Studio version

One, two, three, four

Word of the trouble spread around
One day a man came to my town
I was in the kitchen when my Pa let him in
He shook my hand, said, "Son, the Klan's your friend"

Was a meeting at Lyle Stanton's house on the Jefferson Highway
Some, they did not listen, some did not turn away

Said, "When the holy rain of fire comes tumbling from above
It'll be a Klansman who stands for the land he loves"
Look away, look away now

I was ten years old when my Pa said, "Son, some day you will see
When you grow to wear the robes like your brother and me"

"When the war between the races leaves us in a fiery dream
It'll be a Klansman who will wipe this country clean
This, son, is my dream"

Page last updated: 28 Jul 2014


THE KLANSMAN is an unreleased Bruce Springsteen song. The above lyrics are for the only known take of the song.

Studio Recording

According to Sony's database of Springsteen recording sessions, THE KLANSMAN was recorded on 10 Mar 1983 at Thrill Hill West, Springsteen's home studio in Los Angeles, CA. One take of THE KLANSMAN is in circulation among collectors, and most probably it's the one cut on 10 Mar 1983. The above lyrics are transcribed from that circulating studio version of THE KLANSMAN. Springsteen recorded more than an album's worth of songs by himself during this period. He played all the instruments himself, with the help of a drum machine only, and overdubbing to create the final product.

Bootleg Releases

This version of THE KLANSMAN can be found on several bootlegs, including The Lost Masters Vol. 16 (Labour Of Love) and The Lost Masters Essential Collection Vol. 2 (Labour Of Love).

Bruce Springsteen -- The Lost Masters Vol. 16 (Labour Of Love) [bootleg cover art] Bruce Springsteen -- The Lost Masters Essential Collection Vol. 2 (Labour Of Love) [bootleg cover art]

The Lost Masters Vol. 16 liner notes state that the song was recorded on 04 Jan 1983. This is probably and an error since studio logs only list one take, recorded on 10 Mar 1983.

Live History

As far as it's known, Bruce Springsteen has never performed THE KLANSMAN live.


As far as it's known, no artist has recorded and released Bruce Springsteen's THE KLANSMAN.


The above lyrics may not be 100% correct. If you have any corrections, additions, or comments, please contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.

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