Live 14 Sep 1984 version
[Spoken intro:] Now once upon a time, in a land not too far from here, long,
long time ago...
Well I stood stone-like at midnight suspended in my masquerade
And I combed my hair till it was just right and commanded the night brigade, hey!
I was open to pain and crossed by the rain, I walked on a crooked crutch
I strode all alone into a fallout zone, came out with my soul untouched
Hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they said "sit down" I stood up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
The flag of piracy flew from my mast, my sails were set wing to wing
I had a jukebox graduate for first mate, she couldn't sail but she sure could sing
I pushed B-52, bombed 'em with the blues, my gear set stubborn on standing
I broke all the rules, strafed my old high school, never once gave thought to landing
I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they said "come down" I threw up, on my school shoes
Come on Big Man!
[Spoken:] There I was. I was still in high school, it was kinda late in the
summertime. I was sitting around in my hometown and uh, trying to think what I was gonna do with
myself. Didn't know what I wanted to be, didn't have no direction, didn't have no confidence,
didn't have no girlfriend. I was lost. I was but a man in the wilderness. I needed some faith. I
needed some hope. I needed a close physical relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Damn!
So I was walking down Main Street, didn't know what I was gonna do. All of a sudden I came upon
this guy reading a newspaper. I kinda started talking to him but he was just kept reading the
newspaper. So I sat down next to him, he was reading the Personal Column, part-time jobs. We got
talking, he said he was out of work, I said I was out of work. Said he didn't know what to do with
himself, I said I didn't know what to do with myself. He said he was lost and didn't have no
faith, I said I was lost and didn't have no faith. I said I didn't know any girls. He said he did.
He told me his name was Clarence He-Who-Knows-All Clemons. And figuring that we were kinda in the
same boat, he said he'd take me outside of town where he knew these two girlfriends of his and
he'd get me a date. So we got in his Oldsmobile and we started driving. Driving south, down Route
9, south through the pines. It started raining, started snowing, then we got hit with a heat wave.
And then finally, adding insult to injury, on some dirty back road, we got a flat tire. We got
out, checked the trunk, didn't have no spare, but he said he knew where there was a gas station,
somewhere just on the other side of those woods. So into the forest we went. It was dark, it was
spooky, sounds like werewolves coming from every place, sounds like, like there were lions in
those woods. Sounded like there was homicidal cows. Sounded like there was killer, killer birds.
And finally, we got deep in the forest. Now Big Man, there ain't no like, there ain't no, like,
like big wild animals in here tonight. There ain't no nothing, like, that's gonna... I don't like
wild animals. I don't like being outside. I think I hear something behind us. There's... Whoa!
Clarence! Hey, Clarence! Oh, Clarence! Hey, Clarence! [Clarence: Ah no!] Hey, Clarence! Oh, no,
oh, gee, oh Jesus. Just when things were getting pretty dark, something came shooting out of the
sky. And then over in the clearing, the clouds blew away from the moon, and we saw the answer to
our quest. And I knew everything was gonna be alright. And then as we stood there, beneath the
pines, when we touched...
I took month-long vacations in the stratosphere, you know it's really hard to hold your breath
I swear I lost everything I ever loved or feared, I was the cosmic kid
My feet they finally took root in the earth, well I got me a nice little place in the stars
I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car
Well I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they said "sit down" I stood up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
Yeah, yeah, yeah
[Spoken outro:] And it was bye-bye New Jersey; we was airborne!
And here we are tonight!
Page last updated: 22 Jul 2010
The above lyrics are for the live 14 Sep 1984 performance of GROWIN' UP at
Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA, during the Born In The USA Tour. The song was played in a
full-band, album-style arrangement, and featured a story in the break.
Pass for the 14 Sep 1984 show at Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
List of available versions of GROWIN' UP on this website:
Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake).