RANDOLPH STREET

Studio version


I remember yesterday
When I'd sit and watch the hound dogs play
Howling at the China moon
Now yesterday is the busted balloon

Life was young and things were easy
Days were short, nights were warm
Times were good, hate was shallow
Love was crazy and a hand in my marrow
I swear that I've seen your face
Somewhere back in that time and in that place
Do you remember?

The old house stood like World War II
With just two rooms and a hall to be used
The lady was lean, just slightly unclean
With a heart of cold, silver, and gold

The kitchen smelled of kerosene
The ceiling hung down unveiled on rotten beams
And the man, they said, his work it could've hung in the Louvre
But now he sits around all day because his left arm won't move
He was a master of the art of electricity
He lectured on tubes and circuitry
He was self-employed, but he could never see
His way into the light

He had a room full of switches and dials and lights
And a head full of clouds and eyes full of sight
And when it got dark I could hear his heartbeat
Like a mother in the night

She stood like a guardian ready to give everything up
If I asked for a sword and her blood in a cup
But there was just the time when I asked for too much
She sighed because she could not give it

We used to sit beneath the tree
Just the lady, the radio man, and me
And I think it was the winter of '63
When the man went away and let us be
It was early on an August day
That the lady decided she too must go away
Her heart it seems could not pay
The price for what her body was buying

I come home from school and I found the note
I went into the kitchen and lit the old stove
With senses set on overload
I turned on the TV

Spent the rest of the afternoon
Watching all my old cartoons
And through the hall and across the porch
As the sun surrendered like a crying torch


Info

RANDOLPH STREET is a song written by Bruce Springsteen who recorded it in mid-1972. The song has not yet been officially released. The above lyrics are transcribed from the only known studio version of RANDOLPH STREET.

Composition and Recording

Springsteen wrote RANDOLPH STREET as an autobiographical piece about his grandfather Frederick Springsteen. After Springsteen's parents (Douglas and Adele) married, they moved into Douglas' parents' (Frederick and Alice Springsteen) home on 87 Randolph Street in Freehold, NJ. This allowed the newlyweds to save up money so they could eventually put down a deposit and buy their own house. Douglas and Adele, plus Bruce and his older sister Ginny, lived at the Randolph Street house (which was demolished in 1987) until early 1955. They then purchased a house on 39½ Institute Street in Freehold, NJ, where they would stay for the next eight years.

Introducing FACTORY during the 03 Sep 1978 concert in Saginaw, MI, Springsteen told the crowd: "My grandfather, he was an electrician and he used to fix second-hand radios. And I remember when I was five years old, before we were to leave, he used to take me with him outside of town in the summer. And they used to have mining workers. [They] used to come off from the South and work in the fields outside of town. He used to sell them radios that he'd buy and fix, bring them out there in the trunk of the car and take me with him."

According to Brucebase, RANDOLPH STREET was written in 1971, or maybe even earlier. One studio version of the song is in circulation among collectors. It's a studio take likely recorded around May-Jun 1972 at Jim Cretecos' apartment in New York City, NY. It features Springsteen solo on vocals and acoustic guitar. The May-Jun 1972 sessions at Jim Cretecos' apartment were produced by Cretecos who also took the role of recording engineer. The above lyrics transcribed from that circulating studio version of RANDOLPH STREET.

Unofficial Releases

The studio version of RANDOLPH STREET was released on the briefly-legal albums The Early Years (Early Records), Unearthed (Masquerade Music, both issues), and Before The Fame (Pony Express Records, all three issues). See PRODIGAL SON for more details.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Early Years (Early Records)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Early Years (Early Records)
Bruce Springsteen -- Unearthed (Masquerade Music, first issue)
Bruce Springsteen -- Unearthed (Masquerade Music, first issue)
Bruce Springsteen -- Unearthed (Masquerade Music, second issue)
Bruce Springsteen -- Unearthed (Masquerade Music, second issue)
Bruce Springsteen -- Before The Fame (Pony Express Records, first issue)
Bruce Springsteen -- Before The Fame (Pony Express Records, first issue)
Bruce Springsteen -- Before The Fame (Pony Express Records, second issue)
Bruce Springsteen -- Before The Fame (Pony Express Records, second issue)
Bruce Springsteen -- Before The Fame (Pony Express Records, third issue)
Bruce Springsteen -- Before The Fame (Pony Express Records, third issue)

Live History

As far as it's known, Bruce Springsteen has never performed RANDOLPH STREET live.

Covers

As far as it's known, only one artist has recorded and released Bruce Springsteen's RANDOLPH STREET.

Fred Gorhau -- Before The Fame
Fred Gorhau -- Before The Fame

MC - Pony Express Records (C-0949) - USA, 1995

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album containing covers of 15 early songs. As Fred Gorhau told this website, he was "hired for the weekend to record everything".

Credits / References

Thanks Leon Dayan for the lyrics corrections. Some of the above info about the studio recording is taken from Brucebase. Info and scan for the Fred Gorhau cover album is taken from the Nebraska website.

Request

The above lyrics may not be 100% correct, and they are open for revisions and corrections. If you can assist, or if have any additions or comments, please contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.

Available Versions

List of available versions of RANDOLPH STREET on this website:

RANDOLPH STREET [Studio version]

Page last updated: 15 Jan 2017