The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle

Album Info Track List

Filled with iconic characters such as Rosalita and Sandy, hoodlums, fortune tellers, and sprawling narratives that fall somewhere between historical fact and tall tale, Springsteen’s sophomore effort is nothing less than the sound of summer on the Jersey boardwalk.

  • Released:
  • Label: Columbia
  • Producers: Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, Steven Van Zandt
  • 1 The E Street Shuffle

    Lyrics

    Sparks fly on E Street when the boy prophets walk it handsome and hot
    All the little girls' souls grow weak when the man-child gives them a double shot
    Them schoolboy pops pull out all the stops on a Friday night
    The teenage tramps in skintight pants do the E Street dance and everything's all right
    Well the kids down there are either dancing or hooked up in a scuffle
    Dressed in snakeskin suits packed with Detroit muscle
    They're doin' the E Street Shuffle
    Now those E Street brats in twilight duel flash like phantoms in full star stream
    Down fire trails on silver nights with blonde girls pledged sweet sixteen
    The newsboys say the heat's been bad since Power Thirteen gave a trooper all he had in a summer scuffle
    And Power's girl, Little Angel, been on the corner keepin' those crazy boys out of trouble
    Little Angel steps the shuffle like she ain't got no brains
    She's death in combat down on Lover's Lane
    She drives all them local boys insane
    Little Angel says, "Oh, oh, everybody form a line
    Oh, oh, everybody form a line"
    Sparks light on E Street when the boy prophets walk it handsome and hot
    All them little girls' souls grow weak when the man-child gives them a double shot
    Little Angel hangs out at Easy Joe's, it's a club where all the riot squad goes when they're cashin' in for a cheap hustle
    But them boys are still on the corner loose and doin' that lazy E StreetShuffle
    As them sweet summer nights turn into summer dreams
    Little Angel picks up Power and he slips on his jeans
    And they move on out down to the scene
    All the kids are dancin'

    Also Appears On

  • 2 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)

    Lyrics

    Sandy the fireworks are hailin' over Little Eden tonight
    Forcin' a light into all those stoned-out faces left stranded on this Fourth of July
    Down in town the circuit's full with switchblade lovers so fast so shiny so sharp
    And the wizards play down on Pinball Way on the boardwalk way past dark
    And the boys from the casino dance with their shirts open like Latin lovers along the shore
    Chasin' all them silly New York girls

    Sandy the aurora is risin' behind us
    The pier lights our carnival life forever
    Love me tonight for I may never see you again
    Hey Sandy girl

    Now the greasers they tramp the streets or get busted for trying to sleep on the beach all night
    Them boys in their spiked high heels ah Sandy their skins are so white
    And me I just got tired of hangin' in them dusty arcades bangin' them pleasure machines
    Chasin' the factory girls underneath the boardwalk where they promise to unsnap their jeans
    And you know that tilt-a-whirl down on the south beach drag
    I got on it last night and my shirt got caught
    And that Joey kept me spinnin' I didn't think I'd ever get off

    Oh Sandy the aurora is risin' behind us
    The pier lights our carnival life on the water
    Runnin' down the beach at night with my boss's daughter
    Well he ain't my boss no more Sandy

    Sandy, the angels have lost our desire for us
    I spoke to 'em just last night and they said they won't set themselves on fire for us anymore
    Every summer when the weather gets hot they ride that road down from heaven on their Harleys they come and they go
    And you can see 'em dressed like stars in all the cheap little seashore bars parked making love with their babies out on the Kokomo
    Well the cops finally busted Madame Marie for tellin' fortunes better than they do
    This boardwalk life for me is through
    You know you ought to quit this scene too

    Sandy the aurora's rising behind us, the pier lights our carnival life forever
    Oh love me tonight and I promise I'll love you forever

    Also Appears On

  • 3 Kitty's Back

    Lyrics

    Catlong sighs holding Kitty's black tooth
    She left to marry some top cat, ain't it the cold truth
    And there hasn't been a tally since Sally left the alley
    Since Kitty left with Big Pretty things have got pretty thin
    It's tight on this fence since them young dudes are musclin' in

    Jack Knife cries 'cause baby's in a bundle
    She goes running nightly, lightly through the jungle
    And them tin cans are explodin' out in the ninety-degree heat
    Cat somehow lost his baby down on Bleecker Street
    It's sad but it sure is true
    Cat shrugs his shoulders, sits back and sighs
    OOh, what can I do, ooh, what can I do?
    OOh, what can I do, ooh what can I do?

    Catlong lies back bent on a trash can,
    Flashing lights cut the night, dude in the white says he's the man
    Well you better learn to move fast when you're young or you're not long around
    Cat somehow lost his Kitty down in the city pound
    So get right, get tight, get down
    Well who's that down at the end of the alley?
    She's been gone so long

    Kitty's back in town, here she comes now
    Kitty's back in town
    Kitty's back in town, here she comes now
    Kitty's back in town
    Kitty's back in town, here she comes now
    Kitty's back in town

    Now Cat knows his Kitty's been untrue
    And that she left him for a city dude
    But she's so soft, she's so blue
    When he looks into her eyes
    He just sits back and sighs
    Ooh, what can I do, ooh, what can I do?

    Also Appears On

  • 4 Wild Billy's Circus Story

    Lyrics

    The machinist climbs his ferris wheel like a brave
    And the fire eater's lyin' in a pool of sweat, victim of the heatwave
    Behind the tent the hired hand tightens his legs on the sword swallower's blade
    And circus town's on the shortwave

    The runway lies ahead like a great false dawn
    Fat lady, big mama, Missy Bimbo sits in her chair and yawns
    And the man-beast lies in his cage sniffin' popcorn
    As the midget licks his fingers and suffers Missy Bimbo's scorn
    Circus town's been born

    Whoa, and a press roll drummer go, ballerina to and fro
    Cartwheelin' up on that tightrope with a cannon blast lightin' flash
    Movin' fast through the tent Mars bent, he's gonna miss his fall
    Oh God save the human cannonball.
    And the flying Zambinis watch Margarita do her neck twist,
    And the ringmaster gets the crowd to count along: "Ninety-five, ninety-six, ninety-seven"
    A ragged suitcase in his hand, he steals silently away from the circus grounds
    And the highway's haunted by the carnival sounds
    They dance like a great greasepaint ghost on the wind
    A man in baggy pants, a lonely face, a crazy grin
    Runnin' home to some small Ohio town
    Jesus send some good women to save all your clowns

    And circus boy dances like a monkey on barbed wire
    And the barker romances with a junkie, she's got a flat tire,
    And now the elephants dance real funky and the band plays like a jungle fire
    Circus town's on the live wire
    And the strong man Sampson lifts the midget little Tiny Tim way up on his shoulders, way up
    And carries him on down the midway past the kids, past the sailors
    To his dimly lit trailer
    And the ferris wheel turns and turns like it ain't ever gonna stop
    And the circus boss leans over, whispers into the little boy's ear "Hey son, you want to try the big top?"
    All aboard, Nebraska's our next stop.

  • 5 Incident on 57th Street

    Lyrics

    Spanish Johnny drove in from the underworld last night
    With bruised arms and broken rhythm in a beat-up old Buick
    But dressed just like dynamite
    He tried sellin' his heart to the hard girls over on Easy Street
    But they sighed "Johnny it falls apart so easy and you know hearts these days are cheap"
    And the pimps swung their axes and said "Johnny you're a cheater."
    Well the pimps swung their axes and said "Johnny you're a liar"
    And from out of the shadows came a young girl's voice said: "Johnny don't cry"
    Puerto Rican Jane, oh won't you tell me what's your name.
    I want to drive you down to the other side of town where paradise ain't so crowded, there'll be action goin' down on Shanty Lane tonight
    All them golden-heeled fairies in a real bitch fight
    Pull .38s and kiss the girls good night

    Oh good night, it's alright Jane
    Now let them black boys in to light the soul flame
    We may find it out on the street tonight baby
    Or we may walk until the daylight maybe

    Well like a cool Romeo he made his moves, oh she looked so fine
    Like a late Juliet she knew he'd never be true but then she really didn't mind
    Upstairs a band was playin', the singer was singin' something about goin' home
    She whispered, "Spanish Johnny, you can leave me tonight but just don't leave me alone"

    And Johnny cried "Puerto Rican Jane, word is down the cops have found the vein"
    Oh them barefoot boys left their homes for the woods
    Them little barefoot street boys they say homes ain't no good
    They left the corners, threw away all their switchblade knives and kissed each other good-bye

    Johnny was sittin' on the fire escape watchin' the kids playin' down the street
    He called down "Hey little heroes, summer's long but I guess it ain't very sweet around here anymore"
    Janey sleeps in sheets damp with sweat, Johnny sits up alone and watches her dream on, dream on
    And the sister prays for lost souls, then breaks down in the chapel after everyone's gone

    Jane moves over to share her pillow but opens her eyes to see Johnny up and putting his clothes on
    She says "Those romantic young boys
    All they ever want to do is fight"
    Those romantic young boys
    They're callin' through the window
    "Hey Spanish Johnny, you want to make a little easy money tonight?"
    And Johnny whispered:
    Good night, it's all tight Jane
    I'll meet you tomorrow night on Lover's Lane
    We may find it out on the street tonight baby
    Or we may walk until the daylight maybe

    Also Appears On

  • 6 Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)

    Lyrics

    Spread out now Rosie, doctor come cut loose her mama's reins
    You know playin' blindman's bluff is a little baby's game
    You pick up Little Dynamite, I'm gonna pick up Little Gun
    And together we're gonna go out tonight and make that highway run
    You don't have to call me lieutenant Rosie and I don't want to be your son
    The only lover I'm ever gonna need's your soft sweet little girl's tongue
    Rosie you're the one
    Dynamite's in the belfry playin' with the bats
    Little Gun's downtown in front of Woolworth's tryin' out his attitude on all the cats
    Papa's on the corner waitin' for the bus
    Mama she's home in the window waitin' up for us
    She'll be there in that chair when they wrestle her upstairs
    'Cause you know we ain't gonna come
    I ain't here for business
    I'm only here for fun
    And Rosie you're the one

    Rosalita jump a little lighter
    Senorita come sit by my fire
    I just want to be your love, ain't no lie
    Rosalita you're my stone desire

    Jack the Rabbit and Weak Knees Willie, you know they're gonna be there
    Ah, sloppy Sue and Big Bones Billie, they'll be comin' up for air
    We're gonna play some pool, skip some school, act real cool
    Stay out all night, it's gonna feel all right
    So Rosie come out tonight, baby come out tonight
    Windows are for cheaters, chimneys for the poor
    Closets are for hangers, winners use the door
    So use it Rosie, that's what it's there for

    Rosalita jump a little lighter
    Senorita come sit by my fire
    I just want to be your love, ain't no lie
    Rosalita you're my stone desire

    Now I know your mama she don't like me 'cause I play in a rock and roll band
    And I know your daddy he don't dig me but he never did understand
    Papa lowered the boom, he locked you in your room
    I'm comin' to lend a hand
    I'm comin' to liberate you, confiscate you, I want to be your man
    Someday we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny
    But now you're sad, your mama's mad
    And your papa says he knows that I don't have any money
    Tell him this is his last chance to get his daughter in a fine romance
    Because the record company, Rosie, just gave me a big advance
    My tires were slashed and I almost crashed but the Lord had mercy
    My machine she's a dud, I'm stuck in the mud somewhere in the swamps of Jersey
    Hold on tight, stay up all night 'cause Rosie I'm comin' on strong
    By the time we meet the morning light I will hold you in my arms
    I know a pretty little place in Southern California down San Diego way
    There's a little cafe where they play guitars all night and day
    You can hear them in the back room strummin'
    So hold tight baby 'cause don't you know daddy's comin'

    Also Appears On

  • 7 New York City Serenade

    Lyrics

    Billy he's down by the railroad tracks
    Sittin' low in the back seat of his Cadillac
    Diamond Jackie, she's so intact
    As she falls so softly beneath him
    Jackie's heels are stacked
    Billy's got cleats on his boots
    Together they're gonna boogaloo down Broadway and come back home with the loot
    It's midnight in Manhattan, this is no time to get cute
    It's a mad dog's promenade
    So walk tall or baby don't walk at all

    Fish lady, oh fish lady
    She baits them tenement walls
    She won't take corner boys
    They ain't got no money
    And they're so easy
    I said "Hey, baby
    Won't you take my hand
    Walk with me down Broadway
    Well mama take my arm andÊ move with me down Broadway"
    I'm a young man, I talk it real loud
    Yeah babe I walk it real proud for you
    Ah so shake it away
    So shake away your street life
    Shake away your city life
    Hook up to the train
    And hook up to the night train
    Hook it up
    Hook up to the train
    But I know that she won't take the train, no she won't take the train
    Oh she won't take the train, no she won't take the train
    Oh she won't take the train, no she won't take the train
    Oh she won't take the train, no she won't take the train
    She's afraid them tracks are gonna slow her down
    And when she turns this boy'll be gone
    So long, sometimes you just gotta walk on, walk on

    Hey vibes man, hey jazz man, play me your serenade
    Any deeper blue and you're playin' in your grave
    Save your notes, don't spend 'em on the blues boy
    Save your notes, don't spend 'em on the darlin' yearlin' sharp boy
    Straight for the church note ringin', vibes man sting a trash can
    Listen to your junk man
    Listen to your junk man
    Listen to your junk man
    He's singin', he's singin', he's singin'
    All dressed up in satin, walkin' past the alley
    He's singin', singin', singin', singin'