American Beauty

American Beauty is a collection of songs I cut at home. Upon revisiting them for High Hopes I recognized their potential and Ron Aniello and I worked on them until we’d turned them into the music before you. In the song “American Beauty,” I get to sing in a part of my range I don’t often visit and that along with its ‘guitar wall of sound’ gives it a little ‘exile on E Street’ power. “Mary Mary” is a lovely mystery, a small piece of heartbreak poetry that sneaks up on you with its slippery grove, punctuated string section and spectral lyrics. It came closest to making the High Hopes cut. “Hurry Up Sundown” is a fun piece of modern power pop, while “Hey Blue Eyes” rounds out the EP with one of my darkest political songs. Written during the Bush years, it’s a metaphor for the house of horrors our government’s actions created in the years following the invasion of Iraq. At its center is the repressed sexuality and abuse of power that characterized Abu Ghraib prison. I feel this is a shadow we as a country have yet to emerge from.

Enjoy the music.

– Bruce Springsteen

Released: April 19, 2014
Label: Columbia Records
Produced By: Bruce Springsteen
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1 American Beauty
Lyrics
Everything in your shadow turns to vapor
You pierce my heart like it was paper
Radio’s cracklin’ with the headlines
Somethin on your shoulder, winds in the phone lines
American beauty will you be mine
On this highway counting white lines

Hot and bloody summer, driftin blue eyes
We’re in the high grass, I finger your hemline
Boot heels click clackin’, honey when you shine
Autumn green eyes, hair sweet as the pines
American beauty forever mine
Out on this highway countin’ white lines

Your hand cups your breast, pledging your time
Things we carried, shining skylines
Fallin’ sparrow, sky torn apart
Dark shining arrow, your kiss’ pierces my heart
American beauty forever mine
Out on this highway countin’ white lines
2 Mary Mary
Lyrics
Heard they seen you yesterday in Charlestown
I heard about that story goin’ ‘round ‘round
All I got’s a book of love with pages worn clean through
Circle of gold and one bleeding tattoo
Mary Mary where have you gone to?

This town’s a secret shared and shattered in a sad song
Just torn and tattered pieces of a love gone wrong
Hearts of stone and eyes gone deep blue
Lonely houses filled two by two
Mary Mary where have you run to?

Summer storm blew in soft and cool
Onto slinky town streets where love ruled
There’s just a misty sidewalk with the rain driftin’ through
A lipstick case and one lonely red shoe
Mary Mary where have you run to?
Mary Mary where have you run to?
Mary Mary where have you run to?

I heard they seen you yesterday in Charlestown
3 Hurry Up Sundown
Lyrics
It’s the end of another working day
C’mon and pack your blues away
Change your clothes, we’ll go for a ride
To the other side
Hurry up sundown, hurry up sundown
Hurry up sundown, hurry up sundown

Over here it’s easier to breathe
There’s a place for you and me
And there’s no devil here to pay
And come the light of day we pray
Hurry up sundown
Hurry up sundown, hurry up sundown

And together we’ll ride to the other side
We’ll feel so free just you and me
And I’ll pay what is due
Till the night sees us through

And together we’ll ride to the other side
We’ll feel so free just you and me
When this long day is through
Evenin’ dims a blue
Hurry up sundown, hurry up sundown
Hurry up sundown, hurry up sundown, hurry up sundown

It’s the end of another working day
C’mon and pack your blues away
It’s the end of another working day
C’mon and pack your blues away
Hurry up sundown, hurry up sundown
Hurry up sundown, hurry up sundown
4 Hey Blue Eyes
Lyrics
They’re holdin’ a committee, of treason and lies
Doublespeak and sedition, then somebody dies
From the hill the smell of lilacs, the repeat of guns
She closes the window, draws the blinds
Her first touch sucks the air from my lungs
Hey blue eyes, what’cha doin’ tonight?
Hey blue eyes yea it’s all right

She says in this house we’ve abandoned history
In this house there are no laws
Just the false taste of paradise, and then the fall
In this house the guilty go unpunished, blood and silence prevail
Here the dead remain nameless, the nameless remain jailed
Hey blue eyes, what’cha doin’ tonight?
Hey blue eyes yea it’s all right

In this house there’s just the dust of bones
The basement’s filled with lye
In this house our son’s and daughters, are spilled like wine
So come close my pretty darlin’ and let me feel your disease
Tonight I’ll have you naked, and crawlin’ at the end of my leash
Hey blue eyes, what’cha doin’ tonight?
Hey blue eyes hey it’s all right

She says, in this house it’s so easy
To set a world on fire, all you need is a name, the money
And a soul full of reckless desire
Now upstairs the landlord is dining with all of his very close friends
Don’t worry they’ll have their bags packed and be long gone
Before the real fucking begins
Hey blue eyes, what’cha doin’ tonight?
Hey blue eyes hey it’s all right
Hey blue eyes, what’cha doin’ tonight?
Hey blue eyes yea it’s all right