Home studio take

My name is James Lucas
I was born in Remington
And paroled from Richfield Prison
In the winter of '81
I was free and on the streets of Indiana
I'd just turned 32
Same man with nowhere left to run
No different, sir, than you

Me and Pat, we married in the spring
Moved in with her Ma and Pa
On our wedding night she sighed, "Jimmy,
We can have anything we want."
It was for those things we wanted
We worked as hard as two people could
But somehow in the end, mister,
This didn't do no good

The prison got me drivin' delivery
For Mr. Wills over in Ridgeside
Well, I started loadin' a little extra
And I'd sell it on the side
I didn't like what I was doin'
I didn't lose no sleep at night
Mr. Wills, he was a rich man
He'd been a rich man all his life

I was on the loadin' dock one evening
When I heard the warehouse phone
The dispatcher said, "Jim, they wanna see you
In the front office 'fore you go home."
All Mr. Wills said was, "I don't understand.
I could send you back to Richfield fast.
If you needed some extra money, Jim,
All you had to do was ask."

Well, that night me and Pat, we had a fight
I was out drivin' 'round in the rain
With a fifth of gin and a half-tank of gas
And ten dollars to my name
I passed a deserted liquor store
Way out on Highway One
I turned and pulled into that parking lot
Got out but I let my motor run

Well, I stood lookin' in the window
For a long, long while
When I walked in the man behind the register
He looked at me and smiled
"That's some weather we're havin' out there.
Can I help you find somethin', friend?"
I didn't answer, I just stood there
Then I turned and went

I don't know how long I sat in my driveway
My shirt was covered in sweat
The house was dark when I went in
Pat was lyin' awake in bed
She hit the light, I was standin' in the doorway
She said, "I was worried, where you been so long?"
I felt her arms around me
She said, "Jimmy, I'm so glad you're home."

Richfield Prison stands on a high hill
Where the county line runs out
And there's a whistle that blows every time a man comes in
Or a man gets out
At night we lay wrapped in each other's arms
Listenin' to the rain
I heard that Richfield whistle blowin'
Just blowin' in my dreams


RICHFIELD WHISTLE is an unreleased Bruce Springsteen song. The above lyrics are for the only circulating take of the song, recorded sometime between mid-January and mid-February 1983 at Thrill Hill West, Springsteen's home studio in Los Angeles, CA.Springsteen recorded more than an album's worth of songs by himself during this period. He played all the instruments himself, with the help of a drum machine only, and overdubbing to create the final product.

RICHFIELD WHISTLE is developed from the 1981-1982 home demo JAMES LINCOLN DEERE.

Bootleg Releases

This version of RICHFIELD WHISTLE can be found on several bootlegs, including The Lost Masters Vol. 18 (Labour Of Love), The Lost Masters Essential Collection Vol. 1 (Labour Of Love), and Garage Sessions (Scorpio).

Bruce Springsteen -- The Lost Masters Vol. 18 (Labour Of Love)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Lost Masters Vol. 18 (Labour Of Love)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Lost Masters Essential Collection Vol. 1 (Labour Of Love)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Lost Masters Essential Collection Vol. 1 (Labour Of Love)

Live History

Bruce Springsteen has never performed RICHFIELD WHISTLE live.


Thanks Neil (Five Stubbs) for the lyrics help.

Available Versions

List of available versions of RICHFIELD WHISTLE on this website:

RICHFIELD WHISTLE [Home studio take]

Page last updated: 12 Sep 2011