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

Song title: Johnny bye bye


Johnny bye bye

Well she drew out all her money from the Southern Trust
And put her little boy on the Greyhound Bus
Leaving Memphis with a guitar in his hand
With a one way ticket to the Promised Land
Hey little girl with the red dress on
There’s party tonight down in Memphis down
I’ll be going down there if you need a ride
The man on the radio says Elvis Presley’s died

We drove to Memphis the sky was hard and black
Up over the ridge came a white Cadillac
They drawn out all his money and they laid him in the back
A woman cried from the roadside “Oh he’s gone, he’s gone”
They found him slumped up against the drain
With a whole lotta trouble running through his veins

Bye bye Johnny
Johnny bye Bye
You didn’t have to die
You didn’t have to die

Notes: Played in this version during the BITUSA tour, and in a slowed down version in 1981.


Johnny bye bye - "Nevada" out-take

Well she drew out all her money from the Southern Trust
And put her little boy on a Greyhound bus
Leaving Memphis with a guitar in his hand
On a one-way ticket to the promised land

Hey little girl with a red dress on
There's a party tonight down in Memphis town
I'll be going down there if you need a ride
The man on the radio says Elvis Presley's died

We drove down into Memphis, the sky was hard and black
Up over the hill came a white Cadillac
They drew out all his money and they laid him in the back
A woman cried from the roadside Johnny, Johhny, Johnny
They found him slumped up against the drain
With a whole lot of trouble running through his veins

Bye-bye Johnny
Johnny bye-bye
You didn't have to die
You didn't have to die

In the Nevada desert a young boy travels alone
Walking five thousand miles trying to get home
Stars rising in the black and endless sky
He stares up into the darkness, he looks down and walks on

Notes: Intersting out-take intermediate lyrics


Johnny bye bye - 1981 live version

Well she drew out all her money from the Central trust
And she put her little boy on the Greyhound bus
Leavin’ Memphis with a guitar in his hand
On a one-way ticket to the promised land

Now hey little girl with your red dress on
There’s a party tonight down in Memphis town
I’ll be going down there if you need a ride
Come on, come on, let’s go tonight

How many have fallen with their dream denied
Now tell me baby are you lonesome tonight
‘Cause the man on the radio says Elvis Presley died
Come on, come on, let’s go tonight

Down in Dixie tonight the sky is hard and black
Comin’ up over the ridge one long white Cadillac
They stand along the roadside waitin’ in the heat
Bound together forever in the promise of an endless sleep

Well they found him slumped up against the drain
With a whole lot of nothin’ runnin’ through his veins
Well bye-bye Johnny, Johnny bye-bye
You didn’t have to die, you didn’t have to die

Notes: These lyrics refer to the early version of “Johnny bye bye”, often referred as "Bye Bye Johnny" performed live in 1980-81 tour shows. The lyrics are quite similar to the original Chuck Berry version (see Johnny bye bye (Original)). Related with Come on (Let's go tonight)


Johnny bye bye - Extra verse live version

Well she drew out all her money from the Southern Trust
Put her little boy on the Greyhound bus
Leaving Memphis with a guitar in his hand
On a one-way ticket to the promised land

Yeah hey little girl with the red dress on
There's a party tonight down in Memphis town
I'll be going down there if you need a ride
The man on the radio said Elvis Presley died

We drove down to Memphis, the sky was hard and black
Up over the ridge came a white Cadillac
They drawn out all his money and laid him in the back
A woman from the road cried "oh he's gone he's gone"

They found him slumped up against the drain
A whole lot of trouble came running through his vein
So bye bye Johnny, Johnny bye bye
You didn't have to die you didn't have to die

Independence day and it was in the bath
We found the lizard king had paved his path
Goin' to his maker, the other side of dawn
A place where the poet cant ever do no wrong
Bye bye Jimbo Jim bye bye
You didn't have to die
You didn't have to die

Notes: These lyrics refers to a bootleged version of the song (live) featuring one more verse at the end. The standard central verse makes me think it has been played in 1984/85 and not in 1981


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


Published on the following official releases:

First known live performance: 13/05/1981 Apollo Theatre, Manchester ,GB
Last known live performance: 03/04/1985 Showgrounds, Melbourne ,Australia

Song 'history':


The River tour counted 32 apparitions of this song
Originally recorded acoustically for the NEBRASKA album, but then left out of the album
Recorded during the BITUSA sessions (late 1982-mid 1984), but then not included on the album.
Bruce inserted it 38 times in the setlists of the Born in the U.S.A. tour
In the Tunnel of Love tour, the song was only practiced (04/04/1988 Capital Center, Landover,MD ,USA, during the soundcheck. and 05/04/1988 Capital Center, Landover,MD ,USA, during the soundcheck.) but never played in the regular set.
The TRACKS studio out-take collection included for the first (official) time this song.
Data from the www.brucespringsteen.it database