Live 07 May 2008 version
[Spoken intro:] All right, folks. All right, uh... Why don't we wait until everyone gets back in. You want you seats? All right. This is a record came out, it was our third record, it was kind of our do-or-die record, uh, they wanted to throw us off the label, Columbia Records, at the time. And, uh, we were in bad, bad need of something happening, that's what my recollection was. And the title cut, Born To Run, I spent about six months writing, and we spent the same amount of time recording, trying to, uh, figure out a tempo for what was gonna, what was gonna work. After that, I spent the rest of the time trying to get, put together some songs that I thought were gonna be as good as that one, you know. And, uh, thank you, my friend! (chuckles) So, uh, here we go!
The screen door slams, Mary's dress sways
Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey, that's me and I want you only
Don't turn me home again
I just can't face myself alone anymore
Well, don't you run back inside
Darling, you know just what I'm here for
So you're scared and you're thinking that maybe we ain't that young anymore
Show a little faith, there's magic in the night
You ain't a beauty, but, hey, you're all right
Yeah, well, that's all right with me
You can hide 'neath your covers and study your pain
Throw crosses from your lovers, throw roses in the rain
Waste your summer praying in vain for a savior to rise from these streets
Well, I'm no hero, that's understood
All the redemption I can offer, girl, is beneath this dirty hood
With a chance to make it good somehow
What else can we do now
Except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair
The night's busted open, these two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back, heaven's waiting down on the tracks
Whoa, oh, come take my hand
We're riding out tonight to case the promised land
Whoa, oh, oh, Thunder Road, oh, Thunder Road, oh, Thunder Road
Lying out there like a killer in the sun
Yeah, I know it's late, but we can make it if we run
Whoa, oh, oh, Thunder Road, sit tight, take hold, Thunder Road
Well, I got this guitar and I learned how to make it talk
My car's out back if you're ready to take that long walk
From your front porch to my front seat
The door's open but the ride, it ain't free
Well, I know you're lonely, there's words that I ain't spoken
Well, tonight, girl, we'll be free, all the promises will be broken
There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dusty beach road in the skeleton frames of burned out Chevrolets
They scream your name at night in the street
Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet
In the lonely cool before dawn
You hear their engines roaring on
You get to the porch, they're gone
On the wind; so Mary climb in
It's a town full of losers, we're pulling out of here to win
The above lyrics are for the live 07 May 2008 performance of THUNDER ROAD at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ, during a benefit show for the Count Basie Theatre. The parts in bold are sung by the crowd.
On 07 May 2008, during a break in the Magic Tour between a North American and a European leg, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played a benefit show for the 82-year-old Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. The concert was significant for venue, raising alone over $3 million for its restoration fund.
For the very first time ever Springsteen and the band played, not one, but two complete albums from their catalog: Darkness On The Edge Of Town and Born To Run, live and in sequence. Springsteen said that they "decided to do something we've never done before, and that you're not going to see someplace else." However, performances of entire albums would later become a feature of the last two months of the Working On A Dream Tour.
To wrap the night up, Springsteen and the band played a four-song encore featuring a full horn section. "The Mighty Max Horns," as Springsteen later called them, consisted of Mark Pender on trumpet, Richie "LaBamba" Rosenberg on trombone, and Jerry Vivino and Ed Manion on saxophones.
The theatre opened as the Carlton Theater in 1926, was renamed the Monmouth Arts Center in 1973, and in 1984 it was renamed the Count Basie Theatre, in memory to the recently deceased jazz pianist, bandleader, composer, and Red Bank native William "Count" Basie. The theatre had been hosting Bruce Springsteen since the mid-seventies -- he played there during The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle Tour in 1974, the Born To Run Tour in 1975, and the Lawsuit Tour in 1976. He has since outgrown the small venue, but he kept making surprise appearances over the years.
Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help.
List of available versions of THUNDER ROAD on this website:THUNDER ROAD [Album version]