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Song title: Backstreets


Backstreets - Album version

One soft infested summer me and Terry became friends
Trying in vain to breathe the fire we was born in
Catching rides to the outskirts tying faith between our teeth
Sleeping in that old abandoned beach house getting wasted in the heat
And hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
With a love so hard and filled with defeat
Running for our lives at night on them backstreets

Slow dancing in the dark on the beach at Stockton’s Wing
Where desperate lovers park we sat with the last of the Duke Street Kings
Huddled in our cars waiting for the bells that ring
In the deep heart of the night to set us loose from everything
to go running on the backstreets, running on the backstreets
We swore we’d live forever on the backstreets we take it together

Endless juke joints and Valentino drag where dancers scraped the tears
Up off the street dressed down in rags running into the darkness
Some hurt bad some really dying at night sometimes it seemed
You could hear the whole damn city crying blame it on the lies that killed us
Blame it on the truth that ran us down you can blame it all on me Terry
It don’t matter to me now when the breakdown hit at midnight
There was nothing left to say but I hated him
and I hated you when you went away

Laying here in the dark you’re like an angel on my chest
Just another tramp of hearts crying tears of faithlessness
Remember all the movies, Terry, we’d go see
Trying to learn how to walk like heroes we thought we had to be
And after all this time to find we’re just like all the rest
Stranded in the park and forced to confess
To hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
We swore forever friends on the backstreets until the end
Hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets

Notes: The lyrics evolved through the outakes in 1974-75. See also Sad eyes - interlude


Backstreets - "carnival lights" version

One soft infested summer me and Terry became friends
Trying in vain to breathe the fire we was born in
Catching rides to the outskirts tying faith between our teeth
Sleeping in that old abandoned beach house getting wasted in the heat
And hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
With a love so hard and filled with defeat
Running for our lives at night on them backstreets

Slow dancing in the dark on the beach at Stockton's Wing
Where desperate lovers park we sat with the last of the Duke Street Kings
Huddled in our cars waiting for the bells that ring
In the deep heart of the night to set us loose from everything
To go running on the backstreets, running on the backstreets
Terry we swore we'd live forever, taking on the backstreets together

Endless juke joints and Valentino drag
Watching the heroes working in the funhouse ripping off the fags
The teenage ice exploded in crazy senseless fights
Running off down the boardwalk away from the carnival lights
Blame it on the lies that killed us
Blame it on the truth that ran us down, blame it all on me Terry
Blame it all on that town
But I hated him and his fancy ways
Well I hated you when you went away
Whoa no, whoa no

Laying here in the dark you're like an angel on my chest
Just another tramp of hearts crying tears of faithlessness
Remember all the movies, Terry, we'd go see
Trying to learn how to walk like heroes we thought we had to be
And after all this time to find we're just like all the rest
Stranded in the park and forced to confess
To hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
Well we swore forever friends on the backstreets until the end
Hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
.....
This is why we go hiding on the backstreets tonight
Hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets

Notes: Outtake version with lyrics changes.


Backstreets - "cold, young and brave" version

One soft infested summer me and Terry became friends
Trying in vain to breathe the fire we was born in
Catching rides to the outskirts, tying faith between our teeth
Sleeping in that old abandoned beach house getting wasted in the heat
And hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
Well we swore forever friends
On the backstreets until the end

Running in the dark well I found her where she fell
Just another wasted sister of Heartbreak hotel
Slow dancing in the dark at Stockton's Wing
Almost to the highway, free from the rain
Roaring along the backstreets, foot on the backstreets
Terry was cold, young and brave
Taking on the backstreets

Endless juke joints and Valentino drag
???
???
Save yourself for a new guitar ???
Blame it on the lies that killed us
On the truth that ran us down, you can blame it all on me
Blame it on that town
But I hated him and his fancy ways
I hated you when you went away

Laying here in the dark you're like an angel on my chest
Just another tramp of hearts crying tears of faithlessness
Living all the movies, Terry, we'd go see
Trying to learn how to walk like heroes we thought we had to be
And after all this time to find we're just like all the rest
Stranded in the park and forced to confess
To hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
Hey its gonna be alright
Hiding on the backstreets tonight
Hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
...
This is why we go hiding on them backstreets tonight
Hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
.…

Notes: Outtake version with lyrics changes.


Backstreets - "basement at St. John" version

One soft infested summer me and Terry became friends
Trying in vain to breathe the fire we was born in
Catching rides to the outskirts, tying faith between our teeth
Sleeping in that old abandoned beach house getting wasted in the heat
And hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
Well we swore forever friends
On the backstreets until the end

In the basement at St. Johns well I found her where she fell
Just another busted sister of Heartbreak hotel
Slow dancing in the dark on the beach at Stockton's Wing
In the deep heart of the night to set us loose from everything
We'd go running on the backstreets, running on the backstreets
We loved so hard and filled with defeat
Running for our lives on the backstreets

Endless juke joints and Valentino drag
Watching the heroes in the funhouse ripping off the fags
The teenage ice exploded in crazy sets of fights
Running off down the boardwalk into the night
Blame it on the lies that killed us
On the truth that ran us down, Terry you can blame it all on me
Blame it on that town
But I hated him and his fancy ways
I hated you when you went away
Whoa no, whoa no

Laying here in the dark you're like an angel on my chest
Just another tramp of hearts crying tears of faithlessness
Remember all the movies, Terry, we'd go see
Trying to learn how to walk like heroes we thought we had to be
And after all this time to find we're just like all the rest
Stranded in the park and forced to confess
To hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
Call it blood, cold young skins
Spitting out them backstreet scenes
Hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
....
This is why we go hiding on them backstreets tonight
Hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
.…

Notes: Outtake version with lyrics changes.


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


Published on the following official releases:

First known live performance: 08/08/1975 Civic Theatre, Akron,OH ,USA
Last known live performance: 25/02/2017 Mt. Smart Stadium, Auckland ,New Zealand

Song 'history':

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 (107 times)
Perfomed in a large number of shows (86) of the Darkness tour
A frequent number (62 apparitions) of renderings during the River tour
Played during the Born in the U.S.A. tour (30 times)
The song (in live version) was then included in the 'LIVE 1975-85' box set
Played during the Tunnel of Love tour (19 times)
A discrete number of performances (60) was given 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 13 times in the setlists of the Rising tour
Scarcely used during the Devils and Dust tour, with 3 inclusions
Played during the Magic tour (20 times)
21 perfomances were given during the Working on a Dream tour
Published in live version in the 3rd DVD: House Cut 'Houston '78 of 'The Promise'
Bruce inserted it 19 times in the setlists of the Wrecking Ball tour
Scarcely used during the High Hopes tour, with 5 inclusions
Bruce inserted it 20 times in the setlists of the 2016 The River tour
Performed 2 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