Steel Mill Retro's cover version
They ride beneath the waves at twenty-thousand leagues
On stallions stitched to seaweed strands, so smiling, so smiling
They herd the fishes of the deep and ride for you and me
They ranch the rich and the sunken soil at the bottom of the sea
And in the dead of night, alive in sleep I can hear them calling me
Those deep sea desperadoes, the midnight maelstrom freaks, those cowboys of the sea
On wings of sleep I pierce the deep and ride like a hurricane
At midnight still I paid my bill and turned my back on the land
But with the help of Old Paint, that seaweed nag, it's just Jesse James and me
We ride the depths and rob the banks at the bottom of the sea
And with a seaman's grip on navigation and some fired, hired hands
We ride out to confront the nation and lend a cowboy's hand
We do the dolphins dance duet, my mermaid babe and me
Oh, then I ride off into the blue sunset at the bottom of the sea
But with the seaman's grip on submarining and some aqualung outlaws
Our guns are made from solid dreaming and bullets from a broken cause
Yeah, with hand held high to touch the sky a good Texas Ranger I'll be
But sometimes I feel like a lone stranger 'midst the cowboys of the sea
Oh, and man above he cannot make love, he must rape his mother the sea
And because in his greed we're a vanishing breed, we cowboys of the sea
The above lyrics are for Steel Mill Retro's cover version of COWBOYS OF THE SEA. It was released on All Man The Guns For America, Steel Mill Retro's 2008 album of Bruce Springsteen songs originally performed by the original Steel Mill.
Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez began drumming with Bruce Springsteen in February 1969 when they formed the band Child, then they continued together with Steel Mill, Dr. Zoom & The Sonic Boom, and The Bruce Springsteen Band, before what would become known as The E Street Band came together in 1972. He played drums on Springsteen's first two albums, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle. He then left the band in February 1974 after being asked to resign because of his opposition to Mike Appel, Springsteen's ex-manager. After leaving the E Street Band, Lopez went onto playing drums with numerous Jersey Shore bands.
In 2001, Lopez had the idea of forming a new band who performs and records Steel Mill music as its main line business, music that was not performed for over 30 years, and that has never been officially released.
During The Rising Tour, Lopez met backstage with Bruce Springsteen at the 21 Jul 2003 show at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, and approval was given to perform and record Steel Mill songs. Vini then joined Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band onstage that night, replacing Max Weinberg on drums during SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT.
In 2004, Lopez formed his new band, Steel Mill Retro, that mostly performs Steel Mill songs in the New Jersey Shore area. They released The Dead Sea Chronicles in 2005 and All Man The Guns For America in 2008. The two albums consist of Springsteen compositions from the Child and Steel Mill eras.
In 2008, Steel Mill Retro released All Man The Guns For America, a 9-track album, eight of which are Bruce Springsteen compositions from the Child and Steel Mill eras. The last track, CROWN LIQUOR, is the only non-Springsteen composition. The album was released on Mega International Records. It was reissued in 2009 on the same label but with different artwork.
List of available versions of COWBOYS OF THE SEA on this website:COWBOYS OF THE SEA [Studio version #1]