aways."

Tenants all over the city,
Don't let them put you out in the street;
Withhold your rent if you have to,
Demand that they give you good heat.
This song was originally posted on
Fight back, for SRO(3) rights,
Fight back, we won't be moved;
Fight back, public housing for all;
Fight back, and spread the new,
Spread the news.

That tenants all over the city,
Are arming themselves with their rights,
To stop co-op conversion,
And goons who call in the night.
This song was originally posted on
Fight back, Mitchell-Lama(4), In-Rem(5)
Fight back, make them open their books;
Fight back, our homes are too dear;
Fight back, and jail the crooks,
Jail the crooks.

Tenants all over the city,
Every color, religion and age;
Organize your friends and your neighbors,
Watch the anger and fear become rage,
Watch the anger and fear -
Become rage!


Thank you Tenant Net for this.

1 - Elyse Crystall was with New York's Metropolitan Council on Housing.

2 - "J-51" was a New York tax abatement program for major renovations.

3 - "SRO" is "Single Room Occupancy", a one room housing unit.

4 - NY subsidized moderate-income apartment buildings.

5 - New York City administered buildings taken over because of unpaid taxes.

6 - In the 1970's and 1980's co-op conversion were displacing people. In some areas, mostly in the 1970's, some landlords were torching buildings to collect the insurance after the arsons.