Live 19 Feb 2003 version
Well I stood stone-like at midnight suspended in my masquerade
Yeah, I combed my hair till it was just right and commanded the night brigade
I was open to pain and crossed by the rain and I walked on a crooked crutch
But I strode all alone into a fallout zone, came out with my soul untouched
I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, but when they said "sit down" I stood up
Ooooh, growin' up
Well the flag of piracy flew from my mast, my sails were set wing to wing
I had a jukebox graduate for a first mate, she couldn't sail but she sure could sing
Well I pushed B-52 and bombed 'em with the blues with my gear set stubborn on standing
I broke all the rules, strafed my old high school, and never once gave thought to landing
I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they said "come down" I threw up
Yeah, yeah, growin' up
I took month-long vacations in the stratosphere and you know it's really hard to hold your breath
Yeah I swear I lost everything I ever loved or feared, I was the cosmic kid
Well my feet they finally took root in the earth but 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
I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they say "sit down" I stood up
Hmmm, growin' up
Yeah-eah, growin' up
[Spoken:] Thank you! Let's see, uh, early songs, very...
[line-by-line explanation of 'Blinded By The Light'...]
[...] Growin' Up. I'm not gonna do that again. But uh, (chuckles), Growin' Up was uh, that was pretty, pretty straight ahead, that was just sort of the youth that I imagined for myself that I probably didn't really have, except on occasion, you know. It was just one of those things once again just sort of a, an imagined youth I suppose, you know? But it, it, it caught something in it, maybe it was just a sense of fun, fun I was having with the words and, and uh, uh, the freeness I was having with language at the time just made me feel young, right? When you back to those songs they still feel fresh, you know? And those are the ones I always thought, would say, "Man, I didn't listen to that record for long time after I made it," you know. And I thought like I'd used up all the words and that was it, I wouldn't ever, (chuckles) I was done now. But uh, uh, that whole song once again, that one line, from Growin' Up was uh, "key to the universe, find the key to the engine of an old parked car." That was the line for me that, that, that, that, that made the song a success It meant that if you try hard enough, you can find it anywhere, you know. If you're, if you're willful enough, you can find it anywhere. And so that was, that was that song...
The above lyrics are for the live 19 Feb 2003 performance of GROWIN' UP at Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA, during the first of the two DoubleTake magazine benefit shows. The song was played solo on acoustic guitar and was followed by an extended spoken discussion.
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.
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.
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".
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]