NEW YORK SONG
Live 24 Apr 1973 (early show) version
[Spoken intro:] Last summer I got stuck in, uh, New York too much, and, uh,
these are some of the things that should have happened.
Oh, Blackie's down by the railroad track
He sinks low in the back seat of his Cadillac
And Diamond Jackie, she's so intact
She freezes beneath Black's attack
Oh, and Jackie's shoes are shellacked
She got cleats on her boots
Together they're gonna boogaloo down Broadway
And come back with the loot
Because it's midnight in Manhattan, this is no time to get cute
It's a madcap promenade
It's like New York City, the city, hey, hey
Oh, well, ain't Jackie pretty? Ain't she sweet?
Her faith lies at midnight, between her teeth
She got a dirty big daddy, who through all the tears
Has supplied her with hope and kept her in fear
He's a lone privateer, working down on the docks
He was born in 1943 and almost died of the shock
And now he drags her to some D-side joint
Where the atomic punks, they rock
Until she breaks down and falls
Soft like a child
Crying, "New York City, you're so wild"
And in the night air you could hear crying
And now the girls say, "Ain't he thin?"; girls say, "Ain't he fine?"
He was born on the border of the Kansas line
When he broke into town, it was hot, ninety degrees
Swore he'd bust that monster to its knees
Folks said he was master of the universe
Some kid said he was the holder of the cosmic keys
His throat was choked with lightning from some childhood disease
And with a burnt gun blast he's got the people running from the streets
And he lies empty in Times Square just like street scum
Crying, "New York City, kill their young"
Crying, "New York City, kill their young"
From a tenement window you hear
[Spoken outro:] Yeah! Thank you. Thank you. And, uh... Thank you very much.
Page last updated: 03 Jun 2012
NEW YORK SONG is a song written by Bruce Springsteen. He performed it live as a
solo acoustic piece in April, May, and June 1973, and very likely in March too. The song has not
been officially released.
Composition and Recording
NEW YORK SONG must have been written in late 1972 or early 1973. Springsteen
would merge it in mid-1973 with his early 1972 composition
VIBES MAN to create
NEW YORK CITY SERENADE.
Brucebase, a studio version of NEW
YORK SONG was cut during the recording sessions for The Wild, The Innocent, And The E Street
Shuffle album, sometime between 22 and 15 May 1973 or between 17 and 20 June 1973 at 914
Sound Studios in Blauvelt, NY. The studio take is apparently similar in arrangement to the known
live renditions; it is piano-based and features sparse band backing. The studio recording of NEW
YORK SONG is not in circulation among fans.
The lyric "She got cleats on her boots" is similar to one used in
The 24 Apr 1973 Early Show
The above lyrics are for the live 24 Apr 1973 (early show) performance of NEW
YORK SONG at The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, PA, during the during the Greetings From Asbury
Park, N.J. Tour. The song was played in an arrangement featuring Bruce Springsteen on
acoustic guitar and vocals and Clarence Clemons on saxophone.
In April 1973, Bruce Springsteen performed a two-night stand at The Main Point,
(24 and 25 Apr 1973). He played two shows each night, an early one at 08:00PM and a late one at
10:00PM. These were double-bill shows, with Springsteen headlining and folk duo Aztec Two-Step
opening. The complete early show from the first night was broadcast live on Philadelphia's
WMMR-FM, and that was Bruce Springsteen's first real time concert venue simulcast. Since then, the
audio has widely circulated in excellent quality among collectors.
Promotional poster for the 24-25 Apr 1973 show at The Main Point, Bryn Mawr, PA
[Taken from Lelands]
Setlist for the 24 Apr 1973 early concert:
- NEW YORK SONG
- WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY
- SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT
- DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET
- SANTA ANA
The 24 Apr 1973 early show was legally released in the UK in 2011 by Left Field
Media on a CD titled Bound For Glory. The album also contains Springsteen's radio station
performance that took place on 09 Jan 1973 and broadcast live on Boston's WBCN-FM. Though this
release is not authorized by Bruce Springsteen or his record company, it is lawful due to a legal
loophole in the UK.
NEW YORK SONG is known to have been performed at least 3 times during the
Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. Tour. Very little is known about the 1972 and 1973
shows, and therefore, the song must've been played on some more dates. On this tour, or at least
on the circulating version, the song was played in an arrangement featuring Bruce Springsteen on
acoustic guitar and vocals and Clarence Clemons on saxophone. See the
live 24 Apr 1973 version.
to display/hide detailed known Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. Tour performances list]
In 1973, Bruce Springsteen performed NEW YORK SONG on two radio performances.
The version from the 31 May 1973 WGOE-FM broadcast featured Bruce Springsteen on piano and vocals
and Clarence Clemons on saxophone (see the
live 31 May 1973 version) and the 02 Jun 1973 WHFS-FM
broadcast featured Springsteen on acoustic guitar and vocals and Clemons on saxophone (see the
live 02 Jun 1973 version).
to display/hide detailed known 1973 radio performances list]
As far as it's known, no artist has recorded and released Bruce Springsteen's
NEW YORK SONG.
List of available versions of NEW YORK SONG on this website:
Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake).