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

Song title: Jungleland


Jungleland

The rangers had a homecoming in Harlem late last night
And the Magic Rat drove his sleek machine over the Jersey state line
Barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge
Drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain
The Rat pulls into town rolls up his pants
Together they take a stab at romance and disappear down Flamingo Lane

Well the Maximum Lawman run down Flamingo chasing the Rat and the barefoot girl
And the kids round here look just like shadows always quiet, holding hands
From the churches to the jails tonight all is silence in the world
As we take our stand down in Jungleland

The midnight gang’s assembled and picked a rendezvous for the night
They’ll meet `neath that giant Exxon sign that brings this fair city light
Man there’s an opera out on the Turnpike
There’s a ballet being fought out in the alley
Until the local cops, Cherry Tops, rips this holy night
The street’s alive as secret debts are paid
Contacts made, they vanished unseen
Kids flash guitars just like switch-blades hustling for the record machine
The hungry and the hunted explode into rock’n’roll bands
That face off against each other out in the street down in Jungleland

In the parking lot the visionaries dress in the latest rage
Inside the backstreet girls are dancing to the records that the D.J. plays
Lonely-hearted lovers struggle in dark corners
Desperate as the night moves on, just a look and a whisper, and they’re gone

Beneath the city two hearts beat
Soul engines running through a night so tender in a bedroom locked
In whispers of soft refusal and then surrender in the tunnels uptown
The Rat’s own dream guns him down as shots echo down them hallways in the night
No one watches when the ambulance pulls away
Or as the girl shuts out the bedroom light

Outside the street’s on fire in a real death waltz
Between flesh and what’s fantasy and the poets down here
Don’t write nothing at all, they just stand back and let it all be
And in the quick of the night they reach for their moment
And try to make an honest stand but they wind up wounded, not even dead
Tonight in Jungleland[1]

Notes: Widely performed in each tour until 1988. Then forgotten and reprised in the Reunion Tour (from 19-Apr-1999, Milano, Italy). Interesting early version has been played before the release of BTR. Also outtake lyrics and alternate end verses available.
[1] See "The Stand" by Stephen King


Jungleland - out-take version

Well the Rangers had a home-coming in Harlem late last night
And the Magic Rat piloted his sleek machine across the Jersey State Line
Barefoot girl sits drinking warm beer on the hood of an old Dodge
In the soft summer rain
Rat rolls up his pants, together they’d make a stab at romance
And move down Flamingo Lane

Well now the maximum lawmen they run down the Flamingo chasing the Rat
And the barefoot girl
But the kids they live like shadows in empty doorways
(But they live like shadows in the vacant doorways)
Always silent, holding hands
The Rat pulls her close (The Rat pulls Mary close)
And from the churches to the jails there is silence in the world
(all is silent in the world)
For tonight they’d take their chance
Down here in Jungleland

Well there’s a crazy kind of light tonight
Brighter than the one that sparkles for prophets
Brighter than the Giant Exxon sign that brings this fair city light
There’s an opera out on the Turnpike, there’s a ballet being fought outside the alley
Well the cops they let their faces show and rips this holy night
The streets alive with tough-kid Jets in Nova-light machines
Boys flash guitars like bayonets and rip holes in their jeans
Then the hungry and the haunted explode into rock ‘n’ roll bands
They face off against each other when they meet
Down here in Jungleland

The street’s on fire in a classic death waltz
Between the masters of flesh and fantasy
The poets down here don’t write nothin’ at all, they just stand and let it all be
And in the quick of the night they reach for their moment to make an honest stand
But they wind up wounded, not rightly dead, down here in Jungleland - yes they do

Oh beneath the city their hearts beat, soul cool engines tired and brave
Oh as the young (jungle) girls stand by fire angels fallen in the city
In the tunnels of machines they’ll hear the screams
Drowned out by the roarin’ trains
Them rats above, oh locked in love
The Rat saves her from the edge of an on-coming train
That Angel rides a...
Down here in Jungleland - oh yes they do
They hear the animals sing - oh oh oh

Notes: Studio out-take. Interesting early version has been played before the release of BTR.


Jungleland - Pre-BTR live version

Well now the Rangers had a home-coming in Harlem late last night
And the Magic Rat drove this beautiful machine across the Jersey State Line
Barefoot girl sits on the hood of an old Dodge drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain
Rat pulls into town, rolls up his pants, together they’d make a stab at romance
And disappear down Flamingo Lane

Well now the maximum lawmen they run down Flamingo chasing the Rat
And the barefoot girl
But the kids ‘round here they live like shadows
Always silent, holding hands
From the churches to the jails tonight there is silence in the world
Tonight as we take our stand
Down in Jungleland

Well there’s a crazy kind of light tonight
Brighter than the one that sparkles for prophets
It’s even brighter than the Giant Exxon sign that brings this fair city light
There’s an opera out on the Turnpike, there’s a ballet being fought out on the alley
Well the cops, Cherry tops they rips this holy night
The streets alive with tough-kid Jets in Nova-light machines
Boys flash guitars like bayonets and rip holes in their jeans
Then the hungry and the haunted explode into rock ‘n’ roll bands
They face off against each other out in the street
Down here in Jungleland

In the parking lots the visionaries are dressed in the latest rage
As the Spanish Angels dance soft and low in a blacked arcade
But the lights are so dim as he crosses the room, the band moves into the song
He looks in her eyes, takes her hand, and they’re gone, gone

Oh beneath the city two hearts beat, soul engines wantin’
In a bedroom locked of silent whispers and soft refusal and then surrender
In the tunnel of machines the Rat chases his dreams
On that forever lasting night, the girl crawls into bed, shakes her head
And with a kiss and a sigh she shuts out all the light

But outside the street’s on fire in a real death waltz
Between what’s flesh and fantasy
The poets down here don’t write nothin’ at all, they just stand back and and let it all be
And in the quick of the night they reach for their moment to make an honest stand
But they wind up wounded, not even dead, tonight in Jungleland

Notes: Early live version. This is from Main Point 5/2/1975. This has been played before the release of BTR.


Jungleland - alternate ending

In the parking lots the visionaries are dressed in the latest rage
As the Spanish Angels dance soft and low in a blacked arcade
But the lights are so bright as he crosses the room
The band moves into the song
He takes her hand, looks in her eyes and they’re gone - gone
In the tunnel of machines the Rat chases his dreams
On that forever (lasting) burning light
So the barefoot girl crawls into bed, shakes her head
And with a kiss and a sigh she shuts out all the light

Beneath the city their hearts beat, soul cool engines silent and...
Oh until the girls cry like silent angels in Port Authority halls
In the tunnel of machines they’ll hear the screams
Drowned out by the roarin’ train
And layers above, oh locked in love
The Rat reappears on Flamingo Lane
Then an angel rises from the sands
And disappears - down in Jungleland

Notes: Alternate verses for some takes of Jungleland


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


Published on the following official releases:

First known live performance: 09/05/1974 Harvard Square Theatre, Cambridge,MA ,USA
Last known live performance: 16/02/2017 Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane ,Australia

Song 'history':

Played live 29 time(s) during the gigs preceeding the official Born To Run 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 during the 1974 and/or Born to Run sessions (and released on the BORN TO RUN ALBUM)
Often played during the Born to Run tour (115 times)
Largely (88 times) played during the Darkness tour
Performed during the M.U.S.E. shows, in 1979
Widely used in the River tour, as it was performed 114 times
Often played during the Born in the U.S.A. tour (73 times)
Performed 2 times during the 1988 Amnesty International tour
A frequent number (56 apparitions) of renderings during the Reunion tour
The last NY show(s) of the Reunion Tour were released in both CD and DVD (more songs) 'LIVE IN NYC', which included also this song
Bruce inserted it 21 times in the setlists of the Rising tour
The song was then included in the ESSENTIAL compilation, released in 2003.
Bruce inserted it 27 times in the setlists of the Magic tour
The Working on a Dream tour counted 27 apparitions of this song
Published in live version in the 3rd DVD: House Cut 'Houston '78 of 'The Promise'
Played during the Wrecking Ball tour (17 times)
Just 4 shots during the High Hopes tour
Published in live version in the DVD: 'Tempe 80' of 'THE TIES THAT BIND'
The 2016 The River tour counted 18 apparitions of this song
Performed 4 times during the 2017 Summer tour

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