SONG FOR ORPHANS

Live 09 Jan 1973 version


[Spoken intro:] Let's do uh... a slow song. I'll do this, I'll do one by myself. Huh.

The multitude assembled and tried to make a noise
Them black blind poet generals and restless loud white boys
But time's grew thin and the axis was left somehow incomplete
Where instead of child lions, they found agein' junkie sheep

And how many wasted have I seen signed "Hollywood or bust"
Oh left to ride them ever ghostly Arizona gusts
Cheerleader tramps and kids with big amps soundin' helpless in the void
Oh high society vamps and ex-heavyweight champs mistakin' soot for soil

Oh so break me now big Mama as Old Faithful breaks the day
Believe me my good Linda, help she's on the way
The confederacy's in my name now, them hounds are held at bay
The axis needs a stronger arm, do you feel your muscle play

Well the doorstep blanket weaver, Donna she pushes bells
From house to house to house I see her givin' last kisses and wishin' well
To every gypsy mystic and all-star that the kids might find a place
Who've been lost for ever true fathers on their time travels out in the space

Oh and the sons they search for fathers, but the fathers are all gone
The lost souls search for saviours, but saviours don't last long
Them aimless questless renegade brats who live their lives in songs
They run the length of a candle, and in a goodnight whisper and a puff they're gone

Oh so break me now big Mama as Old Faithful she breaks the day
Believe me my good Linda, yes help is on the way
The confederacy's in my name now, them hounds are held at bay
The axis needs a stronger arm, do you feel your muscles play

Well now the missions are filled with hermits and they're all lookin' for a friend
And the terraces are filled with cat-men lookin' for a way in
These orphans lost up on silver mountains, jumped, jumped in alleyways
They wait for that old tramp Dog Man Moses, he takes in all the strays

And he told me, "don't grow on empty legends or lonely cradle songs
Because Billy the Kid was just a bowery boy who made a living twirlin' his guns
And the night she's long, she's lanky, and she speaks in a mother tongue"
And he lullabied the refugees with an amplifier's hum

And we could break us now big Mama as Old Faithful she breaks the day
Oh and leave me now good Linda, the aurora will shine your way
The confederacy's in my name now, them hounds are held at bay
The axis needs a stronger arm, do you feel your muscle play
The confederacy's in my name now, them hounds are held at bay
The axis needs a stronger arm, do you feel your muscles play

Oh da da da dada
Da da da da da da
Hmmm

[spoken outro:] That's where the radio guy does the fade out (chuckles).


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 09 Jan 1973 radio performance of SONG FOR ORPHANS as broadcast on Boston's WBCN-FM.

The 09 Jan 1973 WBCN-FM Radio Performance

Bruce Springsteen's first ever radio station performance took place on 09 Jan 1973 and was broadcast live on Boston's WBCN-FM. The show took place at WBCN-FM radio station in Boston, MA, and was hosted by legendary DJ Maxanne Sartori who worked the afternoon shift at WBCN in the early seventies.

Promotional ad for DJ Maxanne Sartori afternoon show on WBCN-FM in the early seventies
Promotional ad for DJ Maxanne Sartori afternoon show on WBCN-FM in the early seventies
(Taken from Brucebase)

In addition to band members Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici, and Garry Tallent (Vini Lopez was not present), co-manager Jim Cretecos, roadie/soundman Albee Tellone, and CBS representative Ed Hynes were in the broadcast studio; the three provided party-like background vocals on BLINDED BY THE LIGHT.

The radio show was recorded off the airways and is available in very good quality on bootleg CDs. This is the earliest circulating "live" audio with what would become the E Street Band. Unfortunately, the recording is missing nearly all of the show's last track plus some concluding discussions about Springsteen's upcoming tour plans. According to Brucebase, a complete but poor quality tape of the show was allegedly circulating in the Boston area for a brief period during the mid-seventies, but seems to have vanished from the tape trading pool.

The 09 Jan 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.

Bruce Springsteen -- Bound For Glory
Bruce Springsteen -- Bound For Glory

CD - Leftfield Media (LFMCD516) - UK, 2011

This release contains the 09 Jan 1973 WBCN-FM radio broadcast and the 24 Apr 1973 WMMR-FM radio broadcast.
Bruce Springsteen -- Bound For Glory
Bruce Springsteen -- Bound For Glory

2xLP - Let Them Eat Vinyl (LETV039LP) - UK, 2012

This release contains the 09 Jan 1973 WBCN-FM radio broadcast and the 24 Apr 1973 WMMR-FM radio broadcast. It was released under exclusive agreement with Leftfield Media.
Bruce Springsteen -- The Spirit Of The Radio: Legendary Broadcasts From The Early 1970s
Bruce Springsteen -- The Spirit Of The Radio: Legendary Broadcasts From The Early 1970s

3xCD - Parallel Lines (PLCD022) - Europe, 2014

This release contains the 09 Jan 1973 WBCN-FM radio broadcast, the 24 Apr 1973 WMMR-FM radio broadcast, and part of the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point.
Bruce Springsteen -- Acoustic Radio 1973
Bruce Springsteen -- Acoustic Radio 1973

CD - Good Ship Funke (GSF006) - UK, 2015

This release contains the 09 Jan 1973 WBCN-FM radio broadcast and the 31 May 1973 WGOE-FM radio broadcast.
Bruce Springsteen -- The 1973 Acoustic Radio Sessions
Bruce Springsteen -- The 1973 Acoustic Radio Sessions

2xLP - Let Them Eat Vinyl (LETV374LP) - UK, 2015

This release contains the 09 Jan 1973 WBCN-FM radio broadcast and the 31 May 1973 WGOE-FM radio broadcast.
Bruce Springsteen -- Live In Studio 1974 + Bonus 1973
Bruce Springsteen -- Live In Studio 1974 + Bonus 1973

LP - DOL (DOR2109H) - Europe, 2016

This release contains the 09 Mar 1974 KLOL-FM radio broadcast and part of the 09 Jan 1973 WBCN-FM radio broadcast.
Bruce Springsteen -- Acoustic Radio Broadcast Collection
Bruce Springsteen -- Acoustic Radio Broadcast Collection

2xCD - The Broadcast Archive (BSCD6047) - UK, 2017

This release contains the 09 Jan 1973 WBCN-FM radio broadcast, the 31 May 1973 WGOE-FM radio broadcast, the 09 Mar 1974 KLOL-FM radio broadcast, and the 09 Apr 1974 WBCN-FM radio broadcast. This is a repackaging of Good Ship Funke's Acoustic Radio 1973 and Acoustic Radio 1974.

Available Versions

List of available versions of SONG FOR ORPHANS on this website:

SONG FOR ORPHANS [Studio version]
SONG FOR ORPHANS [Live 09 Jan 1973 version]
SONG FOR ORPHANS [Live 31 Jan 1973 (late show) version]
SONG FOR ORPHANS [Live 21 Nov 2005 version]
SONG FOR ORPHANS [Live 22 Nov 2005 version]

Page last updated: 08 Jan 2012