BLINDED BY THE LIGHT

Live 20 Feb 2003 version


Madman drummers bummers and Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat
With a boulder on my shoulder, feelin' kinda older I tripped the merry-go-round
With this very unpleasing sneezing and wheezing the calliope crashed to the ground
Some all-hot half-shot was headin' for the hot spot snappin' his fingers clappin' his hands
[Spoken:] Sit down there please.
Some fleshpot mascot was tied into a lover's knot with a whatnot in her hand
And now young Shot with a slingshot finally found a tender spot and throws his lover in the sand
Some bloodshot forget-me-not whispers, "Daddy's within earshot, save the buckshot, turn up the band"

And she was blinded by the light
Cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
She got down but she never got tight, yeah, she's gonna make it alright

Some brimstone baritone anti-cyclone rolling stone preacher from the east
He says, "Dethrone the dictaphone, hit it in its funny bone, yeah, that's where they expect it least"
Well, some new-mown chaperone was standin' in the corner all alone watchin' the young girls dance
And some fresh-sown moonstone was messin' with his frozen zone to remind him of the feeling of romance

Yeah, she was blinded by the light
Cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Yeah, blinded by the light
She got down, she never got tight, yeah, she's gonna make it alright

Some silicone sister with her manager's mister told me I got what it takes
Yeah, she said, "I'll turn you on sonny, to something strong if you'll play that song with the funky break"
Yeah, and Go-cart Mozart was checkin' out the weather chart to see if it was safe to go outside
Yeah, and little Early-Pearly came by in her curly-wurly and she asked me if I need a ride
Oh, some hazard from Harvard was zonked on beer playin' backyard bombardier
And Scotland Yard was trying hard, they sent some dude with a calling card, said, "Do what you
like, but don't do it here"
Well, I jumped up, turned around, spit in the air, fell on the ground
Asked him which was the way back home
He said, "Take a right at the light, keep goin' straight until night, then, boys, you're on your own"

Well now in Zanzibar a shootin' star was ridin' in a side car hummin' a lunar tune
Yeah, and the avatar said, "Blow the bar but first remove the cookie jar we're gonna teach those boys to laugh too soon"
Well, and some kidnapped handicap was complainin' that he caught the clap from some mousetrap he bought last night
Well I unsnapped his skull cap, between his ears I saw a gap and figured he'd be all right

Yeah, he was blinded by the light
Cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
Mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun
Yeah, but mama that's where the fun is
I was blinded
I was blinded
I was blinded

[Spoken:] That explains why, uh, there were no psychedelics for me.
Oooh, said everything.
It's funny, uh, this song, those were the songs that, uh, that I wrote when I had no audience, I had nothing to lose, and it sounds like it, you know, maybe I... Those songs, they were funny, they were always songs I thought would, would really date, and I, I end up going back to them just for the pure, uh, the, the joy that's in 'em, you know, and the happiness that's in 'em. And uh, I was sitting in my little apartment over in A-Asbury Park and I said, well gee, I don't have the band, it's just me and the guitar. And, uh, I knew I was gonna have to go and, and, and uh, come up with something that was like, had to be noticed in some fashion, so I started just slinging the words around, you know? And, you can listen to it and say, what, what conceivably are those songs about, you know? I mean, what were you thinking? What is going through your mind? So, uh, I'll take you through it line-by-line a little bit, and uh, uh, and, and I'll give you a little idea kinda, uh, how it all played out for me.

[performs GROWIN' UP]

[line-by-line explanation of GROWIN' UP...]

[...] Uh, I'll do Blinded By The Light, but it could get real scary. Uh, that's basically about sex, you know, that's basically madman drummers bummers and Indians in the summer, you know, it, it's sexually imagery, but I think that one's pretty certain. You know, it seems like it demystifies the female.

Madman drummers bummers -- Mad Dog Vincent Lopez. Always in front, you know.

Indians in the summer -- that's my Little League team, the Indians.

Eh, teenage diplomat, in the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat -- that's self-explanatory.

With a boulder on my shoulder, feelin' kinda older -- twenty-two, so I don't know why.

But I tripped the merry-go-round -- that was my boardwalk life.

Very unpleasing sneezing and wheezing the calliope crashed to the ground -- just the general chaos, you know?

All-hot half-shot headin' for the hot spot snappin' his fingers clappin' his hands-- that was me.

Fleshpot mascot tied into a lover's knot with a whatnot in her hand -- self-explanatory.

Young Scott, young Scott with a slingshot finally found a tender spot throws his lover in the sand -- uh...

Some bloodshot forget-me-not whispers, "Daddy's within earshot, save the buckshot, turn up the band" -- we'll say it again.

Blinded by the light, cut loose like a deuce -- this is one of the things that disturbed me in that Manfred Mann version. I just don't understand why they'd change it to "douche", you know? Which is okay, you know... But I wanna cut loose like a deuce, you know, like a little deuce coupe! You know? But, uh, that's the only number one record I ever had. So. So, like that.

Some brimstone baritone anti-cyclone rolling stone preacher from the east -- too much preachin' on TV.

Says, "Dethrone the dictaphone, hit it in its funny bone, that's where they expect it least" -- just trying to be funny!

Some new-mown chaperone was standin' in the corner all alone watchin' the young girls dance

Some fresh-sown moonstone was messin' with his frozen zone to remind him of the feeling of romance -- self-explanatory.

Some silicone sister with her manager's mister -- ooh, my introduction into the big time music business.

Told me I got what it takes, said, "I'll turn you on sonny, to something strong if you'll play that song with the funky break" -- job description.

And Go-cart Mozart checkin' out the weather chart to see if it was safe to go outside -- now... Rhyming dictionary.

And little Early-Pearly came by in her curly-wurly and asked me if I needed a ride -- self-explanatory.

Some hazard from Harvard was skunked on beer -- obviously, premonition of, uh, meeting Bob Coles.

Scotland Yard was trying hard, sent some dude with a calling card, yada yada, do it like, jumped up, turned around, spit in the air, fell on the ground, which was the way back home -- I wished I knew.

Uh, take a right at the light, keep goin' straight, night, boys, you're on your own -- it keeps going, believe it or not.

Zanzibar, shootin' star, ridin' in a side car, hummin' a lunar tune -- burning up the fucking pages in the rhyming dictionary...

Yes, and the avatar said, "Blow the bar, first remove the cookie jar" -- we're from the 1960s, you know?

Uh, and some kidnapped handicap -- obviously myself.

Complainin' that he caught the clap from some mousetrap he bought last night -- self-explanatory.

Unsnapped his skull cap, between his ears I saw a gap and figured he'd be all right

Mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun, and of course, that's where the fun is. So.

Alright! So now, that's where, you know, there's a record for all of those things, believe it or not! You know?


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 20 Feb 2003 performance of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT at Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA, during the second of the two DoubleTake magazine benefit shows. The song was played solo on acoustic guitar and was followed by a line-by-line explanation.

Ticket stub for the 20 Feb 2003 show at Somerville Theatre, Somerville, MA
Ticket stub for the 20 Feb 2003 show at Somerville Theatre, Somerville, MA

DoubleTake Magazine Benefit

Founded by Harvard psychiatrist Robert Coles, DoubleTake magazine has been in business since 1995, but started facing financial problems a few years later. Springsteen's relationship with the publication goes back to late 1997 when he was interviewed by Will Percy (nephew of the late Walker Percy, a writer/novelist Springsteen admired) at Springsteen's farmhouse in Rumson, NJ. Part of the audio-recorded interview was printed in the March 1998 issue of the magazine. The interview is probably one of the most philosophical of Springsteen's career -- it dealt with the effect books and movies have on Springsteen's writing and the culture of celebrity, among other things. Springsteen also became friend with magazine founder Robert Coles when the two met in 1998. He praised his book A Secular Mind, and even attended one of his classes in Harvard. In November 2004 Coles published in his book Bruce Springsteen's America - The People Listening, A Poet Singing.

Robert Coles -- Bruce Springsteen's America - The People Listening, A Poet Singing (book cover)
Robert Coles -- Bruce Springsteen's America - The People Listening, A Poet Singing (book cover)

Tickets for the two fundraisers were priced at $500 and billed as "An Intimate Evenings Of Music And Conversation With Bruce Springsteen". These were solo acoustic shows, played on acoustic guitar (or piano on a few songs), held at the small Somerville Theatre (900 seats capacity). Springsteen chatted between songs, and closed out each night with a Q&A session, taking questions from the audience. The unprecedented "conversation" element of the shows made them unique to Springsteen fans.

Promotional poster for the 19-20 Feb 2003 shows at Somerville Theatre, Somerville, MA
Promotional poster for the 19-20 Feb 2003 shows at Somerville Theatre, Somerville, MA

The almost one million dollars raised from the ticket sales went to the non-profit DoubleTake Community Service Organization Corporation, publishers of DoubleTake magazine, which owed $600,000 to vendors and contributors. "The concert was a success beyond our wildest dreams," managing editor Kirk Kicklighter commented, "[But] we never really had a plan for what we were going to do after the concert." By the fall of 2004, the magazine was no longer publishing, officially put on "hiatus".

Credits

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help.

Available Versions

List of available versions of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT on this website:

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Album version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 09 Jan 1973 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 02 Mar 1973 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 31 Oct 1973 (late show) version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 06 Jan 1974 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 07 Apr 1976 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 26 Jun 1993 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 22 Apr 1996 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 23 Oct 1999 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 18 Aug 2001 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 20 Feb 2003 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 06 Aug 2003 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 04 Apr 2005 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 25 Jun 2005 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 11 Nov 2006 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 19 Nov 2006 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 31 Jul 2008 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 22 Nov 2009 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 15 Apr 2014 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Manfred Mann's Earth Band's cover version]

Page last updated: 01 Aug 2010