Mary Queen of Arkansas is a song from Bruce Springsteen's debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., released on January 5, 1973. It is one of four songs to feature a circus metaphor or "Wild Billy", along with "Spirit in the Night", "Wild Billy's Circus Story" and "The Last Carnival". Similar to "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)", "Mary Queen of Arkansas" is about a girl that the narrator can't have because they are in different social classes.
Mary Queen of Arkansas, it's not too early for dreamin'
The sky is grown with cloud seed sown and a bastard's love can be redeeming
Mary, my queen, your soft hulk is reviving
No, you're not too late to desecrate, the servants are just rising
Well I'm just a lonely acrobat, the live wire is my trade
I've been a shine boy for your acid brat and a wharf rat of your state
Mary, my queen, your blows for freedom are missing
You're not man enough for me to hate or woman enough for kissing
The big top is for dreamers, we can take the circus all the way to the border
And the gallows wait for martyrs whose papers are in order
But I was not born to live to die and you were not born for queenin'
It's not too late to infiltrate, the servants are just leavin'
Mary queen of Arkansas, your white skin is deceivin'
You wake and wait to lie in bait and you almost got me believin'
But on your bed Mary I can see the shadow of a noose
I don't understand how you can hold me so tight and love me so damn loose
But I know a place where we can go Mary
Where I can get a good job and start all over again clean
I got contacts deep in Mexico where the servants have been seen
Bruce Springsteen - guitar, harmonica, vocals