LAST TO DIE

Album version


We took the highway till the road went black
We'd marked Truth Or Consequences on our map
A voice drifted up from the radio
And I thought of a voice from long ago

Who'll be the last to die for a mistake
The last to die for a mistake
Whose blood will spill, whose heart will break
Who'll be the last to die for a mistake

The kids asleep in the backseat
We're just counting the miles, you and me
We don't measure the blood we've drawn anymore
We just stack the bodies outside the door

Who'll be the last to die for a mistake
The last to die for a mistake
Whose blood will spill, whose heart will break
Who'll be the last to die for a mistake

The wise men were all fools, what to do

The sun sets in flames as the city burns
Another day gone down as the night turns
And I hold you here in my heart
As things fall apart

A downtown window flushed with light
Faces of the dead at five (faces of the dead at five)
Our martyr's silent eyes
Petition the drivers as we pass by

Who'll be the last to die for a mistake
The last to die for a mistake
Whose blood will spill, whose heart will break
Who'll be the last to die

Who'll be the last to die for a mistake
The last to die for a mistake
Darling your tyrants and kings fall to the same fate
Strung up at your city gates
And you're the last to die for a mistake


Info

Music and lyrics by Bruce Springsteen, LAST TO DIE is the ninth track on his 2007 album Magic.

The above lyrics are for Springsteen's studio version of LAST TO DIE as released on Magic.

Composition and Recording

Considering Bruce Springsteen's outspoken support for senator John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, there is no question that he was aware of Kerry's words when he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during hearings on the Vietnam War on 23 Apr 1971. Upon returning from his service in Vietnam, the 27-year-old decorated naval veteran said during his statement, "Someone has to die so that President Nixon won't be, and these are his words, 'the first President to lose a war.' We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" Kerry's statement obviously inspired the Springtsteen song in which he repeleatedly asks, "Who'll be the last to die for a mistake?"

"Truth or Consequences" is the name of a town in New Mexico.

It's unknown when exactly LAST TO DIE was written, but the song was recorded during the Magic recording sessions which took place between March and May 2007 at Southern Tracks Studios in Atlanta, GA. Soozie Tyrell contributes violin on this track.

Magic

Magic is Bruce Springsteen's fifteenth studio album. It was released on 02 Oct 2007 on Columbia Records. The album was officially announced, along with its track listing, on 16 Aug 2007. It was produced by Brendan O'Brien and was recorded between March and May 2007 at Southern Tracks Studios in Atlanta, GA.

Bruce Springsteen -- Magic (album cover art)
Bruce Springsteen -- Magic (album cover art)

Magic was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album but failed to win. It debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, becoming Springsteen's eighth number one album in the U.S. and selling about 335,000 copies in its first week. In addition to the U.S., Magic peaked at number one in several European countries including the UK.

The album features 12 tracks and clocks at 50:48. The twelfth track is bonus hidden track that was added to the album two weeks after the album was announced.

Live History: on-tour

In preparation for the Magic Tour, LAST TO DIE was performed during all of the tour's three public warm-up rehearsal shows that took place in September 2007 in Asbury Park and East Rutherford. The song is also known to have been practiced during at least 5 of the private rehearsals that took place in September 2007 in Asbury Park prior to the tour's first leg, and during at least one of the private rehearsals that took place in February 2008 in Asbury Park prior to the tour's second U.S. leg.

  1. 11 Sep 2007 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (private rehearsal)
  2. 12 Sep 2007 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (private rehearsal)
  3. 14 Sep 2007 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (private rehearsal)
  4. 18 Sep 2007 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (private rehearsal)
  5. 21 Sep 2007 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (private rehearsal)
  6. 24 Sep 2007 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (public rehearsal)
  7. 25 Sep 2007 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (public rehearsal)
  8. 28 Sep 2007 at Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, NJ (public rehearsal)
  9. 25 Feb 2008 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (private rehearsal)

LAST TO DIE was performed 100 times during the Magic Tour (100 dates, October 2007 to August 2008); that is each and every one of the tour's regular dates. The song was played in its full-band album arrangement. The 30 Aug 2008 performance was during Harley-Davidson's 105th Anniversary Celebration.

  1. 02 Oct 2007 at Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT
  2. 05 Oct 2007 at Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA
  3. 06 Oct 2007 at Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA
  4. 09 Oct 2007 at Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
  5. 10 Oct 2007 at Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
  6. 14 Oct 2007 at Scotiabank Place, Ottawa, Canada
  7. 15 Oct 2007 at Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Canada
  8. 17 Oct 2007 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
  9. 18 Oct 2007 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
  10. 21 Oct 2007 at United Center, Chicago, IL
  11. 22 Oct 2007 at United Center, Chicago, IL
  12. 25 Oct 2007 at Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
  13. 26 Oct 2007 at Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
  14. 29 Oct 2007 at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA
  15. 30 Oct 2007 at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA
  16. 02 Nov 2007 at Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, MN
  17. 04 Nov 2007 at Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
  18. 05 Nov 2007 at The Palace Of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI
  19. 11 Nov 2007 at Verizon Center, Washington, DC
  20. 12 Nov 2007 at Verizon Center, Washington, DC
  21. 14 Nov 2007 at Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
  22. 15 Nov 2007 at Times Union Center, Albany, NY
  23. 18 Nov 2007 at TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA
  24. 19 Nov 2007 at TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA
  25. 25 Nov 2007 at Palacio De Deportes De La Comunidad De Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  26. 26 Nov 2007 at Bizkaia Arena, Bilbao, Spain
  27. 28 Nov 2007 at Datch Forum, Milan, Italy
  28. 01 Dec 2007 at Gelredome, Arnhem, The Netherlands
  29. 02 Dec 2007 at Sap Arena, Mannheim, Germany
  30. 04 Dec 2007 at Oslo Spektrum, Oslo, Norway
  31. 08 Dec 2007 at Forum København, Copenhagen, Denmark
  32. 10 Dec 2007 at Globe Arena, Stockholm, Sweden
  33. 12 Dec 2007 at Sportpaleis, Antwerp, Belgium
  34. 13 Dec 2007 at Kolnarena, Cologne, Germany
  35. 15 Dec 2007 at Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  36. 17 Dec 2007 at Palais Omnisports De Paris-Bercy, Paris, France
  37. 19 Dec 2007 at The O2 Arena, London, England
  38. 28 Feb 2008 at Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT
  39. 02 Mar 2008 at Bell Centre, Montreal, Canada
  40. 03 Mar 2008 at Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Canada
  41. 06 Mar 2008 at Blue Cross Arena At The War Memorial, Rochester, NY
  42. 07 Mar 2008 at HSBC Arena, Buffalo, NY
  43. 10 Mar 2008 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
  44. 14 Mar 2008 at Qwest Center, Omaha, NE
  45. 16 Mar 2008 at Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, MN
  46. 17 Mar 2008 at Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
  47. 20 Mar 2008 at Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
  48. 22 Mar 2008 at U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, OH
  49. 24 Mar 2008 at Value City Arena, Columbus, OH
  50. 28 Mar 2008 at Rose Garden, Portland, OR
  51. 29 Mar 2008 at Keyarena At Seattle Center, Seattle, WA
  52. 31 Mar 2008 at GM Place, Vancouver, BC
  53. 04 Apr 2008 at Arco Arena, Sacramento, CA
  54. 05 Apr 2008 at HP Pavilion At San Jose, San Jose, CA
  55. 07 Apr 2008 at Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
  56. 08 Apr 2008 at Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
  57. 13 Apr 2008 at American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
  58. 14 Apr 2008 at Toyota Center, Houston, TX
  59. 22 Apr 2008 at St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, FL
  60. 23 Apr 2008 at Amway Arena, Orlando, FL
  61. 25 Apr 2008 at Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
  62. 27 Apr 2008 at Charlotte Bobcats Arena, Charlotte, NC
  63. 28 Apr 2008 at Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
  64. 30 Apr 2008 at John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA
  65. 02 May 2008 at Bankatlantic Center, Sunrise, FL
  66. 22 May 2008 at RDS Arena, Dublin, Ireland
  67. 23 May 2008 at RDS Arena, Dublin, Ireland
  68. 25 May 2008 at RDS Arena, Dublin, Ireland
  69. 28 May 2008 at Old Trafford, Manchester, England
  70. 30 May 2008 at Emirates Stadium, London, England
  71. 31 May 2008 at Emirates Stadium, London, England
  72. 14 Jun 2008 at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales
  73. 16 Jun 2008 at LTU Arena, Düsseldorf, Germany
  74. 18 Jun 2008 at Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  75. 21 Jun 2008 at HSH Nordbank Arena, Hamburg, Germany
  76. 23 Jun 2008 at Sportpaleis, Antwerp, Belgium
  77. 25 Jun 2008 at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy
  78. 27 Jun 2008 at Parc Des Princes, Paris, France
  79. 29 Jun 2008 at Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark
  80. 04 Jul 2008 at Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden
  81. 05 Jul 2008 at Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden
  82. 07 Jul 2008 at Valle Hovin Stadion, Oslo, Norway
  83. 08 Jul 2008 at Valle Hovin Stadion, Oslo, Norway
  84. 11 Jul 2008 at Olympiastadion, Helsinki, Finland
  85. 15 Jul 2008 at Estadio Anoeta, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
  86. 17 Jul 2008 at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain
  87. 19 Jul 2008 at Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
  88. 20 Jul 2008 at Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
  89. 27 Jul 2008 at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
  90. 28 Jul 2008 at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
  91. 31 Jul 2008 at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
  92. 02 Aug 2008 at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
  93. 15 Aug 2008 at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, FL
  94. 16 Aug 2008 at North Charleston Coliseum, Charleston, SC
  95. 18 Aug 2008 at Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, VA
  96. 19 Aug 2008 at Hersheypark Stadium, Hershey, PA
  97. 21 Aug 2008 at Sommet Center, Nashville, TN
  98. 23 Aug 2008 at Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO
  99. 24 Aug 2008 at Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO
  100. 30 Aug 2008 at The Roadhouse At The Lakefront, Milwaukee, WI

In preparation for the Working On A Dream Tour, LAST TO DIE is known to have been practiced during at least one of the private rehearsals that took place in March 2009 in Asbury Park prior to the tour's first leg.

  1. 13 Mar 2009 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (private rehearsal)

LAST TO DIE was performed 3 times during the Working On A Dream Tour (83 dates, April to November 2009), all in North America in the first half of October 2009. All three performances of the song featured Curt Ramm on trumpet.

  1. 03 Oct 2009 at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
  2. 09 Oct 2009 at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
  3. 13 Oct 2009 at Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA

LAST TO DIE was performed once during the Wrecking Ball Tour (133 dates, March 2012 to September 2013), on 20 Mar 2013 in Sydney, Australia.

  1. 20 Mar 2013 at Allphones Arena, Sydney, Australia

Live History: off-tour

LAST TO DIE was performed off-tour on 28 Sep 2007 (morning) at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, NY, during Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's live broadcast on The Today Show. The song was played in its full-band album arrangement. See the live 28 Sep 2007 (morning) version for more details.

Covers

As far as it's known, only one artist has recorded and released Bruce Springsteen's LAST TO DIE.

Pet Shop Boys -- Electric (album cover art)
Pet Shop Boys -- Electric

CD - X2 (0003 CD1) - EU, 2013
2-LP - X2 (0003 VL1) - EU, 2013
CD - X2 (0003 CD1) - USA, 2013
2-LP - X2 (0003 VL1) - USA, 2013

See Pet Shop Boys' cover version for more details.

Credits

Thanks Keith and Ugo C for the lyrics corrections. Thanks David Varet for the info about the John Kerry statement.

Available Versions

List of available versions of LAST TO DIE on this website:

LAST TO DIE [Album version]
LAST TO DIE [Live 28 Sep 2007 (morning) version]
LAST TO DIE [Pet Shop Boys' cover version]

Page last updated: 23 Sep 2013