Live 20 Aug 1984 version
[Spoken intro:] Well now once upon a time...
I stood stone-like at midnight suspended in my masquerade
I combed my hair till it was just right and commanded the night brigade, hey!
I was open to pain and crossed by the rain, I walked on a crooked crutch
I strode all alone into a fallout zone, came out with my soul untouched
I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, they said "sit down" I stood up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
The flag of piracy flew from my mast, my sails were set wing to wing
I had a jukebox graduate for first mate, she couldn't sail but she sure could sing
I pushed B-52, bombed 'em with the blues, my gear set stubborn on standing
I broke all the rules and I strafed my old high school, never once gave thought to landing
Hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they said "come down" I threw up, on my shoes
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
O... K... Big... Man...
[Spoken:] And there we were. It was a night just like tonight. There was real coolness in the air, it was a long, long time ago. I'd just met Clarence, he was working in the bowling alley, I was working at the gas station, we had a combined bank account of 88 dollars and 50 cents. We had no direction in our lives, we had no guidance, we had no inspiration, we were lost, we needed some hope, we needed some faith, we needed some close physical relationship with members of the opposite sex. It was then that Clarence mentioned that he'd met two girls who had a sense of availability about them, just the previous night, and that he knew where they lived just on the outskirts of town. So we figured we'd forget about our problems and enjoy ourselves. We were basically happy-go-lucky kind of guys. So we got in Clarence's Oldsmobile. We were feeling pretty good and we drove south on Route 9, down through Freehold, down through Lakewood, down through Toms River, down deep into the pines. And then the unthinkable happened. We had a flat. We were on this dark back road. We couldn't decide whether to just roll the windows up and stay in the car till morning, or go out and see if we had a flat. This being the days before I was Clarence's employer, we decided that we'd choose to see who'd go check the trunk. I won and then I went and checked the trunk. So, there's nothing in there and Clarence said that he knew where there was a gas station, just on the other side of those woods. So we started walking into the trees. There were spooky sounds coming from all over the place. Clarence, like, "Do you believe in ghosts?" We don't believe in ghosts, we believe like in Frankenstein and the Wolfman. This is Wolfman territory, I'm telling you. There's uh, what about the Jersey Devil? I'm telling you man. I believe in the Jersey Devil. So we got out, got walking, things were going pretty good. Clarence, not so close, man. Get off my back, don't walk so close, it's bad enough I can't see where I'm going. You need a manicure, Clarence, I'm telling you. You must've been to Flemington Furs lately or something, but... Uh, hi Clarence... Whooooa! Oh, oh Clarence! Oh Clarence! Hey Clarence! Where are you buddy? [Clarence: Ooh!] Where are you pal? [Clarence: Oh no!] Where are you, buddy? [Clarence: Whoa!] Oh Jesus, oh don't scare me like that. Oh, oh Jesus. And then something shot down out of the sky, the clouds pulled away from the moon, and over in the clearing we saw the answer to our quest. First I picked up the mic-stand...
I stood there in the moonlight, and then, when we touched...
I took month-long vacations in the stratosphere, you know it's really hard to hold your breath
I swear I lost everything I ever loved or feared, I was the cosmic kid
My feet they finally took root in the earth, well I got me a nice little place in the stars
I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car
We hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they said "sit down" I said "shut up"
Ooh, growin' up
Whoa, whoa, whoa
[Spoken outro:] Bye-bye New Jersey; we was airborne!
And the rest is hysterical – I mean, history!
The above lyrics are for the live 20 Aug 1984 performance of GROWIN' UP at Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, NJ, during the Born In The U.S.A. Tour. The song was played in a full-band, album-style arrangement, and featured a story in the break.
This was the last of a ten-night stand at Brendan Byrne Arena.
Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help.
List of available versions of GROWIN' UP on this website:GROWIN' UP [Album version]