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In 1975, 24-year-old Bruce Springsteen released “Born to Run,” his first worldwide single. The song and the album of the same name garnered critical acclaim and became Springsteen’s signature work. At the time, Bruce Springsteen was on the verge of losing his record deal, fueling his determination to create something extraordinary:

I wanted to make the greatest rock record that I’d ever heard,” he said, envisioning a sound that would “grab you by your throat and insist that you take that ride, insist that you pay attention – not just to the music, but to life, to being alive.” – Bruce Springsteen

And “Born to Run” certainly delivers on that promise, standing as one of Bruce Springsteen’s greatest songs. The album was a commercial success, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart and selling over 6 million copies in the United States and another 3 million worldwide. It has also been included on numerous ‘Greatest Albums of All Time’ lists, solidifying its place in rock and roll history.

Bruce Springsteen performed the song live 1,744 times—more than any other in his repertoire. This article will explore the meaning behind this iconic song’s lyrics and the album that launched Springsteen’s career into worldwide fame.

Born to Run” Lyrics

In the day we sweat it out on the streets
Of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through the mansions of glory
In suicide machines
Sprung from cages on Highway 9
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected, and steppin’ out over the line
Oh, baby this town rips the bones from your back
It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we’re young
‘Cause tramps like us, baby, we were born to run
Yes, girl, we were

Wendy, let me in, I wanna be your friend
I wanna guard your dreams and visions
Just wrap your legs ’round these velvet rims
And strap your hands ‘cross my engines
Together we could break this trap
We’ll run ’til we drop, baby, we’ll never go back
Oh, will you walk with me out on the wire?
‘Cause, baby, I’m just a scared and lonely rider
But I gotta know how it feels
I want to know if love is wild
Babe, I want to know if love is real
Oh, can you show me

Beyond the Palace, hemi-powered drones
Scream down the boulevard
Girls comb their hair in rearview mirrors
And the boys try to look so hard
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in the mist
I wanna die with you, Wendy, on the street tonight
In an everlasting kiss

The highway’s jammed with broken heroes
On a last chance power drive
Everybody’s out on the run tonight
But there’s no place left to hide
Together, Wendy, we can live with the sadness
I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul
Oh, someday, girl, I don’t know when
We’re gonna get to that place
Where we really wanna go and we’ll walk in the sun
But ’til then, tramps like us
Baby, we were born to run

Oh honey, tramps like us
Baby, we were born to run
Come on with me, tramps like us
Baby, we were born to run

Bruce Springsteen – “Born to Run

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Bruce Springsteen

Born to Run lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” Meaning

Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” is a rock anthem that captures the yearning for freedom and escape from the constraints of everyday life. At its core, it’s about escape – in the song’s case, from Asbury Park, N.J., for a night. But, of course, it’s about much more: the youthful desire to run away, cruise, and seek something better. The song tells the story of a young man and his girlfriend, Wendy, who dream of leaving their dead-end town and finding a better life together.

It is four minutes and 31 seconds of all-out rock and roll. Lyrically, it continues the album’s overarching theme of escape and freedom and its motif of the open road as a vital part of the American dream. With its driving beat and soaring guitars, the music perfectly complements the lyrics’ sense of urgency and longing.

The signature line, Tramps like us, baby, we were born to run!” embodies this thirst for liberty and a better future, speaking to the hearts of millions who dream of escaping their circumstances.

5 Interesting Facts About “Born to Run”

  1. Meticulous Creation: Bruce Springsteen dedicated six months to perfecting “Born to Run” in the studio, meticulously experimenting with various arrangements before reaching its final form.

  2. Double-Cover Fame: After the album’s release, Bruce Springsteen’s manager orchestrated a historic feat: He landed on the covers of Newsweek and Time on the same day, propelling him to national stardom.

  3. Iconic Cover Shoot: The album’s famous cover photo, capturing Bruce Springsteen leaning on Clarence Clemons, resulted from a two-hour photoshoot with photographer Eric Meola, who took nearly 600 photos to achieve the perfect shot.

  4. National Treasure: “Born to Run” stands as Bruce Springsteen’s sole album chosen for preservation in the National Recording Registry, recognized for its cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance.

  5. Lyric Auction: In 2013, the handwritten lyrics of “Born to Run” sold for a remarkable $197,000 at auction.

Born to Run” Video

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Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run (Music Video)
Is just a guy who got tired of bothering his friends talking about music, and decided to create a blog to write about what he loves the most.
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