RAMROD

Album version


Hey!

Well hey little dolly with the blue jeans on
I wanna ramrod with you, honey, till half-past dawn
Let your hair down, mama, and pick up this beat
Come on and meet me tonight down on Bluebird Street
I've been working all week, I'm up to my neck in hock
Hey, come Saturday night I let my ramrod rock

Well she's a hot stepping hemi with a four on the floor
And she's a roadrunner engine in a '32 Ford
Yeah late at night when I'm dead on the line
I swear I think of your pretty face when I let her unwind
Well look over yonder see them city lights
Well come on little dolly and go ramrodding tonight

Alright!

Well I said come on, come on, come on little baby
Come on, come on let's shake it tonight
Come on, come, come on little sugar
Dance with your daddy and we'll go ramrodding tonight

Alright!
Big Man!

Well hey little dolly won't you say you will
Meet me tonight up on top of the hill
Well just a few miles 'cross the county line
There's a cute little chapel nestled down in the pines
Say you'll be mine little girl, I'll put my foot to the floor
Give me the word now, sugar, we'll go ramrodding forever more

Alright!
Yeah!
Hey!
Let's go!


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Info

RAMROD is a song written by Bruce Springsteen and released on his 1980 album The River. The above lyrics are for Springsteen's album version of RAMROD as released in 1980.

Composition and Recording

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The River

Bruce Springsteen wrapped up the Darkness On The Edge Of Town Tour on the first day of 1979. For the next few months, he altered between composing and practicing solo demos at his home in Holmdel, NJ (between January and June 1979), rehearsing with the band at his Telegraph Hill Road property in Holmdel, NJ (between March and May 1979), and recording in studio at The Power Station in New York City, NY (from March to late August 1979).

By the end of August, enough quality material had been recorded at The Power Station, and it was looking like an album might be released in Christmas 1979. A title, "The Ties That Bind", and tracks were selected and wheels put in motion to produce artwork for the cover. Around September, at least ten tracks were mixed to completion. On 04 Oct 1979, the ten selected tracks were dubbed to two half-track reel-to-reel tapes at The Power Station, and labeled "side one" and "side two". The producer was Jon Landau and the engineers were Neil Dorfsman and Bob Clearmountain. These selected tracks were as follows:


Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind (reel #1, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind (reel #1, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind (reel #2, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind (reel #2, front)

Mock covers with "The Ties That Bind" title were roughed out early in the planning. The cover shot was to be a picture of Bruce Springsteen in front of a barn, with the back cover being a shot of his face behind a screen door. In late September 1979, and for reasons never fully explained, The Ties That Bind album was scrapped as Springsteen's writing process continued.

A second phase of recording sessions was scheduled. Again, for the next few months, Springsteen altered between composing and practicing solo demos at his home in Holmdel, NJ (between September 1979 and February 1980), rehearsing with the band at his Telegraph Hill Road property in Holmdel, NJ (between September 1979 and February 1980), and recording in studio at The Power Station in New York City, NY (from October 1979 to June 1980).

The combined sessions from March 1979 to June 1980 produced the double album The River that was eventually released in October 1980. The studio sessions to some extent extended into August 1980 due to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's involvement in the recording of Gary U.S. Bonds' album Dedication, which was released April 1981).

Bruce Springsteen -- The River
Bruce Springsteen -- The River

The album features 20 new Springsteen compositions and clocks at 83:47. It was produced by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, and Steven Van Zandt, engineered by Neil Dorfsman, and mixed by Bob Clearmountain, Chuck Plotkin, and Toby Scott. Track list:

According to recording engineer Neil Dorfsman, about 50 songs were recorded to a completed state during The River sessions. 20 were released on The River and 14 were released as B-sides and on official compilations. 14 songs are circulating via the unofficial route, but the majority of them are poor recordings of band rehearsals at the Telegraph Hill Road property, though it is likely that most of them exist as completed takes from The Power Station.

Other Official Releases

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Other versions of RAMROD were also officially released.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind: The River Collection
The live 05 Nov 1980 version of RAMROD was released on The Ties That Bind: The River Collection box set in 2015.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Nassau Coliseum, New York 1980
The live 31 Dec 1980 version of RAMROD was released on the Nassau Coliseum, New York 1980 official live download in 2015.
Bruce Springsteen -- Schottenstein Center, Ohio 2005
The live 31 Jul 2005 version of RAMROD was released on the Schottenstein Center, Ohio 2005 official live download in 2015.

Live History

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Covers

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References

Some of the above info about the studio recording and the live performances is taken from Brucebase.

Available Versions

List of available versions of RAMROD on this website:

RAMROD [Album version]
RAMROD [Outtake version 1]
RAMROD [Outtake version 2]
RAMROD [Outtake version 3]
RAMROD [Outtake version 4]
RAMROD [Live 05 Nov 1980 version]
RAMROD [Live 25 Jun 2006 version]

Page last updated: 26 Dec 2015