Live 24 Apr 1973 (early show) version
[Spoken intro:] This is, this is a newer song that I went down to uh, last winter, I went to California and went down to Mexico. That's a funny place, Mexico is, 'cause uh, we drive across the border, and we all see all these bumps in the road goin' khrrr khrrr khrrr, we're driving down the street. And the Mexicans are smart, they like I said, I was telling these people last night they got all these, they got all these old cars, you know, and they drive like maniacs, they just, driving all over the place. And the big thing, the big rage right now is, was, is they've auto body shops, I mean more auto body shops than you've ever seen in your life. And, and the whole thing is metal flake upholstery, you know, do some of the best work you've ever seen. And the funniest thing about it is soon as you drive across the border, there's cats waving you into these places, these auto body shops. We're driving a brand new car, my father bought this new car, I was, I was going down to Mexico with my father. And here we drive across the border and all these cats are waving us in these auto body shops. I think they hire cats to smash into you, in Tijuana. Really I think, I think they do. You know, ready, shhh shhh shhh, I think, but... I don't know. Anyway, I was able to strike off the reality of the situation (chuckles), as usual (chuckles), and, and uh, and I romanticized myself into writing a tune down there (chuckles). This is uh, I think this is it.
Well, from the tin rooftop the little boy did watch the procession down through town
Through the museum where Daniel whupped the Devil with them boys from the underground
Where the Giants of Science fight for tight control over the wild kids in North Mexico
Sam Houston's still in Texas fighting for his soul (ahhhh)
And the towns rest so uneasy under the strains of revolt
Crying, "Hey, Santa Ana?"
You could romance the dumb into talking
Take a chance with me contessa
If it don't work out I ain't lame, I'm good at walking, hey!
Now some folks say cancer's taken to the streets of this dusty little town
Sandy eats her candy and then lays her money down
Then the cats come in from the canyons to strut their stuff in town
But there's only secret sinners here, Lord, there's only secret thieves
Only a fool would try to save what the desert chose to leave
And I said, hey, hey lady, with your Negros in their Spanish bandanas
French cream ain't soften her boots
And French kisses ain't gonna break her heart, no!
Now painted night set free with light glows outside the Rainbow Saloon
Now matching braces with a Spanish lady 'neath a graduation moon
No colleges, no coronations, some punk's idea of a teenage nation
Has forced Santa Ana to changing station from soldier to cartoon
And the Giants of Science spend their days and nights
Not with wives, not with lovers, but searching for the lights
That they spotted in the desert on their helicopter flights
But they were lost in the dust and the night
But they cried, hey Santa Ana, in his juke joint rags he always brings candy for the kids
Waltz with me tonight my little 'cause only fools are alone on a night like this, hey!
Ohhh ya ya ya ya ya ya... hey hey...
[Spoken outro:] Alright, thank you. Alright, thank you. Thank you, thank you very much, thank you very much. Thank you very much, thank you.
The above lyrics are for the live 24 Apr 1973 early show performance of SANTA ANA at The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, PA, during what is considered the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. Tour.
In April 1973, Bruce Springsteen performed a two-night stand at The Main Point, (24 and 25 Apr 1973). He played two shows each night, an early one at 08:00PM and a late one at 10:00PM. These were double-bill shows, with Springsteen headlining and folk duo Aztec Two-Step opening. The complete early show from the first night was broadcast live on Philadelphia's WMMR-FM, and that was Bruce Springsteen's first real time concert venue simulcast. Since then, the audio has widely circulated in excellent quality among collectors.
The 24 Apr 1973 WBCN-FM radio broadcast was commercially released in the UK. Since 2005 some enterprising record labels in the UK have been releasing Bruce Springsteen radio and TV broadcasts (and some soundboard recordings) from the seventies, eighties, and nineties. Though these releases are not authorized by Bruce Springsteen or his record company, they are lawful due to a legal loophole in the UK.
List of available versions of SANTA ANA on this website:SANTA ANA [Official studio version]