Good-Bye, Portland

I grew up in the suburbs, the ones where you do not stay
You either get rich when you grow up or else you go away
I made a life in Boston, it was a wonderful city
Before they turned it into a theme park for just the young and pretty
When they abolished rent control I was living there
That’s when the city lost its soul and people scattered everywhere
I don’t know where they went, but they were rapidly replaced
Generations of communities entirely erased

I lived in San Francisco when the mayor swept the streets
I wasn’t the kind of guy he wanted the tourists to meet
I moved to Seattle when Bill Gates and Kurt Cobain
Made the place the capital of the hipster gravy train
Now here in PDX it’s a CD on repeat
Developers smelled money, now they’re in the driver’s seat
Whole neighborhoods bulldozed as landlords tripled the rent
For so many, if not most, I’ll tell you what that’s meant
Good-bye, good-bye, Portland-town

Any city changes, only natural, I’d surmise
And this’ll happen faster when no one controls the rise
Of the prices of the houses and the interest rates
Of the month-to-month agreements in 48 states
Where it’s not allowed to do what other countries do
Where there are limits to the landlords, what they can do to you
Limits to their profits and to what they can destroy
So you might recognize the place you lived in as a boy

If it’s true that in the USA we’re moving beyond race
Then why did half the African-Americans here leave the place
Between one census and the next one 10 years later
It’s like a bomb went off but no one can find the crater
There wasn’t any war here, just a lack of regulation
And folks who see a city as a source of wealth creation
A chance to make it big, a chance to make a buck
If you don’t fit in to their fortune-making they don’t give a fuck

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