Early draft #1
She was good a real inner woman
When I was wronged shed ripped me from limbo
When I was into hot rods and high school gods
Jesus Moses rode in a Dodge
She told me that's not so
I was a real ??? rifle ranger boy
Cause my grandpa (??? West point) was a good cadet
He could tell me everything he wasn't and be it
She could show me what she was and not be scared enough to let me see it you
She had an appetite for lovin' only a fading
woman beauty could posess [sic]
He taught me the beauty of the buckshot
The love song of the bullet as she whistle
And told me the story of the self loading pistol
A fallen bird with a blody [sic] wing
He said his father knew Sam Colt back during the Mexican War
We'd lay underneath a tree and she'd brush back my hair
She'd ask you seen grandpa lately and I'd say what do you care
She was a woman just like the earth
The above lyrics are for an early draft of BALLAD OF A SELF-LOADING PISTOL, as found on a handwritten lyrics sheet auctioned in 2013. This draft is titled "The Story of the Self-Loading Pistol" and has very different lyrics to what was later recorded. See the studio version for more details. See also early draft #2.
A Bruce Springsteen handwritten lyrics sheet for BALLAD OF A SELF-LOADING PISTOL was auctioned in December 2013 on GottaHaveRockAndRoll.com. The lyrics are written on a 6"x9.5" ruled notepaper using a blue ballpoint pen.
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List of available versions of BALLAD OF A SELF-LOADING PISTOL on this website:BALLAD OF A SELF-LOADING PISTOL [Studio version]