MATAMOROS BANKS

Each year many die crossing the deserts, mountains, and rivers of our southern border in search of a better life. Here I follow the journey backwards, from the body at the river bottom, to the man walking across the desert towards the banks of the Rio Grande.

For two days the river keeps you down
Then you rise to the light without a sound
Past the playgrounds and empty switching yards
The turtles eat the skin from your eyes, so they lay open to the stars

Your clothes give way to the current and river stone
'Till every trace of who you ever were is gone
And the things of the earth they make their claim
That the things of heaven may do the same

Goodye, my darling, for your love I give God thanks
Meet me on the Matamoros
Meet me on the Matamoros
Meet me on the Matamoros banks

Over rivers of stone and ancient ocean beds
I walk on twine and tire tread
My pockets full of dust, my mouth filled with cool stone
The pale moon opens the earth to its bones

I long, my darling, for your kiss, for your sweet love I give God thanks
The touch of your loving fingertips
Meet me on the Matamoros
Meet me on the Matamoros
Meet me on the Matamoros banks

Your sweet memory comes on the evenin' wind
I sleep and dream of holding you in my arms again
The lights of Brownsville, across the river shine
A shout rings out and into the silty red river I dive

I long, my darling, for your kiss, for your sweet love I give God thanks
A touch of your loving fingertips
Meet me on the Matamoros
Meet me on the Matamoros
Meet me on the Matamoros banks

Meet me on the Matamoros
Meet me on the Matamoros
Meet me on the Matamoros banks


From the Devils & Dust album. An acoustic rendition of the song filmed in Feb 2005 in New Jersey will be included on the DVD side of the album.

Reported to be rehearsed on 20 Apr 2005 at the Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ. Also played during the warm-up shows for the Devils & Dust tour on 21 and 22 Apr 2005 at the Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ. Played during each of the first 33 shows of the tour till now (the last update of this page).

Matamoros is a city and port in northeastern Mexico, near the mouth of the Rio Grande and across the river from Brownsville, Texas.

Track credits:
vocals, guitar, keyboards - Bruce Springsteen
strings - Nashville String Machine

The Devils & Dust album track listing is:
01- DEVILS AND DUST (known from previous rehearsals)
02- ALL THE WAY HOME (Bruce wrote if for Southside Johnny's album Better Days)
03- RENO (previously unknown track)
04- LONG TIME COMIN' (known from The Ghost Of Tom Joad tour)
05- BLACK COWBOYS (previously unknown track)
06- MARIA'S BED (previously unknown track)
07- SILVER PALOMINO (previously unknown track)
08- JESUS WAS AN ONLY SON (previously unknown track)
09- LEAH (previously unknown track)
10- THE HITTER (known from The Ghost Of Tom Joad tour)
11- ALL I'M THINKIN' ABOUT (previously unknown track)
12- MATAMOROS BANKS (previously unknown track)


From PopMatters.com:

To truly understand the power of Bruce Springsteen's newest disc, Devils & Dust, one need only listen to its final track. The song, "Matamoros Banks", contains all of the contradictions that make this -- his 13th studio effort -� such an emotionally resonating collection.

Opening with a simple, solemn acoustic guitar line, its opening verses speak of death and decay along the Rio Grande. "The turtles eat the skin from your eyes" and clothes give way to the river's current. And yet, "Matamoros Banks" is as pure and sweet a love song as one will find, a poem of faith and connection offered by a lover separated by distance. "I long, my darling, for your kiss, for your sweet love I give God thanks," he sings. The distance is palpable, almost physically felt. "Your sweet memory comes on the evenin' wind," he sings later. "I sleep and dream of holding you in my arms again." "Matamoros Banks" can be read as a poem of redemption through faith and love or as a story in the Steinbeck mold, of love denied in a world that constrains the individual, beats on him.