Bruce Springsteen Lyrics
My Father's House (Introduction) Lyrics
My father worked as a 16 year old floor boy in that rug mill, and then he went off to war, and when he came home, got married, they shut the rug mill down, so he went to work on the Ford motor plant in New Brunswick, then he worked at the Nescafe plant in Freehold, worked in a plastics factory in town, he was a truck driver, bus driver, drove a taxi, he lived mostly at home, except for his second home which was a little local bar in the center of town. Now to a child, bars in Freehold were these citadels of great mystery. When you walked through bar room doors in my hometown, you entered the mystical realm of men. On the rare night, that my mother would call my father home, we would slowly drive through town until we drew to a stop outside of a single lit door, she'd look at me and say, "Go in and get your dad". This both thrilled and terrified me. It thrilled me because I had been given the license by my mother, the law, to go into the bar! I'm a kid! But it terrified me because to enter the bar is to enter my father's priveleged, private, and sacred space. He was not to be disturbed when he's down at the bar. Everybody knew that. So I would walk in, and I was waist-high, like a Jack who climbed some dark beanstalk into a land of giants, all I remember is the men towering over me on their way out the door. Now once you were in, to the left against the wall was a line of red leather booths that were filled with husband and wife tag team drinkers.
Now there were your hardcore regulars there night after night after night, alright now to the right was the bar, a line of stools filled by a barricade of broad working class backs clinking glasses, too loud laughter, and very few women. I would stand there lost in the noise and the hustle of the crowd and I would drink in that dim smell of beer and booze and aftershave. Now to a kid, that was the scent of adulthood. It was the scent of manhood. I wanted some of that. And finally somebody would notice me, and draw me over to my pop, now my view from the Ford was the first thing I'd see was the chrome legs of the barstool. Then I'd see his black shoes, white socks, dark green work trousers, powerful legs and haunches, my dad 'til the day he died had the legs and the ass of a rhinoceros. And, and his trousers always looked like they were stretched. stretched over that legs and ass somehow, I don't know how. He was always bustin' out ya know, uh, then I would see his black Garrison work belt, his green work shirt, and then his face. By the time I got there his face was flushed red, red as a tomato because he was Irish and whatever he drank went straight to his face, alright. He couldn't hide a thing when he came home, ya know, uh, and not only was it red, like it - it was like distorted too, into some sort of booze mask, by, by Mr. Schlitz and, and, it was so foreign to me as a child that, it - he - fuck I don't know, ha ha, but it was scary and he'd be peering down over his shoulder, down at the cigarette smoke and he'd be lookin' at me like "I've never seen you before in my fuckin' life". I then uttered the immortal words that I was sent to deliver - "Mom wants you to come home". I'd hear, "Go outside, I will be right out", and I would follow my breadcrumb trail back out the bar room door, I would hop into the backseat, and I would inform my mother, "Um, he'll be right out, he'll be right out"