Bruce Springsteen lyrics - Album: Nebraska [1982]


I saw her standin' on her front lawn just twirlin' her baton

Me and her went for a ride sir and ten innocent people died

From the town of lincoln nebraska with a sawed-off .410 on my lap

Through to the badlands of wyoming I killed everything in my path

I can't say that I'm sorry for the things that we done

At least for a little while sir me and her we had us some fun

The jury brought in a guilty verdict and the judge he sentenced me to death

Midnight in a prison storeroom with leather straps across my chest

Sheriff when the man pulls that switch sir and snaps my poor neck back

You make sure my pretty baby is sittin' right there on my lap

They declared me unfit to live said into that great void my soul'd

Be hurled

They wanted to know why I did what I did

Well sir I guess there's just a meanness in this world

Atlantic City

Well, they blew up the chicken man in philly last night

Now, they blew up his house, too

Down on the boardwalk they're gettin' ready for a fight

Gonna see what them racket boys can do

Now, there's trouble bustin' in from outta state

And the d.a. can't get no relief

Gonna be a rumble out on the promenade

And the gamblin' commission's hangin' on by the skin of his teeth

Well now, ev'rything dies, baby, that's a fact

But maybe ev'rything that dies someday comes back

Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty

And meet me tonight in atlantic city

Well, I got a job and tried to put my money away

But I got debts that no honest man can pay

So I drew what I had from the central trust

And I bought us two tickets on that coast city bus

Now, baby, ev'rything dies, honey, that's a fact...

Now our luck may have died and our love may be cold

But with you forever I'll stay

We're goin' out where the sand's turnin' to gold

Put on your stockin's baby, `cause the night's getting cold

And maybe ev'rything dies, baby, that's a fact

But maybe ev'rything that dies someday comes back

Now, I been lookin' for a job, but it's hard to find

Down here it's just winners and losers and don't

Get caught on the wrong side of that line

Well, I'm tired of comin' out on the losin' end

So, honey, last night I met this guy and I'm gonna

Do a little favor for him

Well, I guess everything dies, baby, that's a fact...

Mansion on the Hill

There's a place out on the edge of town, sir,

Risin' above the factories and the fields

Now, ever since I was a child, I can remember

That mansion on the hill

In the day you can see the children playing

On the road that leads to those gates of hardened steel

Steel gates that completely surround, sir,

The mansion on the hill

At night my daddy'd take me and we'd ride

Through the streets of a town so silent and still

Park on a back road along the highway side

Look up at that mansion on the hill

In the summer all the lights would shine

There'd be music playin', people laughin' all the time

Me and my sister, we'd hide out in the tall cornfields

Sit and listen to the mansion on the hill

Tonight down here in linden town

I watch the cars rushin' by, home from the mill

There's a beautiful full moon rising

Above the mansion on the hill

Johnny 99

Well they closed down the auto plant in mahwah late that month

Ralph went out lookin' for a job but he couldn't find none

He came home too drunk from mixin' tanqueray and wine

He got a gun shot a night clerk now they call'm johnny 99

Down in the part of town where when you hit a red light you don't stop

Johnny's wavin' his gun around and threatenin' to blow his top

When an off-duty cop snuck up on him from behind

Out in front of the club tip top they slapped the cuffs on johnny 99

Well the city supplied a public defender but the judge was mean john brown

He came into the courtroom and stared young johnny down

Well the evidence is clear gonna let the sentence son fit the crime

Prison for 98 and a year and we'll call it even johnny 99

A fist fight broke out in the courtroom they had to drag johnny's girl away

His mama stood up and shouted judge don't take my boy this way

Well son you got a statement you'd like to make

Before the bailiff comes to forever take you away

Now judge I had debts no honest man could pay

The bank was holdin' my mortgage and they were gonna take my house away

Now I ain't sayin' that makes me an innocent man

But it was more `n all this that put that gun in my hand

Well your honor I do believe I'd be better off dead

So if you can take a man's life for the thoughts that's in his head

Then sit back in that chair and think it over judge one more time

And let `em shave off my hair and put me on that killin' line

Highway Patrolman

My name is joe roberts I work for the state

I'm a sergeant out of perrineville barracks number 8

I always done an honest job as honest as I could

I got a brother named frankie and frankie ain't no good

Now ever since we was young kids it's been the same come down

I get a call over the radio frankie's in trouble downtown

Well if it was any other man, I'd put him straight away

But when it's your brother sometimes you look the other way

Yeah me and frankie laughin' and drinkin'

Nothin' feels better than blood on blood

Takin' turns dancin' with maria as the band

Played night of the johnstown flood

I catch him when he's strayin' like any brother would

Man turns his back on his family well he just ain't no good

Well frankie went in the army back in 1965

I got a farm deferment, settled down, took maria for my wife

But them wheat prices kept on droppin' till it was like we were gettin'


Frankie came home in `68, and me, I took this job

Yeah we're laughin' and drinkin'

Nothin' feels better than blood on blood

Takin' turns dancin' with maria as the band

Played night of the johnstown flood

I catch him when he's strayin' teach him how to walk that line

Man turns his back on his family he ain't no friend of mine

Well the night was like any other, I got a call `bout quarter to nine

There was trouble in a roadhouse out on the michigan line

There was a kid lyin' on the floor lookin' bad bleedin' hard from his head

There was a girl cry'n' at a table and it was frank, they said

Well I went out and I jumped in my car and I hit the lights

Well I musta done one hundred and ten through michigan county that night

It was out at the crossroads, down `round willow bank

Seen a buick with ohio plates. behind the wheel was frank

Well I chased him through them county roads

Till a sign said canadian border five miles from here

I pulled over the side of the highway and watched his tail-lights disappear

Me and frankie laughin' and drinkin'

Nothin' feels better than blood on blood

Takin' turns dancin' with maria as the band

Played night of the johnstown flood

State Trooper

New jersey turnpike, ridin' on a wet night `neath the refin'ry's glow

Out where the great black rivers flow

License, registration: I ain't got none

But I got a clear conscience `bout the things that I done

Mister state trooper, please don't stop me

Please don't stop me, please don't stop me

Maybe you got a kid, maybe you got a pretty wife

The only thing that I got's been both'rin' me my whole life

Mister state trooper, please don't stop me

Please don't stop me, please don't stop me

In the wee, wee hours your mind get hazy

Radio relay towers lead me to my baby

The radio's jammed up with talk show stations

It's just talk, talk, talk, talk, till you lose your patience

Mister state trooper, please don't stop me

Hey, somebody out there, listen to my last prayer

Hiho silver-o, deliver me from nowhere

Used Cars

Used cars

My sister's in the front seat with an ice

Cream cone

My ma's in the back seat sittin' all alone

As my pa steers her slow out of the lot

For a test drive down michigan avenue

Now, my ma, she fingers her wedding band

And watches the salesman stare at my old

Man's hands

He's telling us all about the break he'd

Give us

If he could, but he just can't

Well if I could, I swear I know just what

I'd do

Now, mister, the day the lottery I win

I ain't ever gonna ride in no used car


Now, the neighbors come from near and far

As we pull up in our brandnew used car

I wish he'd just hit the gas and let out

A cry

Tell `em all they can kiss our asses


My dad, he sweats the same job from

Mornin' to morn

Me, I walk home on the same dirty streets

Where I was born

Up the block I can hear my little sister

In the front seat blowin' that horn

The sounds echoin' all down michigan


Now, mister, the day my numbers comes in

I ain't ever gonna ride in no used car


Open All Night

Well, I had the carburetor, baby, cleaned and checked

With her line blown out she's hummin' like a turbojet

Propped her up in the backyard on concrete blocks

For a new clutch plate and a new set of shocks

Took her down to the carwash, check the plugs and point

Well, I'm goin' out tonight. I'm gonna rock that joint

Early north jersey industrial skyline

I'm a all-set cobra jet creepin' through the nighttime

Gotta find a gas station, gotta find a pay phone

This turnpike sure is spooky at night when you're all alone

Gotta hit the gas, baby. I'm running late

This new jersey in the mornin' like a lunar landscape

Now, the boss don't dig me, so he put me on the night shift

It's an all-night run to get back to where my baby lives

In the wee, wee hours your mind gets hazy

Radio relays towers, won't you lead me to my baby?

Underneath the overpass, trooper hits his party light switch

Good night, good luck. one, two power shift

I met wanda when she was employed

Behind the counter at route sixty bob's big boy fried chicken

On the front seat, she's sittin' in my lap

We're wipin' our fingers on a texaco road map

I remember wanda up on scrap metal hill

With them big brown eyes that make your heart stand still

Well, at five a.m., oil pressure's sinkin' fast

I make a pit stop, wipe the windshield, check the gas

Gotta call my baby on the telephone

Let her know that her daddy's comin' on home

Sit tight, little mama, I'm comin' `round

I got three more hours, but I'm coverin' ground

Your eyes get itchy in the wee, wee hours

Sun's just a red ball risin' over them refinery towers

Radio's jammed up with gospel stations

Lost souls callin' long distance salvation

Hey, mister deejay, won'tcha hear my last prayer?

Hey, ho, rock'n'roll, deliver me from nowhere

My Father's House

Last night I dreamed that I was a child

Out where the pines grow wild and tall

I was trying to make it home through the forest

Before the darkness falls

I heard the wind rustling through the trees

And ghostly voices rose from the fields

I ran with my heart pounding down that broken path

With the devil snappin' at my heels

I broke through the trees, and there in the night

My father's house stood shining hard and bright

The branches and brambles tore my clothes and scratched my arms

But I ran till I fell, shaking in his arms

I awoke and I imagined the hard things that pulled us apart

Will never again, sir, tear us from each other's hearts

I got dressed, and to that house I did ride

From out on the road, I could see it's windows shining in light

I walked up the steps and stood on the porch

A woman I didn't recognize came and spoke to me through a chained door

I told her my story, and who I'd come for

She said I'm sorry, son, but no one by that name lives here anymore

My father's house shines hard and bright

It stands like a beacon calling me in the night

Calling and calling, so cold and alone

Shining `cross this dark highway where our sins lie unatoned

Reason to Believe

Seen a man standin' over a dead dog lyin' by the highway in a ditch

He's lookin' down kinda puzzled pokin' that dog with a stick

Got his car door flung open he's standin' out on highway 31

Like if he stood there long enough that dog'd get up and run

Struck me kinda funny seem kinda funny sir to me

At the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

Now mary lou loved johnny with a love mean and true

She said baby I'll work for you every day and bring my money home to you

One day he up and left her and ever since that

She waits down at the end of that dirt road for young johnny to come back

Struck me kinda funny seemed kind of funny sir to me

How at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

Take a baby to the river kyle william they called him

Wash the baby in the water take away little kyle's sin

In a whitewash shotgun shack an old man passes away

Take his body to the graveyard and over him they pray

Lord won't you tell us tell us what does it mean

Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

Congregation gathers down by the riverside

Preacher stands with his Bible groom stands waitin' for his bride

Congregation gone and the sun sets behind a weepin' willow tree

Groom stands alone and watches the river rush on so effortlessly

Lord and he's wonderin' where can his baby be

Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

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