VIGILANTE MAN

Studio version


Rainy night down in the engine house
Sleepin' just, just as still as a mouse
A man came along and chase us out in the rain
Well was that a vigilante man?

Stormy days, we pass the time away
Yeah, sleeping in some good warm place
And a cop come along, and we give him a little race
Say was that a vigilante man?

Well tell me why does a vigilante man
Tell me why does a vigilante man
Carry that sawed off shotgun in his hands
To shoot his brothers and sisters down, that no good vigilante man
Whoa!

Well, I ramble around, yeah, from town to town
Yeah, I ramble around, mm, from town to town
Yeah and they run us around like a wild herd of cattle, lord
Is that your vigilante man?

Well now why does that vigilante man
Why does that vigilante man
Carry that club in his hands
Would he beat an innocent man down, that no good vigilante man?

Whoo, ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ah
Whoo, ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh, ooh
Whoo, ooh ooh
Whoo, ooh ooh ah
Whoo ooh, ah, ah
Whoo ooh, aaah ah


Info

VIGILANTE MAN is a song by Woody Guthrie. See the original Woody Guthrie version for more details.

The above lyrics are for a Bruce Springsteen studio version of VIGILANTE MAN recorded sometime in late 1987 or early 1988 and released on the various artists benefit album Folkways: A Vision Shared - A Tribute To Woody Guthrie And Leadbelly. The song features Bruce Springsteen on guitar and vocals, Garyy Tallent on bass, Nils Lofgren on guitar, Danny Federici on keyboards, Roy Bittan on organ, Max Weinberg on drums, and Patti Scialfa on background vocals and percussion.

The Tribute Album

Folkways: A Vision Shared - A Tribute To Woody Guthrie And Leadbelly is a various artists benefit album released on Columbia Records on 23 Aug 1988 in support of Folkways Records and the Woody Guthrie Archives. The album features songs by Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly interpreted by leading folk, rock, and country recording artists, including Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Little Richard, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, U2, and others.

Bruce Springsteen was one of the first artists to join the project. He recorded two Woody Guthrie songs for the tribute album, I AIN'T GOT NO HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE and VIGILANTE MAN. The two songs were produced by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, and Chuck Plotkin, engineered by Toby Scott, and mixed by Bob Clearmountain, and they were likely recorded at Thrill Hill East, Springsteen's home studio in Rumson, NJ, sometime in late 1987 or early 1988.

Various artists -- Folkways: A Vision Shared - A Tribute To Woody Guthrie And Leadbelly
Various artists -- Folkways: A Vision Shared - A Tribute To Woody Guthrie And Leadbelly

LP - Columbia (OC 44034) - USA, 1988
Various artists -- Folkways: A Vision Shared - A Tribute To Woody Guthrie And Leadbelly
Various artists -- Folkways: A Vision Shared - A Tribute To Woody Guthrie And Leadbelly

CD - Columbia (CK 44034) - USA, 1988
Various artists -- Folkways: A Vision Shared - A Tribute To Woody Guthrie And Leadbelly
Various artists -- Folkways: A Vision Shared - A Tribute To Woody Guthrie And Leadbelly

MC - Columbia (OCT 44034) - USA, 1988

Along with the release of the tribute album Columbia Records also released a home video special that featured live versions of I AIN'T GOT NO HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE and VIGILANTE MAN. All artist royalties from both the album and video supported Folkways Records and the Woody Guthrie Archives which were acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in 1987.

Other Official Releases

A live version of VIGILANTE MAN was also officially released.

Various artists -- A Vision Shared - A Tribute To Woody Guthrie And Leadbelly (home video cover art, VHS issue)
The live Feb 1988 version of VIGILANTE MAN was released in 1988 on the A Vision Shared - A Tribute To Woody Guthrie And Leadbelly home video.

Live History

In preparation for the Tunnel Of Love Express Tour, VIGILANTE MAN is known to have been practiced during at least one of the private rehearsals that took place in late January and early February 1988 at Expo Theater in Fort Monmouth, NJ, prior to the tour's first leg. See the live Feb 1988 version for more details. This version was officially released in 1988 on the A Vision Shared - A Tribute To Woody Guthrie And Leadbelly home video.

VIGILANTE MAN was performed 4 times during the 67-date-long Tunnel Of Love Express Tour.

  1. 19 May 1988 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
  2. 22 May 1988 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
  3. 23 May 1988 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
  4. 21 Jun 1988 at Villa Park, Birmingham, England

In preparation for the Wrecking Ball Tour, VIGILANTE MAN is known to have been practiced during at least one of the private rehearsals that took place between January and March 2012 in Fort Monmouth, Trenton, and Asbury Park prior to the tour's first U.S. leg.

  1. 12 Mar 2012 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (private rehearsal)

Requests

Some sources claim that the two studio versions of I AIN'T GOT NO HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE and VIGILANTE MAN were not recorded in studio but during the same February 1988 band rehearsals at Fort Monmouth, NJ, during which the rehearsals versions (the versions that appear in the A Vision Shared - A Tribute To Woody Guthrie And Leadbelly documentary) were taped. This website however highly doubt this claim, but if you do have any additional information about this matter that prove us wrong or right please contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.



Credits

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

Available Versions

List of available versions of VIGILANTE MAN on this website:

VIGILANTE MAN [Studio version]
VIGILANTE MAN [Live Feb 1988 version]
VIGILANTE MAN [Original Woody Guthrie version]

Page last updated: 04 Oct 2016