MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS

Live 10 Mar 1974 (late show) version


Mary queen of Arkansas, it's not too early for dreamin'
The sky is grown with the cloud seed sown and a bastard's love can be redeeming
Mary, my queen, your soft hulk is reviving
Lord, you're not too late to desecrate, the servants are just rising

You know, seems I'm just a lonely acrobat, and this livewire, she's my trade
I've been a shine boy for your acid brats and a wharf rat of your state
Mary, my queen, your blows for freedom, they're missing
Lord, you ain't man enough for me to hate or woman enough for kissing

And now, you know, this big top, she's just for dreamers, but we can take that circus all the way to the border
The gallows wait for martyrs whose papers are in order
Well, but I was not born to live to die and you were not born for your queenin'
Now, it's not too late, we can still infiltrate, oh, the servants are just leavin'

Now, Mary queen of Arkansas, your white skin is deceivin'
You wake and wait to lie in bait and you almost got your boy believin'
But on your bed, Mary, I have seen the shadow of a noose
Lord, I don't understand how you can hold me so tight and love me so damn loose

But that's alright, because I got a place where we can go, Mary
Where I can get a good job, start out all over again clean
Swear I got contacts deep in Mexico where the servants have been seen

Come on, Mary
Let's steal away
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh, ooh
Oh, we gotta run, baby, gotta run


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 10 Mar 1974 (late show) performance of MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS at Liberty Hall in Houston, TX, during what is considered The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle Tour. The song was the show opener, played in an acoustic arrangement featuring Springsteen on acoustic guitar and vocals and Danny Federici on accordion, similar to the one performed the night before for the live radio broadcast on Houston, TX's KLOL-FM (the live 09 Mar 1974 version). However, this performance features some ad-libbed lines at the end, reminiscent of those sometimes sung in the middle of NEW YORK CITY SERENADE at the time, which were only performed this once.

This was the only confirmed performance of MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS on The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle Tour, although other performances most likely have taken place. The song would disappear from Springsteen's repertoire for 16 years.

Bruce Springsteen was booked for four nights from 07 to 10 Mar 1974 at the 300-seat capacity Liberty Hall. He and his band were the headliners, and singer-songwriter Jimmy Spheeris was the opening act. As advertising for the Liberty Hall residency states, one show (8:00 PM) was scheduled on the first and fourth night and two shows (08:00 PM and 11:00 PM) on the second and third night. However due to strong demand a second (late) show was added on the fourth night at the very last moment.

Promotional poster for the March 1974 four-night residency at Liberty Hall, Houston, TX
Promotional poster for the March 1974 four-night residency at Liberty Hall, Houston, TX

Credits / References

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake). Some of the above info about Springsteen's 4-nights residency at Liberty Hall is taken from Brucebase.

Available Versions

List of available versions of MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS on this website:

MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS [Album version]
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS [03 May 1972 demo version take #1]
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS [03 May 1972 demo version take #2]
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS [Live 31 Jan 1973 (early show) version]
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS [Live 02 Jun 1973 version]
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS [Live 09 Mar 1974 (KLOL-FM) version]
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS [Live 10 Mar 1974 (late show) version]
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS [Live 27 Jun 2000 version]
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS [Live 27 Sep 2002 version]
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS [Live 22 Nov 2009 version]
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS [Dusty Wright's cover version]

Page last updated: 01 Oct 2010