Album version

Early in the morning factory whistle blows
Man rises from bed and puts on his clothes
Man takes his lunch, walks out in the morning light
It's the working, the working, just the working life

Through the mansions of fear, through the mansions of pain
I see my daddy walking through them factory gates in the rain
Factory takes his hearing, factory gives him life
The working, the working, just the working life

End of the day, factory whistle cries
Men walk through these gates with death in their eyes
And you just better believe, boy, somebody's gonna get hurt tonight
It's the working, the working, just the working life
Cause it's the working, the working, just the working life

Written in 20 minutes - a shorter time than Bruce would spend deliberation on a single word change in other lyrics. Published on Darkness On The Edge Of Town in 1978.

B-side to PROVE IT ALL NIGHT in 1978 in the US, UK, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, Australia, Yugoslavia, New Zeeland, South Africa, and Spain. This was the only Springsteen 45 ever to be released in (former) Yugoslavia (catalogue # CBS/SUZY 6424).

Appeared on THE PROMISED LAND / FACTORY, a 1978 US-only 12" acetate that features a different early mix of THE PROMISED LAND without the guitar solo in the break that was added at the proverbial last minute, leading to the album's original release date being postponed for several weeks.

It was the only track from the album that was not played on the opening night of the Darkness On The Edge Of Town tour on 23 May 1978 at the Shea Theater, Buffalo, NY. Premiered a few weeks after the tour started, on 21 Jul 1978 at Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, TN. Played frequently through the rest of the tour, 36 performances.

Played frequently during The River tour, and specially in the 1979 part, 69 performances in total.

Performed only twice during the Born In The U.S.A. tour on 26 Nov 1984 at the Reunion Arena, Dallas, TX and on 29 Nov 1984 at The Summit, Houston, TX.

Never played since then until the Reunion tour rehearsals as on 18 Mar 1999 at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ, and then in a sound-check on 11 May 1999 at the Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain. The first Reunion tour performance was on 20 May 1999 at the Forum, Milan, Italy. Performed through the tour, and the last Reunion tour performance was on 27 Jun 2000 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY. A total of 43 performances during that tour.

Performed only once during The Rising tour on 18 Sept 2003 at the Rentschler Field, Hartford, CN. The last known performance was with Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers on 02 Dec 2004 at Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh, PA, during the Flood Aid '04 benefit concert for Pennsylvanians who suffered damage from Hurricane Ivan in Sep 2004.

From the stories told by Bruce about the song during concerts, it is very clear that he wrote it for his father. COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) seems to be an early version of FACTORY since it shares with it the music, and some of the lyrics.

The above lyrics are for the album version. See also outtake version 1, outtake version 2, live 1978-1981 version, and live 1999 version.

Available Versions

List of available versions of FACTORY on this website:

FACTORY [Album version]
FACTORY [Outtake version 1]
FACTORY [Outtake version 2]
FACTORY [live 1978-1981 version]
FACTORY [live 1999 version]