The Ghost of Tom Joad

Somber and startlingly hushed, Springsteen’s first primarily acoustic set since Nebraska was no less unflinching or dark. Framed/inspired by its title character, it serves as a parched, narrative-driven consideration of poverty, immigration and the brittle troubles of Americans and Mexicans in the Southwest.

Released: November 21, 1995
Label: Columbia Records
Produced By: Bruce Springsteen, Chuck Plotkin
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1 The Ghost of Tom Joad
Lyrics
Men walkin’ ‘long the railroad tracks
Goin’ someplace, there’s no goin’ back
Highway Patrol choppers comin’ up over the ridge
Hot soup on a campfire under the bridge
Shelter line stretchin’ ‘round the corner
Welcome to the new world order
Families sleepin’ in their cars in the southwest
No home, no job, no peace, no rest

Well the highway is alive tonight
But nobody’s kiddin’ nobody about where it goes
I’m sittin’ down here in the campfire light
Searchin’ for the ghost of Tom Joad

He pulls a prayer book out of his sleepin’ bag
Preacher lights up a butt and takes a drag
Waitin’ for when the last shall be first and the first shall be last
In a cardboard box ‘neath the underpass
You got a one way ticket to the promised land
You got a hole in your belly and a gun in your hand
Sleeping on a pillow of solid rock
Bathin’ in the city’s aqueduct

The highway is alive tonight
But where it’s headed everybody knows
I’m sittin’ down here in the campfire light
Waitin’ on the ghost of Tom Joad

Now Tom said, “Mom, wherever there’s a cop beatin’ a guy
Wherever a hungry new born baby cries
Where there’s a fight ‘gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me mom I’ll be there.
Wherever somebody’s fightin’ for a place to stand
Or a decent job or a helpin’ hand.
Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ to be free,
Look in their eyes ma you’ll see me.”

Well the highway is alive tonight
Where it’s headed everybody knows
I’m sittin’ down here in the campfire light
With the ghost of old Tom Joad


Well the highway is alive tonight
But nobody’s kiddin’ nobody about where it goes
I’m sittin’ down here in the campfire light
With the ghost of old Tom Joad

With the ghost of old Tom Joad
With the ghost of old Tom Joad
Also Appears On
The Essential Bruce Springsteen Magic Tour Highlights High Hopes MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen Chapter and Verse
2 Straight Time
Lyrics
Got out of prison back in '86 and I found me a wife
Walked the clean and narrow
just tryin' to stay out and stay alive
Got a job at the rendering factory,it ain't gonna make me rich
In the darkness before dinner comes
Sometimes I can feel the it
I got a cold mind to go tripping across that thin line
I'm sick of doin straight time

My uncles at the evenin' table makes his living runnin' hot cars
Slips me a hundred dollar bill, says
"Charlie, you best remember who your friend are."
I got a cold mind to go tripping across that thin line
I ain't makin' straight time

Eight years in, it feels like you're gonna die
But you get used to anything
Sooner or later it becomes your life

Kitchen floor in the evening, tossin' my little babies high
Mary's smilin', but she watches me out of the corner of her eye
Seems you can't get any more than half free
I step out onto the front porch, and suck the cold air deep inside of me
Got a cold mind to go tripping cross that thin line
I'm sick of doin' straight time

In the basement, huntin' gun and a hacksaw
Sip a beer, and thirteen inches of barrel drop to the floor

Come home in the evening, can't get the smell from my hands
Lay my head down on the pillow
And, go driftin' off into foreign lands
3 Highway 29
Lyrics
I slipped on her shoe, she was a perfect size seven
I said "there's no smokin' in the store ma'am"
She crossed her legs and then
We made some small talk, that's where it should have stopped
She slipped me a number, I put it in my pocket
My hand slipped up her skirt, everything slipped my mind
In that little roadhouse On highway 29

It was a small town bank, it was a mess
Well I had a gun, you know the rest
Money on the floorboards, shirt was covered in blood
And she was cryin', her and me we headed south
On highway 29

In a little desert motel, the air it was hot and clean
l slept the sleep of the dead, I didn't dream
I woke in the morning washed my face in the sink
We headed into the Sierra Madres 'cross the borderline
The winter sun, shot through the black trees
I told myself it was all something in her
But as we drove I knew it was something in me
Something had been comin' for a long long time
And something that was here with me now
On highway 29

The road was filled with broken glass and gasoline
She wasn't sayin' nothin', it was just a dream
The wind come silent through the windshield
All I could see was snow and sky and pines
I closed my eyes and I was runnin',
I was runnin' then I was flyin'
4 Youngstown
Lyrics
Here in north east Ohio
Back in eighteen-o-three
James and Danny Heaton
Found the ore that was linin' yellow creek
They built a blast furnace
Here along the shore
And they made the cannon balls
That helped the union win the war

Here in Youngstown
Here in Youngstown
My sweet Jenny, I'm sinkin' down
Here darlin' in Youngstown

Well my daddy worked the furnaces
Kept 'em hotter than hell
I come home from 'Nam worked my way to scarfer
A job that'd suit the devil as well
Taconite, coke and limestone
Fed my children and made my pay
Then smokestacks reachin' like the arms of god
Into a beautiful sky of soot and clay

Here in Youngstown
Here in Youngstown
My sweet Jenny, I'm sinkin' down
Here darlin' in Youngstown

Well my daddy come on the 0hio works
When he come home from world war two
Now the yards just scrap and rubble
He said, "Them big boys did what Hitler couldn't do"
These mills they built the tanks and bombs
That won this country's wars
We sent our sons to Korea and Vietnam
Now we're wondering what they were dyin' for

Here in Youngstown
Here in Youngstown
My sweet Jenny, I'm sinkin' down
Here darlin' in Youngstown

From the Monongaleh valley
To the Mesabi iron range
To the coal mines of Appalacchia
The story's always the same
Seven-hundred tons of metal a day
Now sir you tell me the world's changed
Once I made you rich enough
Rich enough to forget my name

In Youngstown
In Youngstown
My sweet Jenny, I'm sinkin' down
Here darlin' in Youngstown

When I die I don't want no part of heaven
I would not do heavens work well
I pray the devil comes and takes me
To stand in the fiery furnaces of hell
Also Appears On
Live in New York City Live in New York City (DVD) London Calling: Live in Hyde Park
5 Sinaloa Cowboys
Lyrics
Miguel came from a small town in northern Mexico.
He came north with his brother Louis to California three years ago
They crossed at the river levee, when Louis was just sixteen
And found work together in the fields of the San Joaquin

They left their homes and family
Their father said, "My sons one thing you will learn,
for everything the north gives, it exacts a price in return."
They worked side by side in the orchards
From morning till the day was through
Doing the work the hueros wouldn't do.

Word was out some men in from Sinaloa were looking for some hands
Well, deep in Fresno county there was a deserted chicken ranch
And there in a small tin shack on the edge of a ravine
Miguel and Louis stood cooking methamphetamine

You could spend a year in the orchards
Or make half as much in one ten hour shift
Working for the men from Sinaloa
But if you slipped the hydriodic acid
Could burn right through your skin
They'd leave you spittin' up blood in the desert
If you breathed those fumes in

It was early one winter evening as Miguel stood watch outside
When the shack exploded, lighting up the valley night
Miguel carried Louis' body over his shoulder down a swale
To the creekside and there in the tall grass, Louis Rosales died
Miguel lifted Louis' body into his truck and then he drove
To where the morning sunlight fell on a eucalyptus grove
There in the dirt he dug up ten-thousand dollars. all that they'd saved
Kissed his brothers lips and placed him in his grave
6 The Line
Lyrics
I got my discharge from Fort Irwin
took a place on the San Diego county line
felt funny bein' a civilian again
it'd been some time
my wife had died a year ago
I was still tryin' to find my way back whole
went to work for the INS on the line
With the California Border Patrol

Bobby Ramirez was a ten-year veteran
We became friends
his family was from Guanajuato
so the job it was different for him
He said' "They risk death in the deserts and mountains"
pay all they got to the smugglers rings,
we send 'em home and they come right back again
Carl, hunger is a powerful thing."

Well I was good at doin' what I was told
kept my uniform pressed and clean
at night I chased their shadows
through the arroyos and ravines

drug runners, farmers with their families,
young women with little children by their sides
come night we'd wait out in the canyons
and try to keep 'em from crossin' the line

Well the first time that I saw her
she was in the holdin' pen
Our eyes met and she looked away
then she looked back again
her hair was black as coal
her eyes reminded me of what I'd lost
she had a young child cryin' in her arms
and I asked, "Senora, is there anything I can do"

There's a bar in Tijuana
where me and Bobby drink alongside
the same people we'd sent back the day before
we met there she said her name was Louisa
she was from sonora and had just come north
we danced and I held her in my arms
and I knew what I would do
she said she had some family in Madera county
if she, her child and her younger brother could just get through

At night they come across the levy
in the searchlights dusty glow
we'd rush 'em in our Broncos
and force 'em back down into the river below
she climbed into my truck
she leaned towards me and we kissed
as we drove her brothers shirt slipped open
and I saw the tape across his chest

We were just about on the highway
when Bobby's jeep come up in the dust on my right
I pulled over and let my engine run
and stepped out into his lights
I felt myself movin'
felt my gun restin' 'neath my hand
we stood there starin' at each other
as off through the arroyo she ran

Bobby Ramirez he never said nothin'
6 months later I left the line
I drifted to the central valley
and took what work I could find
at night I searched the local bars
and the migrant towns
Lookin' for my Louisa
with the black hair fallin' down
7 Balboa Park
Lyrics
He lay his blanket underneath the freeway
As the evening sky grew dark
Took a sniff of toncho from his coke can
And headed through Balboa Park
Where the men in their Mercedes
Come nightly to employ
In the cool San Diego evening
The services of the border boys

He grew up near the Zona Norte
With the hustlers and smugglers he hung out with
He swallowed their balloons of cocaine
Brought 'em across the Twelfth Street strip
Sleeping in a shelter
If the night got too cold
Runnin' from the migra
Of the border patrol

Past the salvage yard 'cross the train tracks
and in through the storm drain
they stretched their blankets out 'neath the freeway
and each one took a name
there was X-man and Cochise
Little Spider his sneakers covered in river mud
they come north to California
end up with the poison in their blood

He did what he had to do for the money
sometimes he sent home what he could spare
the rest went to high-top sneakers and toncho
and jeans like the gavachos wear

One night the border patrol swept Twelfth Street
a big car come fast down the boulevard
spider stood caught in its headlights
got hit and went down hard
As the car sped away Spider held his stomach
limped to his blanket 'neath the underpass
lie there tasting his own blood on his tongue
closed his eyes and listened to the cars
rushin' by so fast
8 Dry Lightning
Lyrics
I threw my robe on in the morning
Watched the ring on the stove turn to red
Stared hypnotized into a cup of coffee
Pulled on my boots and made the bed
Screen door hangin' off its hinges
Kept bangin' me awake all night
As I look out the window
The only thing in sight

Is dry lightning on the horizon line
Just dry lightning and you on my mind

I chased the heat of her blood
Like it was the holy grail
Descend beautiful spirit
Into the evening pale
Her appaloosa's
Kickin' in the corral smelling rain
There's a low thunder rolling
'Cross the mesquite plain
But there's just dry lightning on the horizon line
It's just dry lightning and you on my mind

I'd drive down to Alvarado street
Where she danced to make ends meet
I'd spend the night over my gin
As she'd talk to her men

Well the piss yellow sun
Comes bringin' up the day
She said "ain't nobody gonna give nobody
What they really need anyway"

Well you get so sick of the fightin'
You lose your fear of the end
But you can't lose your memory
And the sweet smell of your skin
And it's just dry lightning on the horizon line
Just dry lightning and you on my mind
9 The New Timer
Lyrics
He rode the rails since the great depression
Fifty years out on the skids
He said you don't cross nobody
You'll be all right out here kid

Left my family in Pennsylvania
Searchin' for work I hit the road
I met Frank in east Texas
In a freight yard blown through with snow

From New Mexico to Colorado
California to the sea
Frank he showed me the ropes, sir
Just till I could get back on my feet

I hoed sugar beets outside of Firebaugh
I picked the peaches from the Marysville tree
They bunked us in a barn just like animals
Me and a hundred others just like me

We split up come the springtime
I never seen Frank again
'Cept one rainy night he blew by me on grainer
Shouted my name and disappeared in the rain and the wind

They found him shot dead outside Stockton
His body lyin' on a muddy hill
Nothin' taken, nothin' stolen
Somebody killed him just to kill

Late that summer I was rollin' through the plains of Texas
A vision passed before my eyes A small house sittin' trackside
With the glow of the saviours beautiful light

A woman stood cookin' in the kitchen
Kid sat at the table with his old man
Now I wonder does my son miss me
Does he wonder where I am

Tonight I pick my campsite carefully
Outside the Sacramento Yard
Gather some wood and light a fire
In the early winter dark

Wind whistling cold I pull my coat around me
Make some coffee and stare out into the black night
I lie awake, I lie awake sir
With my machete by my side

My Jesus your gracious love and mercy
Tonight I'm sorry could not fill my heart
Like one good rifle And the name of who I ought to kill
10 Across the Border
Lyrics
Tonight my bag is packed
Tomorrow I'll walk these tracks
That will lead me across the border

Tomorrow my love and I
Will sleep 'neath auburn skies
Somewhere across the border

We'll leave behind my dear
The pain and sadness we found here
And we'll drink from the Bravo's muddy waters

Where the sky grows grey and white
We'll meet on the other side
There across the border

For you I'll build a house
High up on a grassy hill
Somewhere across the border

Where pain and memory
Pain and memory have been stilled
There across the border

And sweet blossoms fills the air
Pastures of gold and green
Roll down into cool clear waters

And in your arms 'neath the open skies
I'll kiss the sorrow from your eyes
There across the border

Tonight we'll sing the songs
I'll dream of you my corazon
And tomorrow my heart will be strong

And may the saints' blessing and grace
Carry me safely into your arms
There across the border

For what are we
Without hope in our hearts
That someday we'll drink from God's blessed waters

And eat the fruit from the vine
I know love and fortune will be mine
Somewhere across the border
11 Galveston Bay
Lyrics
Fifteen years Le Bing Son
Fought side by side with the Americans
In the mountains and deltas of Vietnam

In '75 Saigon fell
and he left his command
And brought his family to the promised land

Seabrook Texas and the small towns
in the Gulf of Mexico
It was delta country and reminded him of home

He worked as a machinist, put his money away
And bought a shrimp boat with his cousin
And together they harvested Galveston Bay

In the mornin' 'fore the sun come up
He'd kiss his sleepin' daughter
Steer out through the channel
And casts his nets into the water

Billy Sutter fought with Charlie Company
In the highlands of Quang Tri
He was wounded in the battle of Chu Lai
And shipped home in '68

There he married and worked the gulf fishing grounds
In a boat that'd been his father's
In the morning he'd kiss his sleeping son
And cast his nets into the water

Billy sat in front of his TV as the south fell
And the Communists rolled into Saigon
He and his friends watched as the refugees came
Settle on the same streets and worked the coast they grew up on

Soon in the bars around the harbor was talk
Of America for Americans
Someone said, "You want 'em out, you got to burn 'em out"
And brought in the Texas klan

One humid Texas night there were three shadows on the harbor
Come to burn the Vietnamese boats into the sea
In the fire's light shots rang out
Two Texans lay dead on the ground
Le stood with a pistol in his hand

A jury acquitted him in self defense
As before the judge he did stand
But as he walked down the courthouse steps
Billy said "My friend, you're a dead man"

One late summer night Le stood watch along the waterside
Billy stood in the shadows
His K-bar knife in his hand
And the moon slipped behind the clouds

Le lit a cigarette, the bay was as still as glass
As he walked by Billy stuck his knife into his pocket
Took a breath and let him pass

In the early darkness Billy rose up
Went into the kitchen for a drink of water
Kissed his sleeping wife
Headed into the channel
And casts his nets into the water

Of Galveston Bay
12 My Best Was Never Good Enough
Lyrics
Every cloud has a silver lining, every dog has his day
She said, "Now don't say nothin'
if you don't have something nice to say."
The tough, now they get going, when the going gets tough
But for you my best was never good enough

"Now don't try for a home run, baby
If you can get the job done with a hit"
Remember, "A quitter never wins and a winner never quits"
"The sun don't shine on a sleepin' dog's ass"
And all the rest of that stuff
But for you my best was never good enough

"If God gives you nothin' but lemons, then you make some lemonade"
"The early bird catches the fuckin' worm,
Rome wasn't built in a day"

"Now life's like a box of chocolates,
You never know what you're going to get"
"Stupid is as stupid does and all the rest of that shit"

Come'on pretty baby, call my bluff
'Cause for you my best was never good enough

Greatest Hits (1995)

Bruce’s first compilation album incorporates 14 of his best-known songs, along with his recent hit “Streets of Philadelphia,” from the film Philadelphia, which won multiple Grammys and an Academy Award. Also included is fan-favorite outtake “Murder Incorporated” and three more songs newly recorded with a reunited E Street Band in January 1995.

Released: February 27, 1995
Label: Columbia Records
Produced By: Bruce Springsteen, Mike Appel, Jon Landau, Steven Van Zandt, Chuck Plotkin, Roy Bittan
1 Born to Run
Lyrics
In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines
Sprung from cages on Highway 9
Chrome-wheeled, fuel-injected
And steppin' out over the line
Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we're young
'Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

Wendy let me in, I wanna be your friend
I want to guard your dreams and visions
Just wrap your legs 'round these velvet rims
and strap your hands across my engines
Together we could break this trap
We'll run till we drop, baby we'll never go back
Will you walk with me out on the wire
'Cause baby I'm just a scared and lonely rider
But I gotta find out how it feels
I want to know if love is wild
girl I want to know if love is real

Beyond the Palace hemi powered drones scream down the boulevard
The girls comb their hair in rearview mirrors
And the boys try to look so hard
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
I wanna die with you out on the streets tonight
In an everlasting kiss

The highway's jammed with broken heroes
On a last chance power drive
Everybody's out on the run tonight
but there's no place left to hide
Together, Wendy, we can live with the sadness
I'll love you with all the madness in my soul
Someday girl, I don't know when,
we're gonna get to that place
Where we really want to go
and we'll walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us
baby we were born to run
Also Appears On
Born to Run Born to Run: 30th Anniversary Edition Live 1975–85 Chimes of Freedom Live in New York City Live in New York City (DVD) The Essential Bruce Springsteen Hammersmith Odeon, London ’75 London Calling: Live in Hyde Park Live in Barcelona Greatest Hits (2009) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen Chapter and Verse
2 Thunder Road
Lyrics
The screen door slams
Mary's dress waves
Like a vision she dances across the porch
As the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey that's me and I want you only
Don't turn me home again
I just can't face myself alone again
Don't run back inside
darling you know just what I'm here for
So you're scared and you're thinking
That maybe we ain't that young anymore
Show a little faith, there's magic in the night
You ain't a beauty but hey you're all right
Oh and that's all right with me

You can hide 'neath your covers
And study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers
Throw roses in the rain
Waste your summer praying in vain
For a savior to rise from these streets
Well now I'm no hero
That's understood
All the redemption I can offer, girl
Is beneath this dirty hood
With a chance to make it good somehow
Hey what else can we do now
Except roll down the window
And let the wind blow back your hair
Well the night's busting open
These two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back, heaven's waiting on down the tracks
Oh come take my hand
We're riding out tonight to case the promised land
Oh Thunder Road, oh Thunder Road
oh Thunder Road
Lying out there like a killer in the sun
Hey I know it's late we can make it if we run
Oh Thunder Road, sit tight, take hold
Thunder Road

Well I got this guitar
And I learned how to make it talk
And my car's out back
If you're ready to take that long walk
From your front porch to my front seat
The door's open but the ride ain't free
And I know you're lonely
For words that I ain't spoken
But tonight we'll be free
All the promises'll be broken
There were ghosts in the eyes
Of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dusty beach road
In the skeleton frames of burned-out Chevrolets

They scream your name at night in the street
Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet
And in the lonely cool before dawn
You hear their engines roaring on
But when you get to the porch they're gone on the wind
So Mary climb in
It's a town full of losers
And I'm pulling out of here to win.
Also Appears On
Born to Run Born to Run: 30th Anniversary Edition Live 1975–85 In Concert - MTV Plugged In Concert - MTV Plugged Film Live in New York City (DVD) The Essential Bruce Springsteen Hammersmith Odeon, London ’75 Live in Barcelona VH-1 Storytellers Greatest Hits (2009) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
3 Badlands
Lyrics
Lights out tonight
trouble in the heartland
Got a head-on collision
smashin' in my guts, man
I'm caught in a crossfire
that I don't understand
But there's one thing I know for sure, girl
I don't give a damn
For the same old played out scenes
I don't give a damn
For just the in-betweens
Honey, I want the heart, I want the soul
I want control right now
You better listen to me baby
Talk about a dream
Try to make it real
you wake up in the night
With a fear so real
Spend your life waiting
for a moment that just won't come
Well don't waste your time waiting

CHORUS
Badlands, you gotta live it everyday
Let the broken hearts stand
As the price you've gotta pay
We'll keep pushin' till it's understood
and these badlands start treating us good

Workin' in the fields
Till you get your back burned
Workin' 'neath the wheel
Till you get your facts learned
Baby, I got my facts
Learned real good right now,
You better get it straight, darling,
Poor man wanna be rich
Rich man wanna be king
And a king ain't satisfied
Till he rules everything
I wanna go out tonight,
I wanna find out what I got

I believe in the love that you gave me
I believe in the faith that can save me
I believe in the hope and I pray
That some day it may raise me
Above these badlands

(CHORUS)

For the ones who had a notion
A notion deep inside
That it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive
I wanna find one face that ain't looking through me
I wanna find one place
I wanna spit in the face of these badlands

(CHORUS)
Also Appears On
Darkness on the Edge of Town Darkness on the Edge of Town (Remastered) Live 1975–85 Live in New York City Live in New York City (DVD) The Essential Bruce Springsteen London Calling: Live in Hyde Park Live in Barcelona Greatest Hits (2009) The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story Chapter and Verse
4 The River
Lyrics
I come from down in the valley
where mister when you're young
They bring you up to do like your daddy done
Me and Mary we met in high school
when she was just seventeen
We'd ride out of that valley down to where the fields were green

We'd go down to the river
And into the river we'd dive
Oh down to the river we'd ride

Then I got Mary pregnant
and man that was all she wrote
And for my nineteenth birthday I got a union card and a wedding coat
We went down to the courthouse
and the judge put it all to rest
No wedding day smiles no walk down the aisle
No flowers no wedding dress

That night we went down to the river
And into the river we'd dive
Oh down to the river we did ride

I got a job working construction for the Johnstown Company
But lately there ain't been much work on account of the economy
Now all them things that seemed so important
Well mister they vanished right into the air
Now I just act like I don't remember
Mary acts like she don't care

But I remember us riding in my brother's car
Her body tan and wet down at the reservoir
At night on them banks I'd lie awake
And pull her close just to feel each breath she'd take
Now those memories come back to haunt me
they haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don't come true
Or is it something worse
that sends me down to the river
though I know the river is dry
That sends me down to the river tonight
Down to the river
my baby and I
Oh down to the river we ride
Also Appears On
The River Live 1975–85 Live in New York City Live in New York City (DVD) The Essential Bruce Springsteen London Calling: Live in Hyde Park The Ties That Bind: The River Collection Chapter and Verse
5 Hungry Heart
Lyrics
Got a wife and kids in Baltimore Jack
I went out for a ride and I never went back
Like a river that don't know where it's flowing
I took a wrong turn and I just kept going

CHORUS
Everybody's got a hungry heart
Everybody's got a hungry heart
Lay down your money and you play your part
Everybody's got a hungry heart

I met her in a Kingstown bar
We fell in love I knew it had to end
We took what we had and we ripped it apart
Now here I am down in Kingstown again

(CHORUS)

Everybody needs a place to rest
Everybody wants to have a home
Don't make no difference what nobody says
Ain't nobody like to be alone

(CHORUS)
Also Appears On
The River Live 1975–85 The Essential Bruce Springsteen Greatest Hits (2009) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen The Ties That Bind: The River Collection
6 Atlantic City
Lyrics
Well they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night now they blew up his house too
Down on the boardwalk they're gettin' ready for a fight gonna see what them racket boys can do

Now there's trouble busin' in from outta state and the D.A. can't get no relief
Gonna be a rumble out on the promenade and the gamblin' commission's hangin' on by the skin of its teeth

CHORUS
Well now everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your makeup on fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City

Well I got a job and tried to put my money away
But I got debts that no honest man can pay
So I drew what I had from the Central Trust
And I bought us two tickets on that Coast City bus

CHORUS

Now our luck may have died and our love may be cold but with you forever I'll stay
We're goin' out where the sand's turnin' to gold so put on your stockin's baby 'cause the night's getting cold
And everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back

Now I been lookin' for a job but it's hard to find
Down here it's just winners and losers and don't get caught on the wrong side of that line
Well I'm tired of comin' out on the losin' end
So honey last night I met this guy and I'm gonna do a little favor for him
Well I guess everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your hair up nice and set up pretty
and meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Also Appears On
Nebraska In Concert - MTV Plugged In Concert - MTV Plugged Film Live in New York City Live in New York City (DVD) The Essential Bruce Springsteen Live in Dublin Live in Dublin Film MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
7 Dancing in the Dark
Lyrics
I get up in the evening
and I ain't got nothing to say
I come home in the morning
I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain't nothing but tired
Man I'm just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help

You can't start a fire
You can't start a fire without a spark
This gun's for hire
even if we're just dancing in the dark

Message keeps getting clearer
radio's on and I'm moving 'round the place
I check my look in the mirror
I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face
Man I ain't getting nowhere
I'm just living in a dump like this
There's something happening somewhere
baby I just know that there is

You can't start a fire
you can't start a fire without a spark
This gun's for hire
even if we're just dancing in the dark

You sit around getting older
there's a joke here somewhere and it's on me
I'll shake this world off my shoulders
come on baby this laugh's on me

Stay on the streets of this town
and they'll be carving you up alright
They say you gotta stay hungry
hey baby I'm just about starving tonight
I'm dying for some action
I'm sick of sitting 'round here trying to write this book
I need a love reaction
come on now baby gimme just one look

You can't start a fire sitting 'round crying over a broken heart
This gun's for hire
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
You can't start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart
This gun's for hire
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Hey baby
Also Appears On
Born in the U.S.A. The Essential Bruce Springsteen London Calling: Live in Hyde Park Live in Barcelona Greatest Hits (2009) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
8 Born in the U.S.A.
Lyrics
Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up

Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hand
Sent me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man

Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says "Son if it was up to me"
Went down to see my V.A. man
He said "Son, don't you understand"

I had a brother at Khe Sahn fighting off the Viet Cong
They're still there, he's all gone

He had a woman he loved in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms now

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I'm ten years burning down the road
Nowhere to run ain't got nowhere to go

Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
I'm a long gone Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
I'm a cool rocking Daddy in the U.S.A.
Also Appears On
Born in the U.S.A. Live 1975–85 Tracks 18 Tracks Live in New York City Live in New York City (DVD) The Essential Bruce Springsteen Live in Barcelona Greatest Hits (2009) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen Chapter and Verse
9 My Hometown
Lyrics
I was eight years old and running with a dime in my hand
Into the bus stop to pick up a paper for my old man
I'd sit on his lap in that big old Buick and steer as we drove through town
He'd tousle my hair and say son take a good look around this is your hometown
This is your hometown
This is your hometown
This is your hometown

In '65 tension was running high at my high school
There was a lot of fights between the black and white
There was nothing you could do
Two cars at a light on a Saturday night in the back seat there was a gun
Words were passed in a shotgun blast
Troubled times had come to my hometown
My hometown
My hometown
My hometown

Now Main Street's whitewashed windows and vacant stores
Seems like there ain't nobody wants to come down here no more
They're closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain't coming back to your hometown
Your hometown
Your hometown
Your hometown

Last night me and Kate we laid in bed
talking about getting out
Packing up our bags maybe heading south
I'm thirty-five we got a boy of our own now
Last night I sat him up behind the wheel and said son take a good look around
This is your hometown
Also Appears On
Born in the U.S.A. Live 1975–85 Live in New York City (DVD) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
10 Glory Days
Lyrics
I had a friend was a big baseball player
back in high school
He could throw that speedball by you
Make you look like a fool boy
Saw him the other night at this roadside bar
I was walking in, he was walking out
We went back inside sat down had a few drinks
but all he kept talking about was

Chorus:
Glory days well they'll pass you by
Glory days in the wink of a young girl's eye
Glory days, glory days

Well there's a girl that lives up the block
back in school she could turn all the boy's heads
Sometimes on a Friday I'll stop by
and have a few drinks after she put her kids to bed
Her and her husband Bobby well they split up
I guess it's two years gone by now
We just sit around talking about the old times,
she says when she feels like crying
she starts laughing thinking about

Chorus

Now I think I'm going down to the well tonight
and I'm going to drink till I get my fill
And I hope when I get old I don't sit around thinking about it
but I probably will
Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture
a little of the glory of, well time slips away
and leaves you with nothing mister but
boring stories of glory days

Chorus (repeat twice)
Also Appears On
Born in the U.S.A. In Concert - MTV Plugged Film The Essential Bruce Springsteen London Calling: Live in Hyde Park Greatest Hits (2009) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
11 Brilliant Disguise
Lyrics
I hold you in my arms
as the band plays
What are those words whispered baby
just as you turn away
I saw you last night
out on the edge of town
I wanna read your mind
To know just what I've got in this new thing I've found
So tell me what I see
when I look in your eyes
Is that you baby
or just a brilliant disguise

I heard somebody call your name
from underneath our willow
I saw something tucked in shame
underneath your pillow
Well I've tried so hard baby
but I just can't see
What a woman like you
is doing with me
So tell me who I see
when I look in your eyes
Is that you baby
or just a brilliant disguise

Now look at me baby
struggling to do everything right
And then it all falls apart
when out go the lights
I'm just a lonely pilgrim
I walk this world in wealth
I want to know if it's you I don't trust
'cause I damn sure don't trust myself

Now you play the loving woman
I'll play the faithful man
But just don't look too close
into the palm of my hand
We stood at the alter
the gypsy swore our future was right
But come the wee wee hours
Well maybe baby the gypsy lied
So when you look at me
you better look hard and look twice
Is that me baby
or just a brilliant disguise

Tonight our bed is cold
I'm lost in the darkness of our love
God have mercy on the man
Who doubts what he's sure of
Also Appears On
Tunnel of Love The Essential Bruce Springsteen VH-1 Storytellers Chapter and Verse
12 Human Touch
Lyrics
You and me we were the pretenders
We let it all slip away
In the end what you don't surrender
Well the world just strips away

Girl, ain't no kindness in the face of strangers
Ain't gonna find no miracles here
Well you can wait on your blesses my darlin'
But I got a deal for you right here

I ain't lookin' for praise or pity
I ain't comin' 'round searchin' for a crutch
I just want someone to talk to
And a little of that Human Touch
Just a little of that Human Touch

Ain't no mercy on the streets of this town
Ain't no bread from heavenly skies
Ain't nobody drawin' wine from this blood
It's just you and me tonight

Tell me, in a world without pity
Do you think what I'm askin's too much
I just want something to hold on to
And a little of that Human Touch
Just a little of that Human Touch

Oh girl that feeling of safety you prize
Well it comes at a hard hard price
You can't shut off the risk and the pain
Without losin' the love that remains
We're all riders on this train

So you've been broken and you've been hurt
Show me somebody who ain't
Yeah, I know I ain't nobody's bargain
But, hell, a little touchup
and a little paint...

You might need somethin' to hold on to
When all the answers, they don't amount to much
Somebody that you could just to talk to
And a little of that Human Touch

Baby, in a world without pity
Do you think what I'm askin's too much
I just want to feel you in my arms
Share a little of that Human Touch
Feel a little of that Human Touch
Give me a little of that Human Touch
Also Appears On
Human Touch In Concert - MTV Plugged In Concert - MTV Plugged Film The Essential Bruce Springsteen
13 Better Days
Lyrics
Well my soul checked out missing as I sat listening
To the hours and minutes tickin' away
Yeah, just sittin' around waitin' for my life to begin
While it was all just slippin' away.
I'm tired of waitin' for tomorrow to come
Or that train to come roarin' 'round the bend
I got a new suit of clothes a pretty red rose
And a woman I can call my friend

These are better days baby
Yeah there's better days shining through
These are better days baby
Better days with a girl like you

Well I took a piss at fortune's sweet kiss
It's like eatin' caviar and dirt
It's a sad funny ending to find yourself pretending
A rich man in a poor man's shirt
Now my ass was draggin' when from a passin' gypsy wagon
Your heart like a diamond shone
Tonight I'm layin' in your arms carvin' lucky charms
Out of these heard luck bones

These are better days baby
These are better days it's true
These are better days
There's better days shining through

Now a life of leisure and a pirate's treasure
Don't make much for tragedy
But it's a sad man my friend who's livin' in his own skin
And can't stand the company
Every fool's got a reason to feelin' sorry for himself
And turn his heart to stone
Tonight this fool's halfway to heaven and just a mile outta hell
And I feel like I'm comin' home

These are better days baby
There's better days shining through
These are better days
Better days with a girl like you

These are better days baby
These are better days it's true
These are better days
Better days are shining through
Also Appears On
Lucky Town In Concert - MTV Plugged In Concert - MTV Plugged Film
14 Streets of Philadelphia
Lyrics
I was bruised and battered and I couldn't tell
what I felt
I was unrecognizable to myself
Saw my reflection in a window I didn't know
my own face
Oh brother are you gonna leave me
wasting away
On the streets of Philadelphia

I walked the avenue till my legs felt like stone
I heard the voices of friends vanished and gone
At night I could hear the blood in my veins
Just as black and whispering as the rain
On the streets of Philadelphia

Ain't no angel gonna greet me
It's just you and I my friend
And my clothes don't fit me no more
I walked a thousand miles
just to slip this skin

The night has fallen, I'm lyin' awake
I can feel myself fading away
So receive me brother with your faithless kiss
or will we leave each other alone like this
On the streets of Philadelphia
Also Appears On
The Essential Bruce Springsteen MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
15 Secret Garden
Lyrics
She'll let you in her house
If you come knockin' late at night
She'll let you in her mouth
If the words you say are right
If you pay the price
She'll let you deep inside
But there's a secret garden she hides

She'll let you in her car
To go drivin' round
She'll let you into the parts of herself
That'll bring you down
She'll let you in her heart
If you got a hammer and a vise
But into her secret garden, don't think twice

You've gone a million miles
How far'd you get
To that place where you can't remember
And you can't forget

She'll lead you down a path
There'll be tenderness in the air
She'll let you come just far enough
So you know she's really there
She'll look at you and smile
And her eyes will say
She's got a secret garden
Where everything you want
Where everything you need
Will always stay
A million miles away
Also Appears On
Blood Brothers Blood Brothers (DVD)
16 Murder Incorporated
Lyrics
Bobby's got a gun that he keeps beneath his pillow (oh yeah)
Out on the street your chances are zero (oh yeah)
Take a look around you (come on down)
It ain't too complicated
You're messin' with Murder Incorporated

Now you check over your shoulder everywhere that you go (oh yeah)
Walkin' down the street, there's eyes in every shadow (oh yeah)
You better take a look around you (come on down)
That equipment you got's so outdated
You can't compete with Murder Incorporated
Everywhere you look now there's Murder Incorporated

So you keep a little secret down deep inside your dresser drawer
From dealing with the heat you're feelin' down on the killin' floor
No matter where you step you feel you're never out of danger
So the comfort that you keep's a gold-plated snub-nose thirty-two
I heard that you

You got a job downtown, man it leaves your head cold (oh yea)
And everywhere you look life ain't got no soul (oh yeah)
That apartment you live in feels like it's just a place to hide
When your walkin' down the streets you won't meet no one eye to eye
Now the cops reported you as just another homicide
I can tell that you was just frustrated
from livin' with Murder Incorporated

Incorporated
Everywhere you look now
Murder Incorporated
Down on your knees
Murder Incorporated
Everywhere that you turn it's murder Incorporated
Also Appears On
Blood Brothers Live in New York City Live in New York City (DVD) Blood Brothers (DVD)
17 Blood Brothers
Lyrics
We played king of the mountain out on the end
The world come chargin' up the hill, and we were women and men
Now there's so much that time, time and memory fade away
We got our own roads to ride and chances we gotta take
We stood side by side each one fightin' for the other
We said until we died we'd always be blood brothers

Now the hardness of this world slowly grinds your dreams away
Makin' a fool's joke out of the promises we make
And what once seemed black and white turns to so many shades of gray
We lose ourselves in work to do and bills to pay
And it's a ride, ride, ride, and there ain't much cover
With no one runnin' by your side my blood brother

On through the houses of the dead past those fallen in their tracks
Always movin' ahead and never lookin' back
Now I don't know how I feel, I don't know how I feel tonight
If I've fallen 'neath the wheel, if I've lost or I've gained sight
I don't even know why, I don't know why I made this call
Or if any of this matters anymore after all

But the stars are burnin' bright like some mystery uncovered
I'll keep movin' through the dark with you in my heart
My blood brother
Also Appears On
Blood Brothers Blood Brothers (DVD)
18 This Hard Land
Lyrics
Hey there mister can you tell me
What happened to the seeds I've sown
Can you give me a reason, sir, as to why they've never grown
They've just blown around from town to town
Back out on these fields
Where they fall from my hand
Back into the dirt of this hard land

Well me and my sister
From Germantown we did ride
We made our bed, sir
From the rock on the mountainside
We been blowin' around from town to town
Lookin' for a place to stand
Where the sun burst through the clouds and fall like a circle
A circle of fire down on this hard land

Now even the rain it don't come 'round
Don't come 'round here no more
And the only sound at night's the wind
Slammin' the back porch door
Yeah it stirs you up like it wants to blow you down
Twistin' and churnin' up the sand
Leavin' all them scarecrows lyin' facedown
In the dirt of this hard land

From a building up on the hill
I can hear a tape deck blastin' "Home on the Range"
I can hear them Bar-M choppers
Sweepin' low across the plains
It's me and you, Frank, we're lookin' for lost cattle
Our hooves twistin' and churnin' up the sand
We're ridin' in the whirlwind searchin' for lost treasure
Way down south of the Rio Grande
We're ridin' 'cross that river in the moonlight
Up onto the banks of this hard land

Hey, Frank, won't you pack your bags
And meet me tonight down at Liberty Hall
Just one kiss from you, my brother
And we'll ride until we fall
Well sleep in the fields
We'll sleep by the rivers
And in the morning we'll make a plan
Well if you can't make it stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive if you can
And meet me in a dream of this hard land
Also Appears On
Tracks Live in New York City (DVD)