Bruce Springsteen

Nebraska (1982)

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  1. Nebraska
  2. Atlantic City
  3. Mansion on the Hill
  4. Johnny 99
  5. Highway Patrolman
  6. State Trooper
  7. Used Cars
  8. Open All Night
  9. My Father's House
  10. Reason to Believe

Bruce Springsteen

 
 

Nebraska

 

I saw her standin' on her front lawn just twirlin' her baton 
Me and her went for a ride sir and ten innocent people died 
From the town of Lincoln Nebraska with a sawed-off .410 on my lap 
Through to the badlands of Wyoming 
I killed everything in my path I can't say that I'm sorry for the things that we done 
At least for a little while sir me and her we had us some fun 
The jury brought in a guilty verdict and the judge he sentenced me to death 
Midnight in a prison storeroom with leather straps across my chest 
Sheriff when the man pulls that switch sir and snaps my poor neck back 
You make sure my pretty baby is sittin' right there on my lap 
They declared me unfit to live said into that great void my soul'd be hurled 
They wanted to know why I did what I did Well sir 
I guess there's just a meanness in this world 

 

Atlantic City

 

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 bustin' 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 his teeth 
Well now, ev'rything dies, baby, that's a fact 
But maybe ev'rything 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 
Now, baby, ev'rything dies, honey, that's a fact... 
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 
Put on your stockin's baby, `cause the night's getting cold 
And maybe ev'rything dies, baby, that's a fact 
But maybe ev'rything 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..

 

Mansion on the Hill

 

There's a place out on the edge of town, sir,
Risin' above the factories and the fields
Now, ever since I was a child,
I can remember
That mansion on the hill
In the day you can see the children playing
On the road that leads to those gates of hardened steel
Steel gates that completely surround, sir,
The mansion on the hill

At night my daddy'd take me and we'd ride
Through the streets of a town so silent and still
Park on a back road along the highway side
Look up at that mansion on the hill
In the summer all the lights would shine
There'd be music playin', people laughin' all the time
Me and my sister, we'd hide out in the tall cornfields
Sit and listen to the mansion on the hill
Tonight down here in Linden Town
I watch the cars rushin' by, home from the mill
There's a beautiful full moon rising

Above the mansion on the hill

 

Johnny 99

 

Well they closed down the auto plant in Mahwah late that month
Ralph went out lookin' for a job but he couldn't find none
He came home too drunk from mixin' Tanqueray and wine
He got a gun shot a night clerk now they call'm Johnny 99
Down in the part of town where when you hit a red light you don't stop
Johnny's wavin' his gun around and threatenin' to blow his top
When an off-duty cop snuck up on him from behind
Out in front of the Club Tip
Top they slapped the cuffs on Johnny 99
Well the city supplied a public defender but the judge was Mean John Brown
He came into the courtroom and stared young Johnny down
Well the evidence is clear gonna let the sentence son fit the crime
Prison for 98 and a year and we'll call it even Johnny 99

A fist fight broke out in the courtroom they had to drag Johnny's girl away
His mama stood up and shouted "Judge don't take my boy this way"
Well son you got a statement you'd like to make
Before the bailiff comes to forever take you away
Now judge I had debts no honest man could pay
The bank was holdin' my mortgage and they were gonna take my house away
Now I ain't sayin' that makes me an innocent man
But it was more `n all this that put that gun in my hand
Well your honor I do believe I'd be better off dead
So if you can take a man's life for the thoughts that's in his head
Then sit back in that chair and think it over judge one more time

And let `em shave off my hair and put me on that killin' line

 

Highway Patrolman

 

My name is Joe Roberts I work for the state
I'm a sergeant out of Perrineville barracks number 8
I always done an honest job as honest as I could
I got a brother named Frankie and Frankie ain't no good
Now ever since we was young kids it's been the same come down
I get a call over the radio Frankie's in trouble downtown
Well if it was any other man, I'd put him straight away
But when it's your brother sometimes you look the other way
Yeah me and Frankie laughin' and drinkin'
Nothin' feels better than blood on blood
Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band
Played "Night of the Johnstown Flood"
I catch him when he's strayin' like any brother would
Man turns his back on his family well he just ain't no good
Well Frankie went in the army back in 1965
I got a farm deferment, settled down, took Maria for my wife
But them wheat prices kept on droppin' till it was like we were gettin' robbed
Frankie came home in `68, and me, I took this job
Yeah we're laughin' and drinkin'
Nothin' feels better than blood on blood
Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band
Played "Night of the Johnstown Flood"
I catch him when he's strayin' teach him how to walk that line
Man turns his back on his family he ain't no friend of mine
Well the night was like any other,
I got a call `bout quarter to nine
There was trouble in a roadhouse out on the Michigan line
There was a kid lyin' on the floor lookin' bad bleedin' hard from his head
There was a girl cry'n' at a table and it was Frank, they said
Well I went out and I jumped in my car and I hit the lights
Well I musta done one hundred and ten through Michigan county that night
It was out at the crossroads, down `round Willow bank
Seen a Buick with Ohio plates.
Behind the wheel was Frank
Well I chased him through them county roads
Till a sign said "Canadian border five miles from here"
I pulled over the side of the highway and watched his tail-lights disappear
Me and Frankie laughin' and drinkin'
Nothin' feels better than blood on blood
Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band
Played "Night of the Johnstown Flood".

 

State Trooper

 

New Jersey Turnpike, ridin' on a wet night `neath the refin'ry's glow
Out where the great black rivers flow
License, registration: I ain't got none
But I got a clear conscience `bout the things that I done
Mister state trooper, please don't stop me
Please don't stop me, please don't stop me
Maybe you got a kid, maybe you got a pretty wife
The only thing that I got's been both'rin' me my whole life
Mister state trooper, please don't stop me
Please don't stop me, please don't stop me
In the wee, wee hours your mind get hazy
Radio relay towers lead me to my baby
The radio's jammed up with talk show stations
It's just talk, talk, talk, talk, till you lose your patience
Mister state trooper, please don't stop me
Hey, somebody out there, listen to my last prayer
Hi-ho silver-o, deliver me from nowhere

 

Used Cars

 

My sister's in the front seat with an ice cream cone
My ma's in the black seat sittin' all alone

As my pa steers her slow out of the lot
For a test drive down Michigan Avenue
Now, my ma, she fingers her wedding band

And watches the salesman stare at my old man's hands
He's telling us all about the break he'd give us
If he could, but he just can't
Well if I could, I swear I know just what I'd do
Now, mister, the day the lottery I win
I ain't ever gonna ride in no used car again
Now, the neighbors come from near and far

As we pull up in our brandnew used car
I wish he'd just hit the gas and let out a cry
Tell `em all they can kiss our asses goodbye
My dad, he sweats the same job from mornin' to morn
Me, i walk home on the same dirty streets where I was born
Up the block I can hear my little sister
In the front seat blowin' that horn
The sounds echoin' all down Michigan Avenue
Now, mister, the day my numbers comes in
I ain't ever gonna ride in no used car again.

 

Open All Night

 

Well, I had the carburator, baby, cleaned and checked
With her line blown out she's hummin' like a turbojet
Propped her up in the backyard on concrete blocks
For a new clutch plate and a new set of shocks
Took her down to the carwash, check the plugs and point
Well, I'm goin' out tonight.
I'm gonna rock that joint
Early north Jersey industrial skyline
I'm a all-set cobra jet creepin' through the nighttime
Gotta find a gas station, gotta find a pay phone
This turnpike sure is spooky at night when you're all alone
Gotta hit the gas, baby. I'm running late
This New Jersey in the mornin' like a lunar landscape
Now, the boss don't dig me, so he put me on the night shift
It's an all-night run to get back to where my baby lives
In the wee, wee hours your mind gets hazy
Radio relays towers, won't you lead me to my baby?
Underneath the overpass, trooper hits his party light switch
Good night, good luck.
One, two power shift I met
Wanda when she was employed
Behind the counter at Route Sixty
Bob's Big Boy Fried Chicken
On the front seat, she's sittin' in my lap
We're wipin' our fingers on a Texaco road map
I remember Wanda up on scrap metal hill
With them big brown eyes that make your heart stand still
Well, at five a.m., oil pressure's sinkin' fast
I make a pit stop, wipe the windshield, check the gas
Gotta call my baby on the telephone
Let her know that her daddy's comin' on home
Sit tight, little mama, I'm comin' `round
I got three more hours, but I'm coverin' ground
Your eyes get itchy in the wee, wee hours
Sun's just a red ball risin' over them refinery towers
Radio's jammed up with gospel stations
Lost souls callin' long distance salvation
Hey, mister deejay, won'tcha hear my last prayer?
Hey, ho, rock'n'roll, deliver me from nowhere.

 

My Father's House

 

Last night I dreamed that I was a child
Out where the pines grow wild and tall
I was trying to make it home through the forest
Before the darkness falls I heard the wind rustling through the trees

And ghostly voices rose from the fields
I ran with my heart pounding down that broken path
With the devil snappin' at my heels
I broke through the trees, and there in the night
My father's house stood shining hard and bright
The branches and brambles tore my clothes and scratched my arms
But I ran till I fell, shaking in his arms
I awoke and I imagined the hard things that pulled us apart
Will never again, sir, tear us from each other's hearts
I got dressed, and to that house I did ride
From out on the road, I could see its windows shining in light
I walked up the steps and stood on the porch

A woman I didn't recognize came and spoke to me through a chained door
I told her my story, and who I'd come for
She said "I'm sorry, son, but no one by that name lives here anymore"
My father's house shines hard and bright
It stands like a beacon calling me in the night
Calling and calling, so cold and alone
Shining `cross this dark highway where our sins lie unatoned

 

Reason to Believe

 

Seen a man standin' over a dead dog lyin' by the highway in a ditch
He's lookin' down kinda puzzled pokin' that dog with a stick
Got his car door flung open he's standin' out on Highway 31
Like if he stood there long enough that dog'd get up and run
Struck me kinda funny seem kinda funny sir to me

At the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe
Now Mary Lou loved Johnny with a love mean and true
She said "Baby I'll work for you every day and bring my money home to you"
One day he up and left her and ever since that
She waits down at the end of that dirt road for young
Johnny to come back
Struck me kinda funny seemed kind of funny sir to me
How at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe
Take a baby to the river Kyle
William they called him
Wash the baby in the water take away little Kyle's sin
In a whitewash shotgun shack an old man passes away
Take his body to the graveyard and over him they pray
Lord won't you tell us tell us what does it mean
Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe
Congregation gathers down by the riverside
Preacher stands with his Bible groom stands waitin' for his bride
Congregation gone and the sun sets behind a weepin' willow tree
Groom stands alone and watches the river rush on so effortlessly
Lord and he's wonderin' where can his baby be
Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

 

Lyrics Bruce Springsteen  / Reproduction for commercial use strictly prohibited

Testi Bruce Springsteen / Riproduzione per usi commerciali assolutamente proibita

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