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Pacific Hotel

let me tell you a story, it won’t take long
about a hotel in Seattle town
and the big money muscle of the Seafirst bank
that came to shut it down
it might sound funny and it might sound strange
you might think I’m talkin’ out of my head
it’s a story about a club and a dollar bill
throw a good people out of their beds

the Pacific Hotel was an empty shell
down on 4th Avenue
the bank took it back from an in-debt millionaire
to pay for the money was due
and it sat there empty while the weather got colder
and the wandering feet went lame
til some one said “Operation Homestead
we gonna stake ourselves a claim”

a skeleton key to a crowbar
opens up the door to an inside bed
they hung out a banner to the passers by
“Homestead” is what it said
they moved right in and set up house
it was a fine sight to see
they said “this is ours by rights
’cause it was abandonned illeagally”

and wasn’t that the time that the axe fell down
everyone could see for sure
that the money that they’re stuffin’ their pockets with
is the money that’s a-keepin’ you poor

what you gonna do said the TV crew
to the Homestead in their new hotel
said we gonna turn this house into a home
and we gonna run it by ourselves
and what you gonna do said the newspaper
to the chief of the big police
said we take our orders from the Seafirst Bank
til then we just keep the peace

time went by for seven days and nights
and not a move was made
and the people got by as the people always do
when the people don’t get paid
till on that seventh afternoon
a resounding cry did sound
“theyre here, they’re here – Seattle’s finest,
they’ve come to shut us down”

a hundred uniformed police
did ring the hotel ’round
and two hundred angry demonstrators came
to try to shout them down
and in amongst those ranks of blue
just as sleazy as you please
there was an immigration agent
to terrorize the deportees

now some one’s head might lose control
when tempers have been spent
if you’re a civillian they throw you in jail
if you’re a cop they say it’s an accident
so when a shiny blue patrolman
just completely flipped his lid
they told the TV cameras to look the other way
and that’s exactly what they did

confrontation, escalation
moving forward then and back
in this modern war on poverty
the police attack
and the people they do defend
against the wheel grinding ’round
til law and order made the final raid
and they shut the hotel down

and wasn’t that the time that the axe fell down
everyone could see for sure
that the money that they’re stuffin’ their pockets with
is the money that’s a-keepin’ you poor

they say money talks, I guess it does
it sure did on that day
and everybody got to hear
what the dollar bill had to say
and everybody got to watch the dollar bill
make it’s favorite call
making sure the homeless
remain homeless after all

now the dust has settled down in Seattle
and the bankers got their due
and the Pacific Hotel is still an empty shell
down on 4th Avenue
but as Operation Homestead said
the night that they departed
you may have won the battle, my friend
but the war has only started

and wasn’t that the time that the axe fell down
everyone could see for sure
that the money that they’re stuffin’ their pockets with
is the money that’s a-keepin’ you poor