My Hometown (Introduction) Lyrics by Bruce Springsteen


Bruce Springsteen Lyrics

My Hometown (Introduction) Lyrics
[Spoken]
Now everybody, everybody has a love-hate relationship with their hometown. It's just built into the equation of growing up. If you take me, I'm Mr. Born to Run. I'm Mr. Thunder Fucking Road. I was born to run, not to stay. My home, New Jersey - it's a death trap. It's a suicide rap. Listen to the lyrics, alright. I had to get out, I gotta hit the highway, I'm a roadrunner man, I got the white line fever in my veins, I am gonna bring my girl and I have had enough, of the shit that this place dishes out. I am gonna run, run, run, and I'm - well I'm never coming back. I currently live ten minutes from my hometown. But uh, born to come back, or uh - who would've bought that shit? Nobody. And in our front yard only a few feet from our front porch stood the grandest tree in town. It was a towering beautiful copper beach tree, and on sunny days, I lived under its branches, its roots, where a fort for my soldiers and a corral for my horses, and I was the first on my block, to climb high into its upper reaches, leaving behind a world that, I didn't care for much already. And up near the top I had the wind in my face and I had all the dreaming room that you could want. On slow summer nights I'd sit beneath its arms with my pals like the cavalry at dusk, just listening, listening, for the evening bells of the ice cream man. My grandmother's voice calling me into bed. I lived on Randolph Street, but my sister Virginia, she was a year younger than me, my parents Adele and Douglas, my grandparents Fred and Alice, and my trusty dog Saddle. We lived spitting distance from the Catholic church, the priest's rectory, the nun's convent, the Saint Rose of Lima Grammar School, all of it, just a football's toss away, across the field of wild grass. I literally grew up surrounded by God. Surrounded by God, and my relatives, 'cause we had cousins and aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas and great grandmas and great grandpas, so all of us were jammed into five little houses on two adjoining streets, and when the church bells rang, the whole clan would hustle up the street to stand witness to every wedding and every funeral that arrived like a state occasion, in our little neighborhood

My sister and I, we'd pick up the thrown rice from the weddings, pack it away in small brown paper bags and take it home and save it. Then run up the street and throw it at the next wedding, and the next wedding, and the next wedding. We also had front row seats to watch the townsmen in their Sunday suits carry out an endless array of dark wooden boxes to be slipped into the rear of the Freeman's Funeral Home long black Cadillac for the short ride to Saint Rose Cemetery Hill on the edge of town. And there, all our Catholic neighbors, all the Zirilli's, all the McNicholas's, all the Springsteens who came before, they patiently waited for us. On Sundays, as my mom tended to our graves, my sister and I, we played hide and seek amongst the gravestones. I gotcha. Now when it rains in Freehold, when it rains, the moisture in the humid air blankets the whole town with the smell of moist coffee grounds wafting in from the Nescafe plant from town's eastern edge. Now I don't like coffee. But I love that smell. Was comforting, it united our town, just like our clanging rug mill, and a calm and sensory experience. There was a place here. You could see it. You could smell it. A place where people made lives, and where they worked, and where they danced, and where they enjoyed small pleasures and played baseball and, and suffered pain, where they had their hearts broke, where they made love, had kids, where they died, and drank themselves drunk on spring nights, and where they did their very best, the best that they could, to hold off the demons outside and inside that sought to destroy them, and their homes and their families, and their town. Here we lived in the shadow of the steeple crookedly blessed in God's good mercy one and all. In the heart-stopping, pants-dropping, race-rioting, freak-hating, soul-shaking, redneck, love and fear-making, heartbreaking town, of Freehold, New Jersey


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