Album version

Well Miguel came from a small town in northern Mexico
He came north with his brother Louis to California three years ago
They crossed at the river levee when Louis was just sixteen
And found work together in the fields of the San Joaquin

They left their homes and family, their father said, "My sons one thing you will learn,
For everything the north gives, it exacts a price in return."
They worked side by side in the orchards from morning till the day was through
Doing the work the hueros wouldn't do

Word was out some men in from Sinaloa were looking for some hands
Well deep in Fresno County there was a deserted chicken ranch
And there in a small tin shack on the edge of a ravine
Miguel and Louis stood cooking methamphetamine

You could spend a year in the orchards or make half as much in one ten hour shift
Working for the men from Sinaloa, ah, but if you slipped
The hydriodic acid could burn right through your skin
They'd leave you spitting up blood in the desert if you breathed those fumes in

It was early one winter evening as Miguel stood watch outside
When the shack exploded, lighting up the valley night
Miguel carried Louis' body over his shoulder down a swale to the creek side
And there in the tall grass Louis Rosales died

Miguel lifted Louis' body into his truck and then he drove
To where the morning sunlight fell on a eucalyptus grove
There in the dirt he dug up ten thousand dollars, all that they'd saved
Kissed his brothers lips and placed him in his grave



SINALOA COWBOYS is a song written by Bruce Springsteen and released on his 1995 album The Ghost Of Tom Joad. The above lyrics are for Bruce Springsteen's album version of SINALOA COWBOYS as released in 1995.

Composition and Recording


The Ghost Of Tom Joad

Following the Jan-Feb 1995 studio reunion with the E Street Band and the release of Greatest Hits, Bruce Springsteen writing activity increased significantly. Between March and September 1995, Springsteen wrote and recorded about two-albums worth of new songs. From the scattered comments made by Springsteen and other session participants, it would seem that over an album's worth of solo material and over an album's worth of band material were recorded during these sessions. The Ghost Of Tom Joad album consist of 7 solo tracks and 5 band tracks. The songs Springsteen recorded solo may have spanned the entire session period and the band sessions appear to have been split into two or three phases during the spring and summer of 1995.

In his 1998 book Songs, Springsteen wrote: "I knew that The Ghost of Tom Joad wouldn't attract my largest audience. But I was sure the songs on it added up to a reaffirmation of the best of what I do. The record was something new, but it was also a reference point to the things I tried to stand for and be about as a songwriter.

The Ghost Of Tom Joad was released on Columbia Records on 21 Nov 1995. It was produced by Bruce Springsteen and Chuck Plotkin. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 1997.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Bruce Springsteen -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad

The Ghost Of Tom Joad features 12 new Springsteen compositions and clocks at 50:16.

Other Official Releases


Bruce Springsteen -- King's Hall, Belfast March 19, 1996
The live 19 Mar 1996 version of SINALOA COWBOYS was released on the King's Hall, Belfast March 19, 1996 official live download in 2017.

Live History: on-tour


Live History: off-tour




Various artists -- Light Of Day: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen
Various artists -- Light Of Day: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen

3xCD - Good Sounds (DM 797-02) - Spain, 2003
2xCD - Good Sounds (DM 797E-02) - Spain, 2003
2xCD - Revolver (REV XD244) - UK, 2004

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. There are six issues of this album (with three track configurations) and this track was only included on the three issues listed above. SINALOA COWBOYS is performed by Cracker.

Available Versions

List of available versions of SINALOA COWBOYS on this website:

SINALOA COWBOYS [Album version]

Page last updated: 10 Nov 2016