GLORY ROAD

Early draft


She danced on my hood like and angel like an (hemi) angel
locked in overdrive
She had a hemi-powered Chevy + her trans
was backed with (by) power glide
She said begged Billy take me for a ride
Take me to glory road, bring me to glory road
(her eyes were cold stone but
her body was backed by power
glide)

She begged Billy Jimmy let
me hold on tight I wanna
make it to glory road tonight
Let me make on glory road
+ it'll be alright

I looked out over (cross) my hood + (saw) the
highway buckle in the heat
Let me take you to the place where the
whores + the angels meet
I wanna take my walk in the sun
Don't try to hold me back cause you ain't got the guts
To come some day you'll see tramps like
us baby were born to run


Info

GLORY ROAD is a Bruce Springsteen song from the Born To Run period (late 1973 to early 1975). It was a candidate track for the album, as evidenced on three Springsteen handwritten lists of proposed tracks for his third studio album.

The first list is titled "Album #3" and contains 12 tracks with their recording times, which indicates that the tracks where probably recorded in studio. The list dates from 1974 and was written on a lined notebook page using blue and black ballpoint pens (see below scan). Springsteen listed "Glory Road" as the fifth track, but exceptionally with no running time.

Proposed handwritten song list for Springsteen's third album
Proposed handwritten song list for Springsteen's third album

The second list is untitled and contains 10 tracks. It dates from 1974 and was written on a lined notebook page using blue ballpoint pen (see below scan). Springsteen listed "Born To Run - Glory Road" as the fourth track. This apparently means that he was undecided which song to include as the fourth track, BORN TO RUN or GLORY ROAD.

Proposed handwritten song list for Springsteen's third album
Proposed handwritten song list for Springsteen's third album

The third list is untitled and contains 7 tracks. It dates from 1974 and was written on a lined notebook page using blue ballpoint pen (see below scan). To save space, it seems that Springsteen just wrote the list on the same page that he previously used for a 3-line "to do" list.

Proposed handwritten song list for Springsteen's third album
Proposed handwritten song list for Springsteen's third album

Two lists titled "New Album #3 (Songs)", one containing 10 tracks and one containing 13, were on display at the From Asbury Park To The Promised Land 2009-2010 exhibition at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame And Museum in Cleveland, OH. They date from 1974 and were written on the same notebook page, but it's unknown whether the two were composed at the same time or if Springsteen returned to the same page some time later to add the second. The below scan is taken from issue #89 (Summer 2010) of Backstreets magazine in which a typed version of the lists is reproduced. GLORY ROAD is on the second of these two lists. Springsteen listed "Glory Road" as the thirteenth track.

Proposed handwritten song lists for Springsteen's third album, reproduced in Backstreets magazine
Proposed handwritten song lists for Springsteen's third album, reproduced in Backstreets magazine

Song Development

Charles R. Cross wrote in his 1989 book Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music that GLORY ROAD was a "very early version of lyrics that later became 'Thunder Road'." Cross also wrote a list of songs titled "New Album #3" which included GLORY ROAD. During an April 1995 interview with Australian rock journalist Ian 'Molly' Meldrum held in Los Angeles, Springsteen was asked about a song called GLORY ROAD, which Meldrum thinks it was a very early draft of THUNDER ROAD. Meldrum got his information reading Cross' book. Springsteen, of course, was not expecting this kind of very specific question from him. He appears bemused at first by the question, but then seems to have a recollection of the title and says, "now that title sound familiar, [...] you know, you might be right". He adds later that he's "not sure if that ['Thunder Road'] started out as 'Glory Road'."

A Bruce Springsteen handwritten lyrics sheet for what seems to be an early draft of GLORY ROAD surfaced in May 2014. The lyrics are written using a blue ballpoint pen on a ruled notepaper.

Bruce Springsteen handwritten lyrics for GLORY ROAD
Bruce Springsteen handwritten lyrics for GLORY ROAD

That lyrics sheet, from which the above lyrics are copied, indicates that most probably what Charles R. Cross wrote in his book is inaccurate: GLORY ROAD developped into BORN TO RUN, and not into THUNDER ROAD. The line "I looked out over (cross) my hood + (saw) the highway buckle in the heat" was later used in an early daft of BORN TO RUN and much of the last verse later became the last few lines of BORN TO RUN. However, GLORY ROAD and BORN TO RUN are two different songs as evidenced in the above-mentioned proposed handwritten song lists for Springsteen's third album. This may mean that this presumably early draft of GLORY ROAD later evolved into two very different songs: GLORY ROAD (whose lyrics are yet to surface) and BORN TO RUN.

Moreover, a Bruce Springsteen handwritten lyrics sheet for an early draft of THUNDER ROAD that was auctioned in 2014 provides further evidence that Charles R. Cross was mistaken. See the early draft of THUNDER ROAD for more details.

Unknown Songs from 1972-1975

Bruce Springsteen often creates song titles first and then attempts to write words and music around it, so the existence of a song title is no guarantee that a song was ever created. From the early 1972 to early 1975 period, there are many titles garnered from completed lyric sheets, partially completed lyric sheets, or documents in Springsteen's handwriting containing song titles but no lyrics. There is as yet no evidence that these were completed songs (both words and music) and no evidence that they were recorded during any of the first three albums' studio sessions. If they do exist as recordings, then they would most likely be either as work-in-progress home cassette recordings or from the little known about 1974 sessions at 914 Sound Studios in New York.

Most of these titles came to light in the second edition (1992) of Charles R. Cross book Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music. Very few were mentioned in the first edition (1989), but the second edition was more accurate and more detailed of the two versions of Cross's book. The primary reason for the flood of new and previously undocumented information in the second edition book is that soon after the first edition was published, Cross was granted quality interview and research time with Mike Appel at Appel's office. And as part of that, he was allowed to go through Appel's files of surviving Laurel Canyon-related documentation, which included inventory lists and some lists of song titles. At the time, Appel did not have any transcription/lyric sheets (or photocopies of them) in his possession because they had been handed over to Springsteen as part of terms and conditions of the 1977 legal settlement.

There was also an untitled list of about a dozen titles in Appel's files dated to spring 1975. Cross included them in his book as song titles, but it was later confirmed through Appel that this list was not of song titles, but rather potential album titles for the work-in-progress 3rd album and not song titles.

In an interview with Mark Hagen published on Mojo magazine in January 1999, Springsteen implied that the only unreleased song from the Born To Run sessions that is complete and in release-quality and not included on the Tracks box set was WALKING IN THE STREET. This means that it is highly unlikely that any of the titles from late 1973 to early 1975 was recorded in a complete form and is ready for release.

List of unknown songs from April 1972 to February 1973: (the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. period)

  1. AMERICAN DREAM
  2. ANGELINA
  3. BALBOA VS. THE EARTH SLAYER
  4. BALLAD OF ELMER THE PEA
  5. BEFORE THE FLOOD
  6. BILLY BOY
  7. BLACK NIGHT IN BABYLON
  8. BUSTED
  9. CALVIN JONES AND THE 13TH APOSTLE
  10. CASPER
  11. CIRCUS TOWN
  12. DANNY JONES
  13. HIGH NOON
  14. IT'S EASY
  15. IT'S JUST YOU
  16. LET THE WORDS
  17. LONELY STREET
  18. LORRAINE
  19. MISSIE
  20. MOTHER
  21. ON A DAY OF THE COWBOYS
  22. ORLEANS
  23. PRISONER OF WARS
  24. SHILO
  25. SHE'S GOT NOTHING YOU NEED
  26. SHE'S NOT MY WOMAN
  27. SPANISH ROSE
  28. SUMMERTIME IN MY MIND
  29. TAKE ME DOWN
  30. TEN COMMANDMENTS
  31. TEXAS CARNIVAL
  32. WHITE HOUSE
  33. WISCONSIN

List of unknown songs from fall 1972 to fall 1973: (the The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle period)

  1. DAYTONA MISSION
  2. HELEN BLUE
  3. INCIDENT ON THE W. SIDE
  4. PARADISE 1953
  5. SHOOTOUT IN CHINATOWN
  6. SMALL TOWN
  7. THE LATE SHOW
  8. VALENTINE'S DAY

List of unknown songs from late 1973 to early 1975: (the Born To Run period)

  1. ANGELS SONG
  2. BABY & ME (BLONDIE)
  3. BORN TO BE ALONE
  4. BORN TO WIN
  5. DOWN AT THE CLUB
  6. DUAL
  7. ELVIS STYLE
  8. EVERY LITTLE BIT
  9. GLORY ROAD
  10. HIDIN' ON THE RIVER
  11. JR. WALKER GROOVE
  12. KILLER'S PARADISE (THE VIOLENT ONES)
  13. LATIN SONG
  14. LIVIN' IN THE GHETTO (HARLEM)
  15. LONESOME TOWN (BLONDIE)
  16. LOVE AND DEFIANCE
  17. MARY'S SONG
  18. NEW DELINQUENT LOVERS
  19. ORBISON
  20. PRETTY THING
  21. SAINT JIMMY'S DREAM
  22. SHE COMES INTO MY ROOM (SCENE #1)
  23. STILL THERE
  24. STREET FIGHT
  25. SURRENDER AT THE CITADEL
  26. THE STREET
  27. THE STREET GOES ON FOREVER
  28. THEME OF AN IMAGINARY WAITRESS (FOUNTAINBLEU WALTZ)
  29. THUNDER HILL
  30. VIRGIN SUMMER NIGHTS
  31. WAR AND ROSES
  32. WILD BILLY'S LULLABY
  33. WILD FIRE
  34. WILD ONES
  35. WILD ROSES

Credits / References

Thanks Kooly (at Greasy Lake) and Pete Russell (Peteadmin at Brucebase) for the help.

Early lyrics scan taken from BlindedByTheLight.com.

Request

If you have scans or photos of the lists that were on display at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame And Museum in Cleveland, OH, or any other Springsteen sheet that mentions this title, or just any additional information about this song, please contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.

Available Versions

List of available versions of GLORY ROAD on this website:

GLORY ROAD [Early draft]

Page last updated: 11 Jul 2014