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Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run lyric meanings and song facts

All facts provided by Songfacts

Springsteen played this for the first time on May 9, 1974 when he opened for Bonnie Raitt at Harvard Square. Rock critic Jon Landau was at the show and wrote in Boston's Real Paper: "I saw rock and roll's future - and its name is Bruce Springsteen." Landau eventually became Springsteen's manager.
Allan Clarke from The Hollies released a cover version a year before Springsteen released his.
This was the first song Springsteen wrote for a studio production, rather than a live performance. After recording 4 versions (one with a female chorus) at the low-budget studio where he recorded his first 2 albums, he moved to a higher end studio to finish it, refusing to release it until it was just right.
This was a last minute addition to his 2001 Live In New York City album. Springsteen felt this was the missing ingredient on the CD, but the liner notes were already printed. The song had to be included as a hidden bonus track at the end of the first disc.
In the liner notes to his Greatest Hits album, Springsteen wrote: "My shot at the title. A 24 yr. old kid aimin' at 'The greatest rock 'n roll record ever.'"
There was a movement to make this the official state song of New Jersey.
Springsteen chose this as the album title after rejecting several other names, including War And Roses, The Hungry and The Hunted, American Summer, and Sometimes At Night.
"Highway 9" refers to Route 9 in New Jersey, which went through Springsteen's hometown of Freehold. Springsteen sang about another Jersey road, "Route 88," in "Spirit In The Night."
Bruce performed a slowed-down version on his 1988 tour, changing the lyrics so the couple in the song were now married. This is the version that charted in England.
This is the only Springsteen track that drummer Ernest "Boom" Carter played on. He left to play in a Jazz band with E Street piano player David Sancious after spending 9 months with Bruce.
This came at the crossroads of Springsteen's career. His first 2 albums sold poorly, and Columbia Records might have dropped him if he did not produce a hit.
This became an educational tool when it was used on Sesame Street as "Born To Add."
The amusement park Springsteen sings about in the line "Beyond The Palace, hemi-powered drones scream down the boulevard" is listed in the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.
In the line, "hemi-powered drones scream down the boulevard," a "hemi" is the 426 Hemi engine made famous by Chrysler musclecars. "Drones" in this context are automatons, the young men driving their cars up and down the strip without a thought to the future. (thanks, Brian - Ann Arbor, MI)
Bruce must have been born to run, because he ran and jumped over the walls of Graceland to meet Elvis in 1976. This was at the height of his career, and when he got to the door, the butler didn't believe that he was a big rock star. The butler informed him that Elvis was in Lake Tahoe. (thanks, Ashley - Glenolden , PA)

All facts provided by Songfacts


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