What does Della and the Dealer mean?

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Hoyt Axton: Della and the Dealer Meaning

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Della and the Dealer Lyrics

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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...


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    Apr 7th, 2019 4:33am report

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


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    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...


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    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?


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    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.


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    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?


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    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.


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    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.


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    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?


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    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").

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