Bruce Springsteen lyrics -- Bruce Springsteen shows -- Bruce Springsteen records

Song title: Song to the orphans


Song to the orphans - London Publishing

The multitude assembled and tried to make the noise
Them blank blind poet generals and restless loud white boys
But times grew thin and the axis was left somehow incomplete
Where instead of child lions they found ageing junkie sheep
How many wasted have I seen, signed Hollywood or bust
Oh left to ride those ever ghostly Arizona gusts
Oh cheerleader tramps and kids with big amps
Sounding helpless in the void
High society vamps and ex-heavyweight champs
Mistaking soot for soil
So break me now big mama, as Old Faithful breaks the day
Believe me my good Linda, let the Aurora shine the way
The Confederacy she’s in my name now
And the hounds are held at bay
Oh the axis needs a stronger arm
Do you feel your muscles play
The doorstep blanket weaver, oh Madonna pushes bells
From house to house I see her giving last kisses and wishing well
To every gypsy, mystic and hero
That the baby might find a place
Who’ve been lost to true fathers and mothers
On their time travels deep in space
Now the sons return for fathers
But the fathers are all gone
Oh and the lost souls search for saviours
But saviours don’t last long
Those aimless questless renegade brats
Who live their lives in songs
They run the length of a candle
And in a goodnight whisper and a puff are gone
So break me now big mama, as Old Faithful breaks the day
Believe me my good Linda, help is on the way
'Cos the Confederacy she’s in my name now
And the hounds are held at bay
Oh the axis needs a stronger arm, I can feel your muscles play
The Missions are filled with hermits looking for a friend
The terraces are filled with cat-men looking for a way in
And orphans abandoned on silver mountains
Or junked in celestial alleyways
Wait for that old tramp Dog Man Moses
‘Cause he takes in all the strays
He told me:”Don’t grow on empty legends, boy, or lonely cradle songs
‘Cause Billy The Kid was just a Bowery boy
Who made a living twirling his guns”
And the night she’ll be long and lanky
And she’ll speak in a Mother tongue
And then he lullabied the refugees
With an amplifier’s hum
So break me now big mama, as Old Faithful breaks the day
Believe me my good Linda, help is on the way
The Confederacy she’s in my name now
And the hounds are held at bay
Oh the axis needs a stronger arm
Do you feel your muscles play
Do you feel your muscles play

Notes: From the London Publishing Demos 1972. Played live in 1973. This is the 1972 studio take.


Song to the orphans - Live version

The moltitude assembled and tried to make the noise
The black blind poet generals and restless loud white boys
But time grew thin and the axis was left somehow incomplete
Where instead of child lions
We found ageing junkie sheep
How many wasted have I seen signed “Hollywood or bust”
Left to ride them ever ghostly Arizona gusts
Oh, cheerleader tramps and kids with big amps
Sounding in the void
High society vamps and ex-heavyweight champs
Mistaking soot for soil
So break me now Big Mama, as Old Faithful breaks the day
Believe me, my good Linda, the aurora will shine your way
The Confederacy, she’s in my name now
And the hounds are held at bay
The axis needs a stronger arm
Do you feel your muscles play?
The doorstep blanket weaver
Madonna she’s pushing bells
From house to house to house to house
Giving last kisses and wishing well
To every gipsy, mystic and all star hero
That the kids might find the place
Who’ve been lost forever to papa and mama
On their weekends out in space
Now the sons they search for fathers
But their fathers have all gone
The lost souls search for saviours
But saviours don’t last long
Those aimless, questionless renegade brats
Who live their lives in songs
They run the length of a candle
In a goodnight whisper and a puff they’re gone
So break me now Big Mama, as Old Faithful breaks the day
Believe me, my good Linda, the aurora will shine your way
The Confederacy, she’s in my name now
And the hounds are held at bay
The axis needs a stronger arm
Do you feel your muscles play?
The missions are filled with hermits looking for a friend
The terraces are filled with cat-men looking for a way in
There are orphans junked on silver mountains
Lost in celestial alleyways
They wait for that old tramp Dog Man Moses
He takes in all the strays :”Now, don’t grow on empty legends
or lonely cradle songs ‘cause Billy The Kid was just a bowery boy
Who made his living twirling his guns”
The night she’s long, she’s lanky, she speaks in her mother tongue
And lullabies the refugees with an amplifier’s hum
So break us now Big Mama, as Old Faithful breaks the day
Believe me, my sweet Linda, oh, help is sure on the way
The Confederacy, she’s in my name now
And the hounds are held at bay
The axis needs a stronger arm
Do you feel your muscles play?
The Confederacy, she’s in my name now
And the hounds are held at bay
The axis needs a stronger arm
Do you feel your muscles play?

Notes: This is one live version, slightly different from the studio take.


Statistics from the KILLING FLOOR (www.brucespringsteen.it) database


This song has never been published on any official release.

Very few performances of this songs are known (to me, at least!):
 - 01/12/1972 Kenny's Castaways, New York,NY ,USA during the Greetings Tour
   note: this date is only indicative of the general period
 - 09/01/1973 Wbcn-FM Studios, Boston,MA ,USA
 - 31/01/1973 Max's Kansas City, New York,NY ,USA during the Greetings Tour
 - 21/11/2005 Sovereign Bank Arena, Trenton,NJ ,USA during the Devils and Dust tour
 - 22/11/2005 Sovereign Bank Arena, Trenton,NJ ,USA during the Devils and Dust tour

Data from the www.brucespringsteen.it database
First known live performance: 01/12/1972 Kenny's Castaways, New York,NY ,USA
Last known live performance: 22/11/2005 Sovereign Bank Arena, Trenton,NJ ,USA

Song 'history':

Played live 2 time(s) during the so-called 'Greetings Tour' .
Keep in mind that only a small amount of the setlists of these years has surfaced, so it may have been played a lot more.
Apart from the above live performances, the song was recorded for the Laurel Canyon / London Publishing demos
Two only performances during the Devils and Dust tour (21/11/2005 Sovereign Bank Arena, Trenton,NJ ,USA and 22/11/2005 Sovereign Bank Arena, Trenton,NJ ,USA)

The song was also played in informal happenings or off-tour appearances
Data from the www.brucespringsteen.it database