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
Oh, we gotta run, baby, gotta run
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 in Houston, TX, during what is considered The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle Tour. 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.
According to Brucebase, the first night's show was broadcast by radio station KPFT-FM as part of its "Every Thursday Night" broadcast segment from Liberty Hall. Current evidence suggests that the third night's late show and the fourth night's late show were not simulcast live at the time. Instead, they were first broadcast in bits and pieces (rather than in one complete program segment) in November 1974 to promote Springsteen's tour's return to Texas.
There is no circulating audio from the first night's broadcast, making this the only verified Springsteen radio broadcast that has yet to surface. Almost complete (or possibly complete) recordings from the remaining two broadcasts are in circulation among collectors. No soundboard or audience tapes have are known to exist from the remaining shows.
Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help.
List of available versions of MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS on this website:MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS [Album version]