CODE OF SILENCE

Album version


Joe Grushecky:There's a code of silence that we don't dare speak
There's a wall between us and a river's deep
And we keep pretending that there ain't nothing wrong
Man, there's a code of silence that can't go on

Bruce Springsteen:Well is the truth so elusive, so elusive you see
That it ain't enough baby, to bridge the distance between you and me
Now there's a list of grievance 100 miles long
And there's a code of silence and it can't go on

Both:Well you walk with your eyes open
But your lips they remain sealed
Beneath the promises we made are broken
Someday the truth well be revealed
Well I came to know now darlin'
I need to know what's going on
So come on, come on, come on, come on
Come on, come on, come on

Both:Well you walk with your eyes open
But your lips they remain sealed
Beneath the promises we made are broken
And all the truth's gonna be revealed
Well, I need to know now baby
Need to know what's going on
So come on, come on, come on, come on
Come on, come on, come on, come on
Come on, come on, come on, come on
Come on, come on, come on

Joe Grushecky:There's a code of silence we don't dare speak
There's a wall between us and the river's deep
Both:And we keep pretending that there's nothing wrong
Baby, there's a code of silence
Joe Grushecky:And it can't go on
Bruce Springsteen:Can't go on
Joe Grushecky:Can't go on
Can't go on
Bruce Springsteen:Can't go on
Joe Grushecky:Can't go on
Bruce Springsteen:Can't go on
Joe Grushecky:Ah, it can't go on
Bruce Springsteen:Can't go on
Joe Grushecky:Can't go on
Bruce Springsteen:Can't go on
Joe Grushecky:Can't go on
Bruce Springsteen:Can't go on
Joe Grushecky:Can't go on
Bruce Springsteen:Can't go on
Both:Aha, aha
Aha, aha
Aha, aha
Aha, aha

Intro

CODE OF SILENCE is a song written by Bruce Springsteen and Joe Grushecky and released on Grushecky's 2006 album A Good Life. Bruce Springsteen participated in the recording of this track, sharing lead vocals and playing guitar.

The above lyrics are for Joe Grushecky's album version of CODE SILENCE as released in 2006.

Bruce Springsteen released a live version on his 2003 compilation album The Essential Bruce Springsteen and the track won a Grammy Award in 2005. See Springsteen's live 29 Jun 2000 version for more details.

Composition

CODE OF SILENCE was co-written by Bruce Springsteen and Joe Grushecky between December 1997 and January 1998. Springsteen wrote in the liner notes of his 2003 compilation album The Essential Bruce Springsteen that the song was "written with Joe Grushecky in the winter of '97". In a Spring 2007 interview for Backstreets magazine, Grushecky explained that Springsteen asked him if he had any stuff he thought he could use for rock songs for the E Street Band. This lead to some writing sessions and CODE OF SILENCE was something that Grushecky had written and sent to Springsteen long-distance by fax. Using Grushecky's chorus, Springsteen took the lyrics, wrote new chords, and tweaked his verses here and there. "It was something I wouldn't have put together on my own, and he wouldn't have on his own," Grushecky explained. "It was a real collaboration."

Studio Recording

After writing the material for A Good Life, Grushecky was preparing to start recording the album when he thought that he didn't have any big rock songs at that time. "'Code Of Silence,' Bruce does the live version, and I thought we could do a studio version that, to me, was a bit different," he told Backstreets magazine. "I asked Bruce if he would mind if I recorded that song... he though it was a good idea. Once he gave me his blessing to record it, I said, 'Well, do you want to sing on it?'"

Springsteen accepted the offer to record some guitar and vocals on Grushecky's CODE SILENCE, and he also joined him on three other tracks on the album. See the "A Good Life" section below for more details.

Springsteen possibly recorded the song with the E Street Band in studio prior to the release of the live 29 Jun 2000 version on The Essential Bruce Springsteen.

A Good Life

A Good Life is a studio album by Joe Grushecky released on 15 Aug 2006 on Schoolhouse Records. It features Bruce Springsteen on four tracks. He shares vocals and plays guitar with Grushecky on CODE OF SILENCE, IS SHE THE ONE, and A GOOD LIFE, and only plays guitar on SEARCHING FOR MY SOUL. The primary recording sessions for the album took place at studios in West Virginia. However Springsteen, with Toby Scott engineering, worked only from his New Jersey home studio and overdubbed onto Gruschecky's already completed basic tracks.

Joe Grushecky -- A Good Life (album cover art)
Joe Grushecky -- A Good Life (album cover art)

  1. CODE OF SILENCE
  2. IS SHE THE ONE
  3. DON'T FORGET WHERE YOU'RE COMING FROM
  4. A GOOD LIFE
  5. BEAUTY FADES
  6. NOTHING WITHOUT YOU
  7. TOO HOT TO THINK
  8. THE OTHER SHOE
  9. PARTY TONIGHT
  10. SEARCHING FOR MY SOUL
  11. FATHER AND SON
  12. SAFE AT HOME
  13. LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN [bonus track]

Other Official Releases

Other versions of CODE OF SILENCE were also officially released.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (album cover art)
The live 29 Jun 2000 version of CODE OF SILENCE was released on The Essential Bruce Springsteen compilation album in 2003.

Live History

CODE OF SILENCE was performed 8 times during what is known as The Reunion Tour (132 dates, April 1999 to July 2000). All of these eight outings were during the ten-night stand at Madison Square Garden that concluded the tour. The song was the opener of those shows, except on the second night (15 Jun 2000). The Live 29 Jun 2000 version was officially released in 2003 on a bonus disc on The Essential Bruce Springsteen compilation album.

  1. 12 Jun 2000 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
  2. 15 Jun 2000 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
  3. 17 Jun 2000 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
  4. 20 Jun 2000 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
  5. 23 Jun 2000 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
  6. 27 Jun 2000 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
  7. 29 Jun 2000 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
  8. 01 Jul 2000 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY

CODE OF SILENCE times during The Rising Tour (120 dates, August 2002 to October 2003). Springsteen played the song with Joe Grushecky for the first time on 04 Dec 2002 in Pittsburgh, PA. That performance features different lyrics not found in any other versions. See the live 04 Dec 2002 version for more details. Note that the song was sound-checked earlier in the tour, on 20 Aug 2002 in Portland, OR.

CODE OF SILENCE was performed once during the Magic Tour (100 dates, October 2007 to August 2008), on 14 Nov 2007 in Pittsburgh, PA.

  1. 14 Nov 2007 at Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA (with Joe Grushecky)

CODE OF SILENCE was performed during the fourth (2003), fifth (2004), seventh (2006), and tenth (2010) annual Light Of Day benefits. The song was played with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers.

  1. 01 Nov 2003 at The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ (during the fourth annual Light Of Day benefit)
  2. 06 Nov 2004 at The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ (during the fifth annual Light Of Day benefit)
  3. 02 Dec 2006 at Starland Ballroom, Sayeville, NJ (during the seventh annual Light Of Day benefit)
  4. 16 Jan 2010 at Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ (during the tenth annual Light Of Day benefit)

Bruce Springsteen also performed CODE OF SILENCE on a few more occasions.

  1. 17 Jul 2004 at The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  2. 02 Dec 2004 at Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh, PA (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  3. 04 Nov 2010 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  4. 05 Nov 2010 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  5. 03 Nov 2011 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  6. 04 Nov 2011 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  7. 22 May 2014 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  8. 18 Jul 2015 at Wonder Bar, Asbury Park, NJ (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)

Credits

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics.

Available Versions

List of available versions of CODE OF SILENCE on this website:

CODE OF SILENCE [Album version]
CODE OF SILENCE [Live 29 Jun 2000 version]
CODE OF SILENCE [Live 04 Dec 2002 version]
CODE OF SILENCE [Live 04 Oct 2003 version]

Page last updated: 19 Aug 2015