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

Song title: Thunder road


Thunder road - Album version

The screen door slams, Mary’s dress sways
Like a vision she dances across the porch, as the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey that’s me and I want you only
Don’t turn me home again, I just can’t face myself alone again
Don’t run back inside, darling you know just what I’m here for
So you’re scared and you’re thinking
That maybe we ain’t that young anymore
Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night
You ain’t a beauty, but hey you’re alright
Oh and that’s alright with me

You can hide ’neath your covers and study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers, throw roses in the rain
Waste your summer praying in vain
For a saviour to rise from these streets
Well now I’m no hero, that’s understood
All the redemption I can offer, girl, is beneath this dirty hood
With a chance to make it good somehow
Hey what else can we do now?
Except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair
Well the night’s busting open
This two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back: Heaven’s waiting on down the tracks
Oh-oh come take my hand
Riding out tonight to case the promised land
Oh-oh Thunder Road, oh Thunder Road, oh Thunder Road,
Lying out there like a killer in the sun
Hey I know it’s late we can make it if we run
Oh Thunder Road, sit tight take hold, Thunder Road

Well I got this guitar and I learned how to make it talk
And my car’s out back if you’re ready to take that long walk
From your front porch to my front seat
The door’s open but the ride it ain’t free
And I know you’re lonely and there’s words that I ain’t spoken
But tonight we’ll be free, all the promises’ll be broken
There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dusty beach road
In the skeleton frames of burned out Chevrolets
They scream your name at night in the street
Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet
And in the lonely cool before dawn
you hear their engines roaring on
But when you get to the porch they’re gone
On the wind, so Mary climb in
It’s a town full of losers and I’m pulling out of here to win.

Notes: Opener of BTR, played at almost every show from August 1975 to 2000, missing just a dozen shots.
Exceptions are the TGOTJ tour (never played) and the TOL tour (performed just twice). An acoustic early take shows different, but similar, lyrics.


Thunder road - Early acoustic version

The screen door slams,
Chrissy's dress sways.
Like a vision she dances across the porch
as the radio plays.
Roy Orbison's singin' for the lonely,
hey that's me babe, and I want you only.
Don't turn me home again,
I just can't face myself alone again.
Don't run back inside, baby you know just what I'm here for
So you're scared and you're thinkin' that maybe we ain't that young anymore
There's magic in the night,
You ain't a beauty, but hey you're alright.
And that's alright with me.

You can hide 'neath your covers, and study your pain,
Make crosses from your lovers, throw roses in the rain,
Waste your summer prayin' in vain,
for a savior to rise from these streets.
Well I'm no hero, that's understood.
All the redemption I can offer, babe,
is beneath this old hood.
With one last chance to make it good somehow.
Hey, what else can you do now.

Except roll down the window and let the wind roll back your hair
The night's bustin' open and these two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real,
to trade in these wings for some wheels.
Climb in back, it's waitin' down on the track.
Well, now try hard Chrissy to understand,
I'm ridin' out tonight to case the promised land,
Babe, if you're born with nothin', hey, it's your only chance.
Well it's lyin' out there, like a killer in the sun
Yeah, I know it's late, but we can make it if we run.
Oh, I wish you could come.
Leave what you've lost, leave what's grown old,
On Thunder Road.

Well, I got this guitar, and I learned how to make it talk
my car's out back if you're ready to take that long walk
From your front porch to my front seat,
Hey, the door's open, but the ride, it ain't free.

Well, there were ghosts in the eyes of the boys that you sent away
They haunt this dirty beach road,
in the skeleton remains of burned out Chevrolets.
They scream to you at night from the street,
your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet.
And in the lonely cool before dawn,
from your room you hear their engines roar on,
but when you get to their porch their gone, lost in the wind.
So, Chrissy climb in,
It's a town full of losers, and I'm pullin' outta here to win

Notes: First acoustic take of "Thunder Road".


Thunder road - Early full band version

The screen door slams, Chrissie's dress sways
Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey that's me and I want you only
Don't turn me home again, I just can't face myself alone again
Don't run back inside, baby you know just what I'm here for
So you're scared and you're thinking
That maybe we ain't that young anymore
Show a little faith, there's magic in the night
You ain't a beauty, but hey you're alright
Oh and that's alright with me

You can hide `neath your covers and study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers, throw roses in the rain
Spend your summer praying in vain
For a saviour to rise from these streets
Well I ani't no hero, that's understood
All the redemption I can offer, girl, is beneath this dirty hood
With one last chance to make it good somehow
Hey what else can we do now?
Except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair
Well the night's busting open
And these two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on wheels
Climb in back, heaven's waiting on down the tracks

And its oh-oh come take my hand
Riding out tonight to case the promised land
When your blowin with nothing in your hands
Baby its your only chance
Its lying out there like a killer in the sun
Well I know it's late but we can make it if we run
Whoa better take hold, leave what you've lost, leave what's grown old
Thunder Road
Well I got this guitar and I learned how to make it talk
My car's out back if you're ready to take that long walk
From your front porch to my front seat
The door's open but the ride it ain't free
And I know you're lonely just like me
There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dirty road
In the cut down frames of their Chevrolets
They scream your name at night in the street
Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet
And in the lonely cool before dawn
You hear their engines roaring on
But when you get to the porch they're gone
On the wind, so Chrissie climb in
It's a town full of losers and I'm pulling out of here to win.

Notes: Other out-take (full band) of "Thunder Road".


Thunder road - Wings for wheels

The screen door slams, Angelina’s dress waves
Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
That’s me and I want you only
Don’t turn me home again
I just can’t face myself alone in that mirror again tonight
Don’t run back inside, baby you know just what I’m here for
So you’re scared and you’re thinking
That maybe you ain’t that young anymore
Show a little faith there’s magic in the night
You ain’t a beauty but hey you’re alright
And that’s alright with me
This 4/4 she’s gonna overheat
Make up your mind girl I gotta get her back out on the street
I know you’re lonely like me so baby don’t try and fake it
I’m no prince and I can’t lay the stars at your feet
But I got this old car and she’s pretty tough to beat
There’s plenty of room in my front seat, baby if you wanna take it
Oh roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair
It’s like the rushing touch, the dirty wings them highway Angels wear
Well tonight we’re gonna find out how it feels
I’m gonna trade in your wings - for wheels
Climb in back, heaven’s waiting down on the tracks
Ah, mama, come take my hand
We’re gonna ride all the way to the promised land
Oh I’m gonna dance all the way, dance all the way
Well I don’t know but baby I’ve been told
There’s something waiting for us, down that dirty road
Oh take a chance, take a chance, take a chance
Well now I bought this guitar and I learned how to make it talk
I got my car parked out back if you’re ready to take that long walk
From your front porch to my front seat
Well I think we could take it all babe, just you and me
Climb in back baby, the ride’s for free
Oh come take my hand, we’re gonna ride all the way to the promised land
We’ll dance all the way
Oh baby I don’t know but I’ve been told
There’s something waiting for us, down that dirty road
If we take our chance, take our chance
Now the season’s over and I feel it getting cold
I wish I could take you to some sandy beach where we’d never grow old
Ah but baby you know that’s just jive
But tonight’s bustin’ open and I’m alive
Oh do whay you can to make me feel like a man
But this 4/4/2’s gonna overheat
Make up your mind girl, I gotta get her back out on the street
I know you’re lonely like me, oh so don’t fake it
And maybe I can’t lay the stars at your feet
But I got this old car and she’s pretty tough to beat
There’s plenty of room in my front seat
Oh if you think you can make it, climb in
This is town full of losers and baby I was born to win.

Notes: Early version of "Thunder Road". Performed a couple of times (5/2/1975 Main Point)


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


Published on the following official releases:

First known live performance: 05/02/1975 The Main Point, Bryn Mawr,PA ,USA
Last known live performance: 15/12/2018 Walter Kerr Theatre, New York,NY ,USA

Song 'history':

Played live 3 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)
Largely (124 times) played during the Born to Run tour
Largely (101 times) played during the Darkness tour
Performed during the M.U.S.E. shows, in 1979
Bruce 'forgot' it only 3 nights in the River tour
A real milestone of each setlist of the Born in the U.S.A. tour
The song (in live version) was then included in the 'LIVE 1975-85' box set
Bruce gave this song only two shots through the Tunnel of Love tour (27/07/1988 Vallehovin Stadium, Oslo ,Norway and 03/08/1988 Nou Camp, Barcelona ,Spain)
Performed 14 times during the 1988 Amnesty International tour
Played, in acoustic version, at the Christic Shows in LA, 16/17-Nov-1990.
Perfomed in a large number of shows (98) of the Human Touch tour
Included in the (UN)PLUGGED official release, in mid 1993
The song was then included in the GREATEST HITS compilation, released in 1995.
In the Ghost of Tom Joad tour, the song was only practiced (08/11/1996 St. Rose of Lima School, Freehold,NJ ,USA, during the soundcheck.) but never played in the regular set.
Bruce performed this song during each show of 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
A frequent number (59 apparitions) of renderings during the Rising tour
The Barcelona show of the Rising tour was broadcast and released on DVD 'LIVE IN BARCELONA', which included also this song
Played during the 'Double Take' shows in 2002
The song was then included in the ESSENTIAL compilation, released in 2003.
Played once in the whole Devils and Dust tour (12/10/2005 Northrup Auditorium, Minneapolis,MN ,USA)
27 perfomances were given during the Magic tour
A discrete number of performances (48) was given during the Working on a Dream tour
Published in live version in the 3rd DVD: House Cut 'Houston '78 of 'The Promise'
A discrete number of performances (86) was given during the Wrecking Ball tour
Largely (26 times) played during the High Hopes tour
Published in live version in the DVD: 'Tempe 80' of 'THE TIES THAT BIND'
Largely (61 times) played during the 2016 The River tour
Published in live soundtrack of 'Springsteen on Broadway' show
Performed 10 times during the 2017 Summer tour
Performed every night of the Springsteen on Broadway tour

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