It's a simple ask:
Don't raise my apartment rent.
I have commitments.
"Dear Landlord" comes from side two of the 1967 mystery album "John Wesley Harding." Like nearly every other song on the album, it's loaded with symbols and metaphors, and nothing is quite like it seems. That eeriness is raised to a higher degree by the simplicity of the recordings: mostly acoustic guitar, soft bass and drums and some piano. This sounds like a song that came out of another century that never existed. And here are some of Bob's complaints to his landlord:
1. Don't put a price on his soul. Burden heavy, dreams beyond control. He'll pay when the steamboat whistle blows, and he hopes you take the pay.
2. You're not the only one who has suffered. Sometimes we work too hard and spend time on things that aren't meaningful.
3. Please don't dismiss his case. He's not moving. He won't underestimate you if you don't underestimate him.
Here's Joe Cocker's version.