Born to Run (4:29)

Cover of Greatest Hits

From Greatest Hits and 152 other releases

Born to Run is the signature song of the American singer songwriter Bruce Springsteen, and the title song of his album Born to Run. Written in a small house in Long Branch, New Jersey in early 1974, the song was Bruce Springsteen’s last-ditch effort to make it big. The prior year, Springsteen had released two albums to critical acclaim but with little commercial success. The lyrics to the song are appropriately epic for his last-ditch, all-or-nothing shot at the stars, yet they remain rooted in the universal desperation of adolescence: We gotta get out while we’re young, ‘cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run.

Written in the first person, the song is a love letter to a girl named Wendy (Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend I wanna guard your dreams and visions…; I wanna die with you Wendy on the streets tonight/in an everlasting kiss!), for whom the motorcycle-riding protagonist certainly has enough passion to love, but perhaps not the patience. However, Springsteen has noted that it has a much simpler core: getting out of Asbury Park.

In recording the song, Springsteen first earned his noted reputation for perfectionism, laying down as many as eleven guitar tracks to get the sound just right. The recording process and alternate ideas for the song’s arrangement are described in the Wings For Wheels documentary DVD included in the 2005 reissue Born to Run 30th Anniversary Edition package.

The track was recorded at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, New York amidst touring breaks during 1974, with final recording done on August 6, well in advance of the rest of the album

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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 out on highway 9,
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected,and steppin' out over the line

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics

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