IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY

Live 22 Nov 2009 version

[Spoken intro to Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. album performance:]

Good evening and thank you for filling these seats tonight! We've had a great, great, great couple of years -- we started in October 2007, the Magic record, and uh, really it's been just about the best time in, uh, our band's work life, and I want... Thank you for supporting our new music, our old music, our tours. As we got towards the end of the tour, we're trying to think of things we could do that would make our last nights special for our fans and for us, so we started to play our albums, and uh, of course we played Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Born To Run, we played the Wild and the Innocent, we played The River... but tonight! One time only! This was the miracle. [laughs] This was the record that took everything from way below zero to... one! And uh, big, big, big moment, big time. Um, hard to believe, but there was a guy at CBS Records named John Hammond, one of the great legends of uh, the then, the music production, who uh, invited me and my friend in straight off the streets of New York after my pal did what a lot of what must have been incredible talking [laughs], and uh, these were some of the songs we played that day as I sat across his desk, with just my acoustic guitar. So tonight, I'm gonna dedicate this to the man who got me in the door; Mike Appel's here tonight -- Mike, this is for you!

[Performs BLINDED BY THE LIGHT]

[Performs GROWIN' UP]

[Performs MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS]

[Performs DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET]

[Performs LOST IN THE FLOOD]

[Performs THE ANGEL]

[Performs FOR YOU]

[Perfroms SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT]

[IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY:]

One, two, three, four!

Go!
I had skin like leather and the diamond-hard look of a cobra
I was born blue and weathered but I burst just like a supernova
I could walk like Brando right into the sun
Dance like a Casanova
With my blackjack and jacket and hair slicked sweet
Silver star studs on my duds like a Harley in heat
When I strut down the street, I could feel its heartbeat
The sisters fell back, said, "Don't that man look pretty"
Cripple on the corner cried out, "Nickels for your pity"
Them downtown boys sure talk gritty
And it's hard to be a saint in the city

I was the king of the alley, I could talk some trash
I was the prince of the paupers crowned downtown at the beggar's bash
I was the pimp's main prophet, I kept everything cool
Backstreet gambler with the luck to lose
And when the heat came down, it was left on the ground
The devil appeared like Jesus through the steam in the street
Showin' me a hand I knew even the cops couldn't beat
I felt his hot breath on my neck as I dove into the heat
And it's hard to be a saint when you're just a boy

And the sages of the subway sit just like the living dead
The tracks clack out the rhythm, their eyes fixed straight ahead
They ride the line of balance, hold on by just a thread
It's too hot in these tunnels, you get hit up by the heat
You get up to get out at your next stop, they push you back down in your seat
Your heart starts beatin' faster as you struggle to your feet
Then you're out of that hole, back up on the street

Them south side sisters sure look pretty
Cripple on the corner cried out, "Nickels for your pity"
Them downtown boys sure talk gritty
And it's hard to be the saint in the city
So hard, so hard
So hard, so hard
Whoa oh, whey oh
Whey oh, whey oh (whey oh, whey oh)
Whey oh, whey oh (whey oh, whey oh)
Whey oh, whey oh (whey oh, whey oh)
Hey!

[Spoken outro:] Greetings From Asbury Park!


Page last updated: 22 May 2011

Info

The above lyrics are for the live 22 Nov 2009 performance of IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY, during the Working On A Dream Tour. The song was played in its traditional full-band arrangement.


Ticket stub for the 22 Nov 2009 show at HSBC Arena, Buffalo, NY

On this show Bruce and the band played the entire Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. album from start to finish and in sequence.

Available Versions

List of available versions of IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY on this website:

Credits

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake).