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Rent (song)

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Rent
Rent - OBC
Sung by Company
Place Mark and Roger's Loft
Alphabet City streets
Maureen's performance space
Solo Mark, Roger, Collins, Joanne, Benny (musical)
Mark, Roger, Collins (movie)
Other informations

Previous
Tune Up 2
(musical)
Seasons of Love
(movie)

Next
You Okay Honey?
(musical)
You'll See
(movie)

Rent is the opening chorus number in the musical Rent. It is a fast-paced rock song describing Mark and Roger's defiance to Benny, interspersed with brief snippets of dialogue introducing other characters such as Joanne and Collins, as well as revealing deeper motives behind Mark and Roger's actions such as Mark's documentary and Roger's inability to write a song.

In the musicalEdit

After the power had blown, Mark and Roger start protesting about the poor conditions in which they live in and about the difficulties they are experimenting in their lives as artists: they have no heat, no electicity and no money to pay the rent to Benny and they are unable to document the world or to write a song. The other members of the company, also portraying struggling artists, protest along with them. Collins, who have been beaten by some guys, collapses on the ground. Joanne calls Maureen from the performance space and tells her that, althought there are some little problems with the equipment, she doesn't want her to call Mark. However, Maureen calls her ex-boyfriend, who accepts to help her. Benny, on his way to the loft, calls his wife Alison and tells her that he has to ask Mark and Roger the rent. At the end of the song, Mark and Roger declare that they aren't going to pay the rent.

In the movieEdit

After he has spent some time filming in the Alphabet City streets, Mark jumps on his bike to come home. In the loft, Roger is unsuccessfully trying to write a song, when the power suddenly blows. When Mark arrives, he shows his roommate the eviction notes that he has found on their building's wall. The phone rings: it's Collins, Mark and Roger's ex-roommate, who is back in New York. He asks Mark to throw down the apartment's key, but he is beaten by a group of guys before he can enter the door. In the loft, Mark and Roger use old posters and screenplays to start a fire and they throw the burning papers in the streets from their balcony. Benny arrives and he is surrounded by the angry Alphabet City squatters, who protest that they don't want pay rent.

LyricsEdit

Mark:
How do you document real life
When real life's getting more
Like fiction each day?
Headlines, breadlines
Blow my mind
And now this deadline: "Eviction or pay!"

Rent!

Roger:
How do you write a song
When the chords sound wrong,
Though they once sounded right and rare?
When the notes are sour,
Where is the power
You once had to ignite the air?

Mark:
And we're hungry and frozen...

Roger:
Some life that we've chosen!

Mark and Roger:
How we gonna pay?
How we gonna pay?
How we gonna pay?
Last year's rent!

Mark:
We light candles!

Roger:
How do you start a fire
When there's nothing to burn
And it feels like something's stuck in your flue?

Mark:
How can you generate heat
When you can't feel your feet

Mark and Roger:
And they're turning blue?

Mark:
You light up a mean blaze!

Roger:
With posters!

Mark:
And screenplays!

Mark and Roger:
How we gonna pay?
How we gonna pay?
How we gonna pay?
Last year's rent?

Joanne:
Don't screen, Maureen
It's me - Joanne.
Your substitute production manager!
Hey hey hey! Did you eat?
Don't change the subject Maureen.
But darling - you haven't eaten all day!
You won't throw up!
You won't throw up!
The digital delay--
Didn't blow up. Exactly...
There may have been one teeny tiny spark...
You're not calling Mark!

Collins:
How do you stay on your feet
When on every street
It's 'Trick or Treat'
And tonight it's 'Trick'!
'Welcome back to town'
I should lie down
Everything's brown
And, uh-oh, I feel sick!

Mark:
Where is he?

Collins:
Gettin' dizzy...

Mark and Roger:
How we gonna pay?
How we gonna pay?
How we gonna pay?
Last year's rent?

Benny:
Alison baby - you sound sad.
I don't believe those two
After everything I've done.
Ever since our wedding
I'm dirt - they'll see.
I can help them all out in the long run.
Forces are gathering.
Forces are gathering.
Can't turn away.
Forces are gathering.

Collins:
Ughhhhhh!
Ughhhhhh!
Ughhhhhh - I can't think!
Ughhhhhh!
Ughhhhhh!
Ughhhhhh - I need a drink!

Mark:
The music ignites the night with passionate fire!

Joanne:
Maureen - I'm not a theatre person!

Roger:
The narration crackles and pops with incendiary wit!

Joanne:
Could never be a theatre person!

Mark:
Zoom in as they burn the past to the ground

Joanne:
Hello?

Mark and Roger:
And feel the heat of the future's glow!

Joanne:
Hello?

Mark:
Hello? Maureen?
Your equipment won't work?
Okay, all right, I'll go!

Mark and Half of Company:
How do you leave the past behind
When it keeps finding ways to get to your heart?
It reaches way down deep and tears you inside out
'Til you're torn apart!

Rent!

Roger and Other half of Company:
How can you connect in an age
Where strangers, landlords, lovers,
Your own blood cells betray?

Company:
What binds the fabric together
When the raging, shifting winds of change
Keep ripping away?

Benny:
Draw a line in the sand and then make a stand

Roger:
Use your camera to spar!

Mark:
Use your guitar!

Company:
When they act tough you call their bluff!

Mark and Roger:
We're not gonna pay

Mark, Roger and Half of Company:
We're not gonna pay

Mark, Roger and Other Half of Company:
We're not gonna pay

Company:
Last year's rent!
This year's rent!
Next year's rent!
Rent rent rent rent rent!
We're not gonna pay rent!

Roger and Mark:
'Cause everything is rent!

Mark:
How do you document real life
When real life's getting more
Like fiction each day?
Headlines, breadlines
Blow my mind
And now this deadline: "Eviction or pay!"

Rent!

Roger:
How do you write a song
When the chords sound wrong,
Though they once sounded right and rare?
When the notes are sour,
Where is the power
You once had to ignite the air?

Mark:
And we're hungry and frozen...

Roger:
Some life that we've chosen!

Mark and Roger:
How we gonna pay?
How we gonna pay?
How we gonna pay?
Last year's rent!

Roger:
How do you start a fire
When there's nothing to burn
And it feels like something's stuck in your flue?

Mark:
How can you generate heat
When you can't feel your feet

Mark and Roger:
And they're turning blue?

Mark:
You light up a mean blaze!

Roger:
With posters!

Mark:
And screenplays!

Mark and Roger:
How we gonna pay?
How we gonna pay?
How we gonna pay?
Last year's rent?

Collins:
How do you stay on your feet
When on every street
It's 'Trick or Treat'
And tonight it's 'Trick'!
'Welcome back to town'
I should lie down
Everything's brown
And, uh-oh, I feel sick!

Mark and Roger:
How we gonna pay?

Mark, Roger and Mimi:
How we gonna pay?

Mark, Roger, Mimi and Squatters:
How we gonna pay?
Last year's rent!

Mark:
The music ignites the night with passionate fire!

Roger:
The narration crackles and pops with incendiary wit!

Mark:
Zoom in as they burn the past to the ground

Mark and Roger:
And feel the heat of the future's glow!

How do you leave the past behind
When it keeps finding ways to get to your heart?
It reaches way down deep and tears you inside out
'Til you're torn apart!

Rent!

How can you connect in an age
Where strangers, landlords, lovers,
Your own blood cells betray?

Mark, Roger and Squatters:
What binds the fabric together
When the raging, shifting winds of change
Keep ripping away?

Benny:
Draw a line in the sand and then make a stand

Roger:
Use your camera to spar!

Mark:
Use your guitar!

Mark, Roger and Squatters:
When they act tough you call their bluff!

Mark and Roger:
We're not gonna pay

Mark, Roger and Squatters:
We're not gonna pay

Mark, Roger, Mimi and Squatters:
We're not gonna pay
Last year's rent!
This year's rent!
Next year's rent!
Rent rent rent rent rent!
We're not gonna pay rent!
'Cause everything is rent!

TriviaEdit

  • Joanne sings only in the stage version, because in the movie her character is introduced later, during the song Tango: Maureen
  • In the movie, some lines from Tune Up 1 are said by Mark before he starts singing
  • Chris Columbus, the director of the movie, makes a cameo as an angry man in a car who shouts to a window cleaner just before Mark starts singing
  • In the 1994 New York Theatre Workshop there was a similar song called Splatter, which served almost the same purpose

GalleryEdit

VideosEdit

Rent (OBC Recording)04:26

Rent (OBC Recording)

Rent (Movie Cast)04:00

Rent (Movie Cast)

Rent (Movie Version)04:55

Rent (Movie Version)

Rent (2008 Final Cast)04:42

Rent (2008 Final Cast)

NavigationalEdit

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