GULF COAST HIGHWAY

1988 sound-check version


Gulf coast highway, heading south
He worked the rice fields with their cold dark wells
He worked the oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico
The only thing we ever owned is this old house here by the road

When we die, we're gonna catch some blackbird's wings
We will fly away to heaven, come some great blue bonnet spring

[stop]

Let's- that's it, it's the- it's the four... down
Da da da da da, da da da da da da
Da da da da da da da da
Da da da da da da da da

Gulf coast highway, heads or tails
He worked the rice fields with their cool dark wells
He worked the oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico
The only thing we'd ever owned was this old house here by the road

And when we die, we're gonna catch some blackbird's wing
And we will fly away to heaven, come some great blue bonnet spring

Highway 90, the jobs are gone
We tend the garden, we set the sun
Da da da da da, da da da da da da
The only thing we ever owned is this old house here by the road

And when we die, we'll catch some blackbird's wings
And we will fly away to heaven, come some great blue bonnet spring

And when she dies, she's gonna catch some blackbird's wings
And we will fly away to heaven come some great blue bonnet spring

(Ooh)


Info

GULF COAST HIGHWAY is a 1988 song by Nanci Griffith. See the original Nanci Griffith version for more details.

1988 sound-check version

The above lyrics are for a Bruce Springsteen rehearsal take of GULF COAST HIGHWAY that also featured Patti Scialfa on harmony vocals. The recording, which is in circulation among collectors, appears to be taken from a line feed and is believed to be from is from a 1988 sound-check but the exact date and venue are unknown.

Bruce Springsteen sound-checked GULF COAST HIGHWAY in 1988 during the Tunnel Of Love Express Tour but he never performed it on the tour's or any other tour's regular shows. At least one sound-check date has been confirmed: 25 Jun 1988 at Wembley Stadium in London, England. An eyewitness recounted: "'Gulf Coast Highway' was played at the sound-check of the Wembley Stadium gig on the TOL tour in 1988. I was outside waiting to get in and it sounded wonderful, I was a little disappointed they didn't play it on the night." Additionally, a very poor audience tape from that 25 Jun 1988 sound-check, recorded from outside the venue, is in circulation among collectors and does indeed include a take of GULF COAST HIGHWAY. This take however is different from the one found on the line feed recording. As a result, the exact date for the take on the line feed recording remains unknown, but there's a possibility that it emanates from the same 25 Jun 1988 sound-check at Wembley Stadium. Some have also reported that the line feed recording is from the May 1988 five-night stand at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY.

Studio Recording

Bruce Springsteen recorded GULF COAST HIGHWAY in studio in 1989 as a duet with then-girlfriend Patti Scialfa. Rob Tannenbaum wrote in the 11 Jan 1990 issue of Rolling Stone: "Since the Amnesty tour ended in October 1988, Springsteen has been on a sabbatical from touring and recording. He has spent much of that time in Los Angeles, where he is rumored to be producing a solo album for girlfriend Patti Scialfa. Two tracks are known to have been recorded by Scialfa: a version of Nanci Griffith's 'Gulf Coast Highway' [...]" In concerts, Nanci Griffith referenced singers who have recorded GULF COAST HIGHWAY as a duet. The list included some officially released versions, including Dave Mathews and Emmy Lou Harris, but she also mentioned Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa. For example, introducing the song on 26 May 1989 in Dallas, TX, she said: "This next song is a tune that Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa just recorded, and it's a song that they're doing as a duet."

Credits

Thanks T Lauer, TattooDad, apollo81 (from Greasy Lake), Promise61 (from Greasy Lake), Skin2Skin (from Greasy Lake), and Pete Russel for the info help. Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help.

Request

If you have any additional info about the origin of the above mentioned recording, or if you know of any other Springsteen studio/live recording of the 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 GULF COAST HIGHWAY on this website:

GULF COAST HIGHWAY [1988 sound-check version]
GULF COAST HIGHWAY [Original Nanci Griffith version]

Page last updated: 16 Feb 2017