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Bad Neighbor Blues

from Strange Tales by John Plainsong

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This song contains true stories about bad neighbors I've either experienced directly, or heard about from friends. Have you ever struggled to understand the motivations of a bad neighbor? Share your story with me and maybe I'll add some more verses.


There’s this old guy, his name is Steve
Lives up the hill from a rusty winery
Sits on the front porch, listenin’ for a sound
Calls up the sheriff, says “shut the whole thing down”

We go up there from time to time when the weathers nice
Some times on Thursday, sipping Merlot with my wife.
We like the music there. We like the lunch.
But Steve the bad-ass apple spoils it for the whole damn bunch.

[Locking your doors won’t stop the bad neighbor blues.
Drawing your blinds won’t stop the bad neighbor blues.
A barbed wire fence won’t stop the stench
Of the bad neighbor blues.]

We bought a little home in a little neighborhood
Things were going fine until they moved into the hood
They formed an HOA, made us all pay dues
With a little gang of bullies, was there nothing we could do?

We called a lawyer to alleviate our pain
We got autocrats and tyrants marching up and down our lane
He cried “they’re everywhere, from Portland to Bellevue.
You need whiskey and a shotgun for the bad neighbor blues.

Tweaker in the driveway; redneck in the shed
Throwing bottles outa Chevies. Shooting BBs at your pets
It's a smoky wet leaf bonfire. It's a detonating fuse.
It's a national dilemma.
It's the bad neighbor blues.

[Hiding inside won’t stop the bad neighbor blues.
Digging a trench won’t stop the bad neighbor blues
May you and yours never endure
The bad neighbor blues]


from Strange Tales, released January 1, 2020
John Baker: all the instruments and singing.
TJ + PK: screaming Marine sound effects
Cedars I HOA: marching platoon sound effects


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John Plainsong Battle Ground, Washington

John Plainsong is a songwriter and performer in SW Washington.

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