REASON TO BELIEVE

Album version


Seen a man standin' over a dead dog lyin' by the highway in a ditch
He's lookin' down kinda puzzled pokin' that dog with a stick
Got his car door flung open he's standin' out on Highway 31
Like if he stood there long enough that dog'd get up and run
It struck me kinda funny, seemed kinda funny sir to me
Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

Now Mary Lou loved Johnny with a love mean and true
She said "Baby I'll work for you every day, bring my money home to you"
One day he up and left her and ever since that
She waits down at the end of that dirt road for young Johnny to come back
Struck me kinda funny, funny yeah to me
How at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

Take a baby to the river, Kyle William they called him
Wash the baby in the water, take away little Kyle's sin
In a whitewash shotgun shack an old man passes away
Take his body to the graveyard, over him they pray
Lord won't you tell us, tell us what does it mean
At the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

Congregation gathers down by the riverside
Preacher stands with a Bible, groom stands waitin' for his bride
Congregation gone and the sun sets behind a weepin' willow tree
Groom stands alone and watches the river rush on so effortlessly
Wonderin' where can his baby be
Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe


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Info

REASON TO BELIEVE is a song written by Bruce Springsteen and released on his 1982 album Nebraska.The above lyrics are for Bruce Springsteen's album version of MY FATHER'S HOUSE as released in 1982.

Studio Recording

SECTION NOT YET COMPLETED

Nebraska

Following The River Tour, Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band were scheduled to start recording the next album in New York City in February 1982. Springsteen felt that the upcoming band studio sessions would progress faster than they had for his previous three albums if he first records finished demos and demonstrates them to the band. He decided to record multi-channel, professional sounding, finished demos of some songs he had written during the period.

To achieve his goal, Springsteen asked his guitar technician, Mike Batlan, in December 1981 to set up a recording facility in a spare room at his home in Colts Neck, NJ. Some modification work was done to the room making it more receptive to achieving a decent sound. Batlan purchased a Teac Tascom Series 144 4-track cassette recorder, two Shure SM57 microphones, and two microphone stands. The sound was mixed through an old Gibson Echoplex and an old Panasonic boom box acted as the mix-down deck.

The four-track cassette recorder that Bruce Springsteen used to record his famous Nebraska demo tape of January 1982
The four-track cassette recorder that Bruce Springsteen used to record his famous Nebraska demo tape of January 1982

Batlan told journalist David McGee, "Springsteen began organizing his work for Nebraska during the first week of December 1981 – that's when I was directed to buy the four-track... actual recording began on 17 or 18 December and ended around January 3." Some of the songs were recorded two or three times in slightly different arrangements. A cassette tape was compiled and edited at the end of the sessions, likely on 03 Jan 1982. It contained fourteen songs recorded during these late December 1981 / early January 1982 sessions plus what is almost certainly a live recording of a fifteenth song, JOHNNY BYE-BYE. It also included seven alternate takes and five alternate mixes. The first person to listen to the tape was Jon Landau. Two or three months later, Springsteen recorded two additional songs (MY FATHER'S HOUSE and THE BIG PAYBACK) at home on the same equipment – thus making a total of 17 different songs.

  1. NEBRASKA (released on Nebraska)
  2. ATLANTIC CITY (released on Nebraska)
  3. MANSION ON THE HILL (released on Nebraska)
  4. BORN IN THE U.S.A. (released on Tracks)
  5. JOHNNY 99 (released on Nebraska)
  6. DOWNBOUND TRAIN (unreleased)
  7. LOSIN' KIND (unreleased)
  8. STATE TROOPER (released on Nebraska)
  9. USED CARS (released on Nebraska)
  10. OPEN ALL NIGHT (released on Nebraska)
  11. PINK CADILLAC (unreleased)
  12. HIGHWAY PATROLMAN (released on Nebraska)
  13. REASON TO BELIEVE (released on Nebraska)
  14. CHILD BRIDE (unreleased)
  15. MY FATHER'S HOUSE (released on Nebraska)
  16. THE BIG PAYBACK (released as a B-side)
  17. JOHNNY BYE-BYE (unreleased live version)

The solo demo tape was never conceived to result in a commercially released album, as the songs were recorded by the E Street Band with multi-instrument arrangements, during what's known by fans as the "Electric Nebraska Sessions". It should be noted that most of the songs were not recorded in "rock" arrangements. Instead, Springsteen and Max Weinberg just added light percussion, or Roy Bittan added a synth pad.

During the E Street Band sessions it became apparent to Springsteen that a majority of these songs did not lend themselves well to a full band arrangement. He later wrote in his 1998 book Songs, "I went into the studio, brought in the band, rerecorded, remixed, and succeeded in making the whole thing worse." At one point he even went back into the studio with an acoustic guitar to try and re-record the songs solo, but the result lacked the atmosphere and feeling of isolation only found on the original home demos. According to Toby Scott, Springsteen handed him the original solo demo tape in April 1982 and asked him if it was possible to just master off the tape, with the intention to release some of the songs as a solo album. It took Scott a few weeks before eventually saying yes and in May a decision was taken to release a solo album ahead of the still-in-progress E Street Band album.

Most of the E Street Band arrangements of these songs were discarded and ten of the original solo demos from the tape were released on the Nebraska album. Max Weinberg revealed to Rolling Stone in June 2010 that the recording of the "Electric Nebraska Sessions" does exist. He said that "the E Street Band actually did record all of Nebraska and it was killing [...] It was all very hard-edged. As great as it was, it wasn't what Bruce wanted to release. There is a full band Nebraska album, all of those songs are in the can somewhere."

"Open All Night" and "January 3, 1982" were considered as titles for the album, but ultimately "Nebraska" was chosen. The album was produced by Bruce Springsteen and was commercially released on 20 Sep 1982 by Columbia Records.

Bruce Springsteen -- Nebraska
Bruce Springsteen -- Nebraska

Nebraska features 10 new Springsteen compositions and clocks at 40:50.

Other Official Releases

Other versions of REASON TO BELIEVE were also officially released.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Christic Shows, November 16 & 17, 1990
The live 16 Nov 1990 version and the live 17 Nov 1990 version of REASON TO BELIEVE were released on The Christic Shows, November 16 & 17, 1990 official live download in 2016.
Bruce Springsteen -- Schottenstein Center, Ohio 2005
The live 31 Jul 2005 version of REASON TO BELIEVE was released on the Schottenstein Center, Ohio 2005 official live download in 2015.

Live History

SECTION NOT YET COMPLETED

REASON TO BELIEVE was performed off-tour on 16 Nov 1990 and 17 Nov 1990 at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA, during the benefit shows for the Christic Institute. The live 16 Nov 1990 version and the live 17 Nov 1990 version of REASON TO BELIEVE were released on The Christic Shows, November 16 & 17, 1990 official live download in 2016.

Covers

SECTION NOT YET COMPLETED

Various artists -- For You: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen
Various artists -- For You: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen

CD - Totem Records (TTM 480499 2) - Italy, 1995

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. REASON TO BELIEVE is performed by More Trouble Band.
Various artists -- Badlands - A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska
Various artists -- Badlands - A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska

CD - Sub Pop (SPCD 525) - USA, 2000
CD - Sub Pop (9878-70525-2) - Germany, 2000
CD - Sub Pop (WPCR-10845) - Japan, 2000

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. REASON TO BELIEVE is performed by Aimee Mann and Michael Penn.
The Bruceband -- Nebraska Electric
The Bruceband -- Nebraska Electric

CD - Stemra (88690-2) - Holland, 2008

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Andrew Nicholson -- Driving All Night: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen Volume II
Andrew Nicholson -- Driving All Night: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen Volume II

CD - no label (no catalog number) - UK, 2009

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
George Mileson -- Leap of Faith: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen
George Mileson -- Leap of Faith: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen

CD - Growin' Up Records (8471812289631) - Spain, 2012

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Jon Bingham -- Deliver Me From Nowhere
Jon Bingham -- Deliver Me From Nowhere

Digital album - no label (no catalog number) - USA, 2012

This is a free download-only digital Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Various artists -- Long Distance Salvation: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska
Various artists -- Long Distance Salvation: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska

LP - no label (no catalog number) - USA, 2012
Digital album - no label (no catalog number) - USA, 2012

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album, available in downloadable digital form and on limited edition colored vinyl. The digital version contains three tracks not found on the LP issue. REASON TO BELIEVE is performed by Adam Arcuragi.
Various artists -- Return To Nebraska
Various artists -- Return To Nebraska

Digital album - no label (no catalog number) - Holland, 2012

This is a free download-only digital Bruce Springsteen tribute album. REASON TO BELIEVE is performed by The Cosmic Carnival.
Various artists -- The Nebraska Sessions - A Tribute
Various artists -- The Nebraska Sessions - A Tribute

CD - Clubhouse Records (no catalog number) - UK, 2012
Digital album - Clubhouse Records (no catalog number) - uk, 2012

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album, available in downloadable digital form and on CD. The digital version contains two tracks not found on the CD issue. REASON TO BELIEVE is performed by Michele Stodart.
Pony Face -- Pony Face Presents Nebraska
Pony Face -- Pony Face Presents Nebraska

2xLP - Cobra Snake Necktie Records (unknown catalog number) - Australia, 2014
CD - Love & Theft Recording Co. (LNT022) - Australia, 2014

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Greg Von Teig -- The Prisoner Of His Dreams: Greg Von Teig Plays Bruce Springsteen
Greg Von Teig -- The Prisoner Of His Dreams: Greg Von Teig Plays Bruce Springsteen

CD - no label (no catalog number) - USA, 2016

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album, available in downloadable digital form and on CD. The digital version contains two tracks not found on the CD issue: DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN and IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY.
Various artists -- The Boss Project: The Songs Of Bruce Springsteen
Various artists -- The Boss Project: The Songs Of Bruce Springsteen

Digital album - no label (no catalog number) - Canada, 2016

This is a free download-only digital Bruce Springsteen tribute album. REASON TO BELIEVE is performed by Rich Hope.

Available Versions

List of available versions of REASON TO BELIEVE on this website:

REASON TO BELIEVE [Album version]
REASON TO BELIEVE [Live 19 Aug 1984 version]
REASON TO BELIEVE [Live 16 Nov 1984 version]
REASON TO BELIEVE [Live 18 Nov 1984 version]
REASON TO BELIEVE [Live 19 Nov 1984 version]
REASON TO BELIEVE [Live 07 Dec 1984 version]
REASON TO BELIEVE [Live 07 Jan 1985 version]
REASON TO BELIEVE [Live 16 Nov 1990 version]
REASON TO BELIEVE [Live 17 Nov 1990 version]
REASON TO BELIEVE [Live 18 Feb 1996 version]
REASON TO BELIEVE [Live 15 May 2005 version]
REASON TO BELIEVE [Kevin Kinney's cover version]
REASON TO BELIEVE [Aimee Mann and Michael Penn's cover version]

Page last updated: 01 Jun 2016