THE PROMISE

Official 1978 studio version


Johnny works in a factory, hey, Billy works downtown
And Terry works in a rock and roll band looking for that million-dollar sound
And me I got a job down in Denville but some nights I just don't go
I said I ride to the drive-in or some nights I just stay home
Well I follow that dream just like those guys do up on the screen
And I drove a Challenger down Route 9 through the dead ends and all the bad scenes
And when the promise was broken, I cashed in a few of my own dreams

Whoa-ah-um
Well now I built that Challenger by myself, but I needed money and so I sold it
And I lived a secret I should've kept to myself, but I got drunk one night and I told it
All my life I fought the fight, the one that no man can ever win
Every day it just gets harder, a dream I'm believing in
Thunder Road, ??? the evening 'till it turns light
Thunder Road, there's something dying out on the highway tonight

Well my daddy taught me how to walk quiet and how to make my peace with the past
I learned real good to tighten up inside and I don't say nothing unless I'm asked
When the promise is broken you go on living, it steals something from down in your soul
Like when the truth gets spoken, don't make a difference, something in your heart well it turns cold
Well I follow that dream to the southwest ???, the dead ends in the two-bit bars
The promise was broken, I go far away from home sleeping in the backseat of a borrowed car
Thunder Road, hey-yeahhh-yeah
Thunder Road, here's all for the tires rushing by in the rain
Thunder Road, remember what me and Billy we always say
Thunder Road, we wanna take it all, gonna throw it all
Throw it all away
Throw it all away
Throw it all away
Throw it all away
Throw it all away


Info

The above lyrics are for a studio version of THE PROMISE that was recorded, according to The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set liner notes, in 1978 in New York City. This take was cut in early 1978 (most probably early January) at The Record Plant in New York City, NY. In-studio video footage of the recording of this take was released on the Thrill Hill Vault 1976-1978 DVD in 2010 (read below). The video was shot by Barry Rebo.

Bruce Springsteen performing THE PROMISE in studio in 1978 at The Record Plant, New York City, NY (from the 'Thrill Hill Vault 1976-1978' DVD)
Bruce Springsteen performing THE PROMISE in studio in 1978 at The Record Plant, New York City, NY (from the 'Thrill Hill Vault 1976-1978' DVD)

Thrill Hill Vault 1976-1978

Thrill Hill Vault 1976-1978 is a collection of archival footage from Springsteen's personal vault that was released on 16 Nov 2010 exclusively as part of the The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set, in both DVD and Blu-Ray formats. The video clocks at about 56 minutes, and is combined with Darkness On The Edge Of Town: Paramount Theater, Asbury Park 2009 on one disc.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story (box set cover art)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story (box set cover art)

Thrill Hill Vault 1976-1978 consists of an about-an-hour's worth of home rehearsals footage from 1976, studio sessions footage from 1978, and live in concert footage from 1978. It was produced and edited by Emmy- and Grammy-winner Thom Zimny and the audio for the live 1978 footage and some of the 1978 studio footage was mixed by Bob Ludwig. Zimny re-edited the 1978 concert footage making use of previously unseen camera angles. The home rehearsals and studio session footage was originally produced and directed by Barry Rebo, while the live in concert footage was originally directed by Arnold Levine.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Thrill Hill Vault 1976-1978 (DVD cover art)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Thrill Hill Vault 1976-1978 (DVD cover art)

  1. SAVE MY LOVE [Holmdel, NJ 76]
  2. CANDY'S BOY [Holmdel, NJ 76]
  3. SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT [Red Bank, NJ 76]
  4. DON'T LOOK BACK [NYC 78]
  5. AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU [NYC 78]
  6. THE PROMISE [NYC 78]
  7. CANDY'S ROOM [demo, NYC 78]
  8. BADLANDS [Phoenix 78]
  9. THE PROMISED LAND [Phoenix 78]
  10. PROVE IT ALL NIGHT [Phoenix 78]
  11. BORN TO RUN [Phoenix 78]
  12. ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT) [Phoenix 78]

Credits

Thanks Alex Reinert for the lyrics corrections.

Request

If you have any corrections or additional info, please contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.

Available Versions

List of available versions of THE PROMISE on this website:

THE PROMISE [Official 1977 studio version]
THE PROMISE [Official 1978 studio version]
THE PROMISE [Official 1999 studio version]
THE PROMISE [Unofficial studio version 1]
THE PROMISE [Unofficial studio version 2]
THE PROMISE [Unofficial studio version 3]
THE PROMISE [Live 03 Aug 1976 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 29 Sep 1976 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 30 Oct 1976 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 19 May 1978 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 23 May 1978 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 01 Jul 2000 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 20 Jul 2005 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 07 Dec 2010 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 08 Feb 2014 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 22 Apr 2014 version]
THE PROMISE [Graziano Romani's cover version]

Page last updated: 03 May 2016