US musician and co-director Bruce Springsteen arrives for the premiere of the movie Western Stars du...

Bruce Springsteen’s 63 Finest Lyrics on his 63rd Birthday


As far as “facts that make us feel kinda old” go, the fact that it’s Bruce Springsteen’s 60th birthday 63rd birthday today (eeeek!) is definitely somewhere near the top of the list. But then again, Asbury Park’s most famous son has been turning out quality music for the best part of four decades — in fact, next year will mark the 40th anniversary of his debut album. Anyway, to celebrate the Boss’s birthday, we’ve chosen our 60 63 favorite Springsteen lyrics, which we’ve collated after the jump for your reading pleasure. They’re not really in any particular order — if anything, they’re roughly arranged by subject matter — with the exception of the #1 track, which is definitely our favorite Springsteen song of all time. So, what’s yours? Let us know in the comments section.

“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” From “Thunder Road”

“My ship Liberty sailed away/ On a bloody red horizon” From “Livin’ in the Future”

“Did you hear the cops finally busted Madam Marie for tellin’ fortunes better than they do?” From “4th July, Asbury Park (Sandy)”

“Have you ever seen a one-legged man trying to dance his way free?/ If you’ve ever seen that one-legged man/ Then you’ve seen me” From “The Wrestler”

“I had some victory that was just failure in deceit/ Now the joke’s comin’ up through the soles of my feet” From “Lucky Town”

“Seems you can’t get any more than half free” From “Straight Time”

“Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife, baby/ Edgy and dull/ And cut a six-inch valley/ Through the middle of my soul” From “I’m on Fire”

“I don’t understand how you can hold me so tight/ And love me so damn loose” From “Mary, Queen of Arkansas”

“Like a river that don’t know where it’s flowing/ I took a wrong turn and I just kept going” From “Hungry Heart”

“In Candy’s room there are pictures of her heroes on the wall/ But to get to Candy’s room/ You gotta walk the darkness of Candy’s hall” From “Candy’s Room”

“He tried sellin’ his heart to the hard girls over on Easy Street/ But they sighed, ‘Johnny, it falls apart so easy/ And you know hearts these days are cheap'” From “Incident On 57th Street”

“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” From “Backstreets”

“All my life, I fought that fight/ The fight that you can’t win/ Every day it just gets harder to live/ The dream you’re believing in” From “The Promise”

“Windows are for cheaters/ Chimneys for the poor/ Closets are for hangers/ Winners use the door” From “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)”

“Madison Avenue’s claim to fame/ In a trainer bra with eyes like rain” From “The Angel”

“We learned more from a three-minute record than we ever learned in school” From “No Surrender”

“I had skin like leather and the diamond-hard look of a cobra” From “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City”

“I can see by your eyes, friend, you’re just about gone/ Fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on” From “Fifty-Seven Channels and Nothing On”

“It was a small town bank/ It was a mess/ Well, I had a gun/ You know the rest” From “Highway 29”

“A dream of life comes to me/ Like a catfish dancin’ on the end of my line” From “The Rising”

“They prosecuted some poor sucker in these United States/ For teaching that man descended from the apes/ They coulda settled that case without a fuss or fight/ If they’d seen me chasin’ you, sugar, through the jungle last night” From “Part Man Part Monkey”

“God have mercy on the man/ Who doubts what he’s sure of” From “Brilliant Disguise”

“Barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge/ Drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain” From “Jungleland”

“So you been broken and you been hurt?/ Show me somebody who ain’t/ Yeah, I know I ain’t nobody’s bargain/ But hell, a little touch-up and a little paint…” From “Human Touch”

“I got somethin’ in my heart/ I been waitin’ to give/ I got a life I wanna start/ One I been waitin’ to live” From “Leah”

“Somehow all you ever need’s never really quite enough, you know” From “Reno”

“She had an appetite for loving only a fadin’ beauty could possess/ She knew just what she wanted/ And she wouldn’t take less” From “The Ballad of the Self-Loading Pistol”

“Pour me a drink, Theresa, in one of those glasses you dust off/ And I’ll watch the bones in your back like the stations of the cross” From “I’ll Work for Your Love”

“Into a row of houses she just melts away/ Like the scenery in another man’s play” From “Jackson Cage”

“They left their homes and family/ Their father said, ‘My sons, one thing you will learn/ For everything the north gives/ It exacts a price in return” From “Sinaloa Cowboys”

“The dogs on Main Street howl, ’cause they understand/ If I could take one moment into my hands/ Mister, I ain’t a boy/ No, I’m a man/ And I believe in a promised land” From “The Promised Land”

“They risk death in the deserts and mountains/ Pay all they got to the smugglers’ rings/ We send ’em home and they come right back again/ Hunger is a powerful thing” From “The Line”

“They died to get here a hundred years ago, they’re dyin’ now/ The hands that built the country we’re all trying to keep down” From “American Land”

“Workin’ in the fields/ ‘Til you get your back burned/ Workin’ ‘neath the wheel/ ‘Til you get your facts learned/ Baby got my facts/ Learned real good right now” From “Badlands”

“Mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun/ Oh, but mama/ That’s where the fun is…” From “Blinded by the Light”

“Now, my ma, she fingers her wedding band/ And watches the salesman stare at my old man’s hands/ He’s telling us all about the break he’d give us/ If he could/ But he just can’t” From “Used Cars”

“If pa’s eyes were windows into a world so deadly and true/ Ma, you couldn’t stop me from looking but you kept me from crawlin’ through” From “The Wish”

“I see my daddy walking through them factory gates in the rain/ Factory takes his hearing, factory gives him life/ The working/ The working/ Just the working life” From “Factory”

“My father’s house shines hard and bright it stands like a beacon calling me in the night/ Calling and calling, so cold and alone/ Shining ‘cross this dark highway where our sins lie unatoned” From “My Father’s House”

“41 shots and we’ll take that ride/ Across this bloody river to the other side/ 41 shots my boots caked in mud/ We’re baptized in these waters and in each other’s blood” From “American Skin (41 Shots)”

“To the dead/ It don’t matter much about who’s wrong or right” From “Gypsy Biker”

“My Jesus your gracious love and mercy/ Tonight I’m sorry could not fill my heart/ Like one good rifle/ And the name of who I ought to kill” From “The New Timer”

“Now some folks are born into a good life/ Other folks, they just get it any way, anyhow” From “Darkness on the Edge of Town”

“There’s nothing to it, mister, you won’t hear a sound/ When your whole world comes tumbling down/ And all them fat cats they just think it’s funny/ I’m going on the town now looking for easy money” From “Easy Money”

“We took the highway till the road went black/ We marked Truth Or Consequences on our map” From “Last to Die”

“I walked the avenue, ’til my legs felt like stone/ I heard the voices of friends, vanished and gone” From “Streets of Philadelphia”

“From the shotgun shack to the Superdome/ We needed help but the cavalry stayed home/ There ain’t no-one hearing the bugle blown” From “We Take Care of Our Own”

“Now sir, you tell me the world’s changed/ Once I made you rich enough/ Rich enough to forget my name” From “Youngstown”

“I got a shiny saw blade/ All I need’s a volunteer/ I’ll cut you in half/ While you’re smilin’ ear to ear” From “Magic”

“You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much/ Until you spend half your life just covering up” From “Born in the USA”

“The shelter line stretchin’ around the corner/ Welcome to the New World Order” From “The Ghost of Tom Joad”

“Well, I took a piss/ At fortune’s sweet kiss/ It’s like eatin’ caviar and dirt” From “Better Days”

“You’ve got to learn to live with what you can’t rise above” From “Tunnel of Love”

“Everything dies, baby, that’s a fact/ But maybe everything that dies someday comes back” From “Atlantic City”

“In the day we sweat it out in the streets of a runaway American dream/ At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines” From “Born to Run”

“You’re born into this life paying/ For the sins of somebody else’s past” From “Adam Raised a Cain”

“You want to know why I did what I did?/ I guess there’s just a meanness in this world” From “Nebraska”

“Poor man wanna be rich/ Rich man wanna be king/ And a king ain’t satisfied ’til he rules everything” From “Badlands”

“Well everybody’s got a hunger, a hunger they can’t resist/ There’s so much that you want, you deserve much more than this/ Well, if dreams came true, aw, wouldn’t that be nice?/ But this ain’t no dream, we’re living all through the night/ You want it? You take it, you pay the price” From “Prove It All Night”

“Between our dreams and actions/ Lies this world” From “Dead Man Walking”

“Man, I ain’t gettin’ nowhere/ I’m just living in a dump like this/ There’s something happening somewhere/ Baby I just know there is” From “Dancing in the Dark”

“It’s a town full of losers/ And I’m pulling out of here to win” From “Thunder Road”

“The River” — all of it

But particularly “Is a dream a lie when it don’t come true, or is it something worse?”, which we’re not ashamed to admit makes us a bit weepy every time we listen to it. Anyway, as far as we’re concerned, this is Bruce’s masterpiece, and one of the very finest lyrics ever written by anyone, anywhere, ever. The end.