TELL ME MAMA WHY IS IT SO HARD

Live Jan 1972 version


Take your last look, I'll take mine
Maybe I'll see you around
I know we both wonder
What each other's all about
But ain't it a shame that we'll never find out
Life goes on, and everything remains the same
In a little while, babe, you look away from me
But it don't matter
Just before I go, babe, one thing I got to know

Tell me mama, why is it so hard
Tell me mama, why is it so hard

This here town of yours
Has brought me nothing but pain
I thought love was sunshine
But it's a midnight rain

Why can't anybody stand the change
Oh, show me the reason
Whole town looks like a Christmas tree, baby
Out of season

Well I guess you got what you need, baby
I can't give you no more of mine
I'm havin' some trouble movin' on
Oh, I don't wanna go
Just before I go, one thing I wanna know

Tell me mama, why is it so hard
Oh, tell me mama, why is it so hard
Oh, mama why

This here town of yours
Brought me nothing but pain
Always thought love was sunshine
But it ain't

Seems nobody can stand the change
But tell me the reason, baby
You're lookin' like a Christmas tree
Out of season

I guess you got what you need, girl
I can't promise you no more
Well, I can't move the mountains
Oh, I don't wanna hold back tears

Just before I go babe, one thing I got to know
Tell me mama, why is it so hard
Tell me mama, why is it so hard
Tell me mama, why is it so hard
Tell me mama, why is it so hard
Why it's so hard, why is it so hard
Oh, why is it so hard
I said why


Info

TELL ME MAMA WHY IS IT SO HARD is an unreleased song written by Bruce Springsteen. He performed it live with The Sundance Blues Band in 1972.

Live Jan 1972 version

The above lyrics are for a live performance of TELL ME MAMA WHY IS IT SO HARD at The Captain's Garter in Neptune, NJ, with The Sundance Blues Band. The exact date is unknown, but it's from The Sundance Blues Band's January 1972 three-night residency at The Captain's Garter (see section below). Springsteen doesn't sing on this song; he plays guitar and Southside Johnny provides lead vocals.

1972 Residency at The Captain's Garter

The Sundance Blues Band performed a series of three shows at The Captain's Garter in Neptune, NJ, on 21, 22, and 23 Jan 1972. These were triple-bill shows, with The Sundance Blues Band opening for Inferno and headliner Ruby Falls & The Rock City Band. The line-up of The Sundance Blues Band for these shows was Southside Johnny, Steven Van Zandt, Garry Tallent, Vini Lopez, and David Sancious. Bruce Springsteen, who had only just returned from a month-long stay in California, was a guest performer with The Sundance Blues Band during this three-night residency, playing guitar and providing vocals.

An excellent audience recording for five songs from The Sundance Blues Band's three-night residency is in circulation. According to Brucebase, although the audio has been positively linked to this residency, it is not yet established from which of the three nights it emanates. There are discernible edits between songs, so this may be a compilation of material from one or more of these three nights.

Promotional ad for the January 1972 The Sundance Blues Band three-night residency at The Captain's Garter, Neptune, NJ
Promotional ad for the January 1972 The Sundance Blues Band three-night residency at The Captain's Garter, Neptune, NJ
(Taken from Brucebase)

The following weekend (28, 29, and 30 Jan 1972), Bruce Springsteen returned for another three-night residency at The Captain's Garter, this time with The Bruce Springsteen Band. These were double-bill shows, with The Bruce Springsteen Band opening for headliner Powers Flower, a local musical troupe that performed an adaptation of the rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Although billed as the undercard, The Bruce Springsteen Band actually closed the shows. No audio recording from this three-night residency is known to exist.

Promotional ad for the Jan 1972 The Bruce Springsteen Band three-night residency at The Captain's Garter, Neptune, NJ
Promotional ad for the Jan 1972 The Bruce Springsteen Band three-night residency at The Captain's Garter, Neptune, NJ
(Taken from Brucebase)

Live History

TELL ME MAMA WHY IS IT SO HARD is known to have been performed at least once in Springsteen's early years, in January 1972 in Neptune, NJ, with The Sundance Blues Band. Very little is known about shows from this early period, and therefore, the song may have been played on some more dates in 1972 and possibly in 1971 too.

  1. Jan 1972 at The Captain's Garter, Neptune, NJ (with The Sundance Blues Band)

Covers

As far as it's known, no artist has recorded and released Bruce Springsteen's TELL ME MAMA WHY IS IT SO HARD.

Credits / References

Thanks Audio2575 (from Rare Springsteen) for the lyrics help.

Much of the above information about the 21 Jan 1972 show is taken from Brucebase.

Request

If you have any additional information about this song, or any corrections to the above lyrics, please contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.

Available Versions

List of available versions of TELL ME MAMA WHY IS IT SO HARD on this website:

TELL ME MAMA WHY IS IT SO HARD [Live Jan 1972 version]

Page last updated: 10 Aug 2015