What does Della and the Dealer mean?

Search Login

Hoyt Axton: Della and the Dealer Meaning

Della and the Dealer Lyrics

It was Della and a dealer and a dog named Jake,
And a cat named Kalamazoo,
Left the city in a pick-up truck.
Gonna make some dreams come true.
Yeah, they rolled out west where the wild sun sets,
And the coyote bays at the moon.
Della and a...

  1.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 17th, 6:41pm report


    I believe the Dog is a relation to Della and Della is in an abusive relationship with the dealer but is also a love interest of Boone's.
    During the course of events in the bar; the dealer says or does something to Della that results in the dog intervening. The dealer ends up in a situation in that he has brought a knife to what turns into a gun fight and its actually the dog who kills the dealer while the cat (having his shot of rye) witnesses.
    With that the cat has his tales to tell about the others but he is cool and of course never says a mumblin' word



  2.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 7th, 2019 4:33am report


    It's just one of Hoyt Axton's great storytelling songs. The cat was cool, and...



  3.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 6th, 2019 4:20am report


    I always loved this song as a kid, because I thought that Jake and Kalamazoo are an actual dog and cat (I still think they are). I assumed they were, as in Hoyt's song, Joy to the World he sings about a bullfrog. Anyway, since I finally decided to look up the lyrics because I never could understand that one line I always thought it was "He swore and he spoke on a sinister note" only to find it's "He snorted his coke through a century note". Now I know the dealer wasn't a card dealer, but a drug dealer. That kind of ruins the song for me, as I always thought there was a card game, the dealer gets jealous of Randy making eyes at Della, and then there's the murder...



  4.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 13th, 2019 2:34am report


    Wait, why is the dog not just a dog and the cat just a cat? What's wrong with some good ol' anthropomorphism?



  5.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 28th, 2019 1:07pm report


    I don’t buy into the dog and cat being humans. Seems to me that the story teller (not Hoyt, personally, but whoever is telling the story which is being sung by Hoyt) is describing what he saw in a psychedelic dream. Either a dream, or what that person thinks he saw while he was high on cocaine. I love the music of the song, but - never having been high on a psychedelic trip - I really love the way Hoyt, the song writer, gave me a taste of what it’s like to be tripping like that.
    And, of course, you just can’t beat Hoyt’s incredible voice. So very sorry he’s gone in person, but he’ll always be alive in his music.



  6.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 14th, 2018 1:39pm report


    The "dog" is what some black guys call each other and "the cat" could be a cool white guy who didn't talk a lot. In the verse about what they all had the "dog" had a gun and the "cat" had a shot of rye so they were not animals but people?



  7.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 16th, 2017 10:54am report


    If you think about it, Kalamazoo was a brand of guitar years ago. So Della, dealer, dog and a guitar makes more sense.



  8.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 14th, 2017 7:15pm report


    The dealer definitely deals drugs, else why mention snorting coke through a century note. As for the dog and cat, could go either way. I've heard a person referred to as either one;but then, where would you put four people in an old school pickup, with no back seat? Truck bed, I suppose...
    Personally I do lean toward Jake and Kalamazoo being people,with Kalamazoo being his nickname (maybe a carnie?)
    Then there's the dealer/Boone situation. Della and her lover to me implies Boone-why Hoyt refers to him as "her lover" (fire in her eyes/thighs).
    Nothing says this all occurred in one night,either, so Della could have done the deed with Boone. Therefore he would have been her lover. Also,nothing in the song says there was anything actually going on between Della and the dealer-just his deadly jealousy. Lots of guys are jealous of other men over a woman they can't have.
    So there's what I have to say about my favorite Hoyt Axton song.



  9.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 26th, 2017 1:14pm report


    I just want to know what kind of dealer he was. As a kid, I assumed it was a blackjack dealer. But then I learned that the line that I thought was, "He started his quote with a censuring note" was actually, "He snorted his coke through a century note." Thoughts?



  10.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 21st, 2014 4:25pm report


    The song is deliberately vague. It doesn't explicitly say who died in the fight, just that the winner took off with Della afterward. The last chorus is phrased "Della and her lover" rather than "Della and the Dealer", so you could, if you wanted, interpret it as being Randy ... but the phrase could fit the Dealer too (or even someone else not otherwise mentioned in the song).

    I'm pretty sure that Jake and Kalamazoo are an actual dog and a cat respectively, and not any kind of metaphorical "dog" or "cat" (even though "the dog had a gun" and "the cat had a shot of rye").




More Hoyt Axton song meanings »


 


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]






Just Posted

Easier to Run anonymous
Never Be Alone anonymous
Dancing with Tears in my Eyes anonymous
Cannibal anonymous
Lovely anonymous
Buzzcut Season anonymous
Hear Me Now anonymous
Beautiful Trauma anonymous
Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground) anonymous
Carpe Diem anonymous
Down In It anonymous
Home anonymous
Like I'm Gonna Lose You anonymous
Party Favor anonymous
Xanny anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

How They Remember You
Rascal Flatts
The Man Who Loves You The Most
Zac Brown Band
Every Other Memory
Ryan Hurd
We Were Rich
Runaway June
Drift Away (iHeart Live)
Kane Brown
Dreamer
Trippie Redd
I See Red
Everybody Loves An Outlaw
Nobody Like Jesus
James Fortune