Take #1

I'm rumblin' outta town 'cross the West side tracks
Drivin' my pa's flat bed with a load of chickens in the back
I'm a little illegal but I ain't on fire
I got them hens tied down with rope and chicken wire
Up in the cab me and Wilson we gotta shout
Between the noise from the engine and them chickens squawking all about
There's a low bridge comin' up on 105
And if we don't make it man them feathers gonna fly, yeah

I took a hard turn just South of the Kokomo, our rope
Gave out, my load shifted, we was all over the road
Pens bustin' on the blacktop, chickens scatterin' all about
Runnin' hellbent 'cross the highway, gettin' turned inside out
By the local commuters at sixty miles per hour
In five minutes it was all over, except for the flowers

Well that flatbed was sideways in a drainage ditch
There weren't no way she was movin' without a crane and a hitch
When the highway patrol came in and set up a block
We was chasin' some survivors 'cross the parkin' lot
Well I stood up and checked our situation at hand
Lord don't let me spend my life as a delivery man

Music and lyrics by Bruce Springsteen, this is a Born In The U.S.A. outtake of which two recordings are in circulation:

  • Take #1, which consists of 3 verses
  • Take #2, which has an additional verse.

These takes were cut at the recording sessions that took place between mid-Jan and mid-Feb 1983 at Thrill Hill Recording (Springsteen's home studio) in Beverly Hills, CA (a.k.a. Hollywood Hills Garage Studio). These studio sessions featured Springsteen alone on multi instruments and Mike Batlan was the recording engineer.

According to Brucebase, Springsteen has mentioned that at one point in early 1983 he gave consideration to releasing the best of these Thrill Hill recordings as a thematic follow-up to the Nebraska LP. This album concept is not known to have ever been given a working title because Springsteen quickly abandoned the concept.

There is no evidence that tells when DELIVERY MAN was written, but one would assume it was written around the same time these two takes were recorded. The song was never performed live, and it it unknown if other studio takes were recorded.

The above lyrics are for Take #1. See also Take #2.

Take #1 can be found on The Lost Masters Vol. 17 (Labour Of Love) and The Lost Masters Essential Collection Vol. 2 (Labour Of Love) bootlegs.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Lost Masters Vol. 17 (Labour Of Love)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Lost Masters Vol. 17 (Labour Of Love)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Lost Masters Essential Collection Vol. 2 (Labour Of Love)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Lost Masters Essential Collection Vol. 2 (Labour Of Love)

Thanks Peter at Lost In The Flood for the lyrics corrections.

Liner notes from The Lost Masters Vol. 17 bootleg:

Another shot yet enjoyable rockabilly number with some fine picking by Bruce, this very humorous tale of a truck driver losing his chicken would have made a great B-side.

Available Versions

List of available versions of DELIVERY MAN on this website:


Page last updated: 09 Jan 2008