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Thunder Road is a song from Bruce Springsteen's third studio album, Born to Run, released on August 25, 1975. The title came from the 1958 Robert Mitchum film, which Bruce never saw. The line "Roy Orbison sings for the lonely" is a reference to Roy Orbison's song "Only the Lonely". The name of the girl in the song has been changed multiple times during the writing process; first it was Angelina and Chrissie before Mary. The song was originally going to be called "Glory Road" and then "Wings for Wheels". Springsteen originally wanted an acoustic version of "Thunder Road" to open Born to Run and the full band version to close the album.

LyricsEdit

The screen door slams
Mary's dress waves
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 all right
oh and that's all right 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 savior 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, 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 these 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 down on the tracks

Oh, come take my hand
We're riding out to case the promised land
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 for words I ain't spoken
Tonight, girl, 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 the dawn
You hear their engines roaring on
Before you get to the porch, they're gone on the wind
So Mary climb in
It's a town full of losers, I'm pulling out of here to win

Early Lyrics Edit

The following are lyrics from an early acoustic outtake 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 babe and I want you only
Don't turn me home again
I just can't face myself alone 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 we ain't that young anymore
Woman 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 praying in vain for a saviour to rise from these streets
Well I ain't no hero, that's understood
All the redemption I can offer, babe, 's 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 blow back your hair
Well 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 waiting down on the tracks

When I try hard Chrissie to understand
I'm riding out tonight to case the promised land
Baby if you're born with nothing in your hands
Hey it's your only chance
Well it's lying 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
So 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 burnt 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 you room you hear their engines roar on
But when you get to the porch they're gone, lost in the wind, so Chrissie climb in
It's a town for losers and I'm pulling outta here to win

Music Video Edit

A live performance of the song from the No Nukes concert film was released as the official music video in 1980. It was directed by Danny Goldberg, Julian Schlossberg, and Anthony Potenza.

Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road05:41

Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road

PersonnelEdit

Bruce Springsteen - guitar, vocals, harmonica
Garry Tallent - bass guitar
Max M. Weinberg - drums
Roy Bittan - Fender Rhodes, glockenspiel, background vocals
Clarence Clemons - saxophones
Mike Appel - background vocals
Steven Van Zandt - background vocals

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