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Blinded By the Light was Bruce Springsteen's first single. It was released on his debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.. A live version with alternate lyrics was featured on the Live in Dublin album. Although Bruce's version was not a hit and did not chart, Manfred Mann's Earth Band released a cover of it in 1976 that charted at #1. It was one of three Bruce songs to be covered by Manfred Mann, the other two being "Spirit in the Night" and "For You".

Lyrics Meaning and Background Edit

Bruce wrote the song when the president of Columbia Records, Cline Davis, listened to an early version of Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and thought the album lacked a single. Springsteen wrote "Blinded by the Light" and "Spirit in the Night" in response. Bruce used a rhyming dictionary to search for lyrics that would work.

In the first line of the song, "Madman drummers" is a reference to original E Street Band member Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez. "Indians in the Summer" refers to Bruce's Little League team growing up, and the "teenage diplomat" is Bruce himself. Bruce also considers "Blinded by the Light" to be a coming of age song. "Deuce" refers to a "little deuce coup, as in a two-seater hot rod", according to Bruce. "Hummin' a lunar tune" could also possibly be a reference to Van Morrison's Moondance.

LyricsEdit

Madman drummers bummers and Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat
With a boulder on my shoulder feelin' kinda older I tripped the merry-go-round
With this very unpleasing sneezing and wheezing the calliope crashed to the ground
Some all-hot half-shot was headin' for the hot spot snappin' his fingers clappin' his
hands
And some fleshpot mascot was tied into a lover's knot with a whatnot in her hand
And now young Scott with a slingshot finally found a tender spot and throws his lover in
the sand
And some bloodshot forget-me-not whispers daddy's within earshot save the buckshot turn up the band

And she was blinded by the light
Cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
She got down but she never got tight, but she'll make it alright

Some brimstone baritone anti-cyclone rolling stone preacher from the east
He says: "Dethrone the dictaphone, hit it in its funny bone, that's where they expect it least"
And some new-mown chaperone was standin' in the corner all alone watchin' the young girls dance
And some fresh-sown moonstone was messin' with his frozen zone to remind him of the feeling of romance

Yeah he was blinded by the light
Cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
He got down but she never got tight, but he's gonna make it tonight

Some silicone sister with her manager's mister told me I got what it takes
She said I'll turn you on sonny, to something strong if you play that song with the funky break,
And go-cart Mozart was checkin' out the weather chart to see if it was safe to go outside
And little Early-Pearly came in by her curly-wurly and asked me if I needed a ride,
Oh, some hazard from Harvard was skunked on beer playin' backyard bombardier
Yes and Scotland Yard was trying hard, they sent a dude with a calling card,
he said, do what you like, but don't do it here
Well I jumped up, turnedaround, spit in the air, fell on the ground
Asked him which was the way back home
He said take a right at the light, keep goin' straight until night, and then boy, you're on your own

And now in Zanzibar a shootin' star was ridin' in a side car hummin' a lunar tune
Yes, and the avatar said blow the bar but first remove the cookie jar we're gonna teach
those boys to laugh too soon

And some kidnapped handicap was complainin' that he caught the clap from some mousetrap he bought last night,

Well I unsnapped his skull cap and between his ears I saw
a gap but figured he'd be all right

He was just blinded by the light
Cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
Mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun
Oh but mama that's where the fun is

Live in Dublin Lyrics Edit

One, two!

Well, madman drummers bummers and Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat
With a boulder on my shoulder, feeling kinda older I tripped the merry-go-round
With this very unpleasing sneezing and wheezing the calliope crashed to the ground
Some all-hot half-shot was heading for the hot spot snapping his fingers clapping his hands
And some fleshpot mascot was tied into a lover's knot with a whatnot in her hand
Now young Scott with a slingshot finally found a tender spot and throws his lover in the sand
And some bloodshot forget-me-not whispers, "Daddy's within earshot, save the buckshot, turn up the band"

We were blinded (blinded) blinded (blinded) blinded baby by the light
We were blinded (blinded) blinded (blinded) blinded baby by the light

Some brimstone baritone anti-cyclone rolling stone preacher from the east
[B]Said, "Dethrone the dictaphone, hit it in its funny bone, that's where they expect it least"
Some new-mown chaperone was standing in the corner all alone watching the young girls dance
Some fresh-sown moonstone was messing with his frozen zone to remind him of the feeling of romance

We were blinded (blinded) blinded (blinded) blinded baby by the light
We were blinded (blinded) blinded (blinded) blinded baby by the light
We were blinded (blinded) blinded (blinded) blinded baby by the light
We were blinded (blinded) blinded (blinded) blinded baby by the light
Yeah!

Some silicone sister with her manager's mister told me I got what it takes
Said, "I'll turn you on sonny, to something strong if you play that song with the funky break"
Go-cart Mozart checking out the weather chart to see if it was safe to go outside
Little Early-Pearly came by in her curly-wurly, asked me if I needed a ride
Some hazard from Harvard was skunked on beer playing backyard bombardier
And Scotland Yard was trying hard, sent some dude with a calling card, said, "Do what you like, don't do it here"
Well, I jumped up, turned around, spit in the air, fell on the ground, asked him which was the way back home
Said, "Take a right at the light, keep going straight until night, then you're on your own"

Zanzibar, shooting star, riding in a side car, humming a lunar tune
The avatar said, "Blow the bar but first remove the cookie jar she's gonna teach those boys to laugh too soon"
Some kidnapped handicap was complaining that he caught the clap from some mousetrap he bought last night
I unsnapped his skull cap, between his ears I saw a gap, figured he'd be all right
We were blinded (blinded) blinded (blinded) blinded baby by the light
We were blinded (blinded) blinded (blinded) blinded baby by the light
We were blinded (blinded) blinded (blinded) blinded baby by the light
We were blinded (blinded) blinded (blinded) blinded baby by the light

Mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun
Oh but mama that's where the fun is

One, two, one, two, three!

Whoa!
(Blinded, blinded, blinded baby by the light
Blinded, blinded, blinded baby by the light)

Personnel Edit

  • Bruce Springsteen – guitar, electric bass, keyboards, vocals
  • Clarence Clemons – saxophone, backing vocals
  • Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez – drums, backing vocals
  • Harold Wheeler – piano

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