Evicted

 
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Introduction

Ms. Leading’s story may not be the focus of the Acts, but there are times where she takes the stage. In Evicted, we learn more about her, as Hunter takes a step to the side, gets a job and learns to drive. This song is from the perspective of our love interest, who at this point is becoming a main character. After she encounters Hunter she’s left to her feelings and thinks about her past, as she tries to get a perspective on her situation.


Into The Lyrics

Lyrics

I have been evicted
From a soul constricted
By the flameless fire
Can we all just go cold?

If you need a little cash just sell yourself
To everything
A dollar in exchange for failing hearts
So loudly say

“Oh, how I surely know that frame of mind
Sleeping softly curbside
Comfortably abroad on a stolen ticket
None of this will last, all of this will pass
When bed sheets are broken glass
I know your hearts will skip a beat in empathy”

If you need a little cash just sell yourself
To everything
A dollar in exchange for failing hearts
So loudly say

“Oh, how I surely know that frame of mind
Sleeping softly curbside
Comfortably abroad on a stolen ticket
None of this will last, all of this will pass
When bed sheets are broken glass
I know your hearts will skip a beat in empathy”

It’s just that easy pick yourself up
And go give the world a great big smile
Hey, hey, kid, hey, kid, get a job
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, kid, get a job
Wash your mouth out, ditch those morals
Sleep your way right to, right to the top
Hey, hey, kid, hey, kid, get a job
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, kid, get a job

Analysis

Hunter has become elated the morning after his encounter, so much that he’s taken up a job in an effort to continue seeing Ms. Leading. She, on the other hand, feels disconnected. Evicted from her complacency, forced to break routine. Hunter and her had a good time the night before, even before she lead him back to her room. He enjoyed her company without knowing her profession, and that left an involuntary impression on her. She had spent years now, working in the Dime and living day to day with apathy, if not content. Now she has someone intertwining into her life, and she wishes she could ‘go cold’ and return to her emotional stasis. The ‘flameless fire’ here would be Hunter. An action set in motion, and while the initial motive has passed behind, the effects continue. Hunter is passive, yet leads a passionate lifestyle in reaction to that which comes to him.

It’s likely, based on the tone of the lyrics, that Ms. Leading and Ms. Terri have a lot more in common than profession. Both were probably convinced by the Pimp/Priest in times of need, although Ms. Leading seems less hesitant. Ms. Terri may have been more open to the job in her past, seeing it as simply a way to make money, but after Hunters’ birth that attitude would have shifted. While I can’t find a canon source for this, a lot of people have portrayed Ms. Leading as someone who was not remorseful of the way she lived her life.

The verse in quotes is a soliloquy of reassurance to Ms. Leading. She tells herself to stay optimistic and how it could be worse. She understands what it is like to be on the streets, to not have a home. ‘Comfortably abroad on a stolen ticket’ might be implying that she’s an immigrant, explaining her previous lack of stability and security in the City. She understands that she is using her body as a means of gaining that security, and knows that she could be playing to the weakness of her clients. She is taking care of herself first, and disregarding others as a priority. Her clients are willing, and she disregards any moral stigma, and in this way she could be considered similar to the Pimp/Priest.

As an aside, I want to emphasize that the moral ambiguity I’m displaying in her profession doesn’t reflect how I personally feel about the job. Society stigmatizes people in these positions, and while the story may or may not portray that, some characters and some listeners have put Ms. Leading in a negative light due to this. Something that I specifically appreciate about The Dear Hunter is that the characters in the story are all very human. They all have morals based on their worldview, and each of their actions can be understood (and maybe or maybe not empathized with) if looked at through a different lens. Even the Pimp/Priest can be compared to many (non-evil) people in reality who make decisions with a different basis than those who relate more to Hunter or Ms. Leading. Each character has their virtues and vices, and I don’t believe it’s completely fair to discount any of them based on the fairly straightforward perspective that we are given through the lyrics. Just a little rant to emphasize that we all come from different backgrounds. Anyways, back to the analysis.

The reprise of The Bitter Suite II comes at the end, giving us a little bit of framing to note that not everything about our two lovebirds is contrasting. Ms. Leading was/is just as much of a kid as Hunter, albeit with more world experience. She has already learned the lesson of working to survive, as Hunter is just beginning after it being thrust onto him. The lyrics surrounding the reprise give further emphasis to the pressure of putting on an act to make your way through society.


Into The Music

The shortest song of the album, Evicted has an interesting 5/4 time signature and a memorable main melody. The melody was played once before during The Lake and the River. The connection here is one that compares Hunter and Ms. Leading, as they are both leaving their ‘homes’. Hunter as he walks away from his literal home in The Lake and the River, and Ms. Leading as she is forcibly removed from her sense of emotional stability.

The majority of the song stays in 5/4, until the reprise of The Bitter Suite II where it switches to 4/4. The song stays in a settled A minor scale, with little variation in the chord changes until the end. The somber mood of the beginning matches Ms. Leading’s emotions in the song, and the reprise acts as a sudden transition into reality as she tries to compose herself and not let others be aware of her emotional state. The layering vocals feature in this track as it winds back down to the main melody, and slowly builds back up to start of Blood of the Rose.


Closing Thoughts

For the longest time the second half of this Act confused me because the chronology seemed out of place. I, and apparently many others, thought this song was from Hunter’s perspective and it just seemed really out of place at this point in the album. Even though Casey confirmed it to be a song from Ms. Leading, others have still stated that parts of this song make more sense from Hunter’s viewpoint. The first stanza could be, but other than that with the new context I don’t feel like any of this could be from Hunter at this point. He’s nothing but eager right now and the lyrics in the reprise make a whole lot more sense for a sex worker than for a cab driver.

As Ms. Leading becomes a more prominent character, her motivations will give a lot more depth to future events. The evolution of these characters over time create interesting interactions as we see how conflict can escalate even without an instigator. The next song is a fairly abstract one on the timeline, and we see time take a bold leap forward both during this song and the next.

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