Song Lyric Sunday — “Jersey Girl” — Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt, “La,” I’m featuring “Jersey Girl,” written by Tom Waits with additional lyrics by Bruce Springsteen. I don’t know what it is about this song, but it gives me goosebumps up and down my spine. And I’m not a Jersey girl; imagine what it must do to one of them!

Both Springsteen and Waits married Jersey girls (Patti Scialfa and Kathleen Brennan, respectively) and Waits wrote this song for his.

“Jersey Girl” first appeared on Waits’ 1980 album “Heart Attack and Vine,” which peaked at number 96 on the Billboard Hot 200. Although it was his seventh album, he confessed in an interview, “I never thought I would catch myself saying ‘sha la la’ in a song,” adding, “This is my first experiment with ‘sha la la.'” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 and was one of “Rolling Stone Magazine’s” 2015 picks for the “100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.”

Springsteen started occasionally covering the song in the early ’80s and began including it in regular rotation in his set list during a series of concerts marking the opening of the then-Brendan Byrne Arena in Rutherford, New Jersey. (The arena was subsequently named The Meadowlands.) Springsteen tweaked the first verse a bit. Where Waits wrote “Don’t want no whores on Eighth Avenue,” Springsteen sang “Or the girls down on the avenue.” Springsteen also added three new verses and eliminated Waits’ final line “And I call your name, I can’t sleep at night.”

During one of Springsteen’s 1981 Los Angeles appearances, Tom Waits joined him on stage, where they performed the song together. In what we, today, would call a “mashup,” they combined Waits’ original lyrics with Springsteen’s new lyrics. Each sang backup for the other.

You can hear the audio in the video below. If you want to follow along with the lyrics, I’ve posted Waits’ original lyrics in full and Springsteen’s additional three verses.

Just in case you’re not familiar with their voices, Waits sings the first three verses. Springsteen chimes in on the first Sha la la las and sings the fourth and fifth verses written by Waits. Waits comes back in with his final verse (“And I call your name…”), after which Springsteen sings the three verses he wrote. Many Sha la las are mixed in throughout. Enjoy!

 

Jersey Girl” by Tom Waits

Got no time for the corner boys,
Down in the street makin’ all that noise,
Don’t want no whores on eighth avenue,
Cause tonight I’m gonna be with you.

‘Cause tonight I’m gonna take that ride,
Across the river to the jersey side,
Take my baby to the carnival,
And I’ll take you on all the rides,
Sing sha la la la la la sha la la la.

Down the shore everything’s alright,
You’re with your baby on a Saturday night,
Don’t you know that all my dreams come true,
When I’m walkin’ down the street with you,
Sing sha la la la la la sha la la la.

You know she thrills me with all her charms,
When I’m wrapped up in my baby’s arms,
My little angel gives me everything,
I know someday that she’ll wear my ring.

So don’t bother me cause I got no time,
I’m on my way to see that girl of mine,
Nothin’ else matters in this whole wide world,
When you’re in love with a jersey girl,
Sing sha la la la la la la.

And I call your name, I can’t sleep at night,
Sha la la la la la la.

 

Jersey Girl” additional lyrics by Bruce Springsteen

I see you on the street and you look so tired
I know that job you got leaves you so uninspired
When I come by to take you out to eat
you’re lyin’ all dressed up on the bed baby fast asleep

Go in the bathroom and put your makeup on
We’re gonna take that little brat of yours and drop her off at your mom?s
I know a place where the dancing?s free
Now baby won’t you come with me

‘Cause down the shore everything’s all right
You and your baby on a Saturday night
Nothing matters in this whole wide world
When you’re in love with a Jersey girl

compiled with information sourced from Wikipedia, AllMusic.com, SongFacts.com, and SongMeanings.com

 

Song Lyric Sunday – Bruce Springsteen “Fire” and “I’m On Fire”

This week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Desire/Lust/Romance/Passion will, as Jim Adam says, “produce a lot of smoking hot music.”  Can’t argue with that! Despite having featured Bruce Springsteen just last week, I’m going with him again because he wrote two of the smoking-est, sexiest, songs ever: “Fire” and “I’m On Fire.” Both of them hit the theme on all fours. And I’m not even going to waste anyone’s time hemming and hawing about how difficult it is to choose just one.

Although Springsteen wrote “Fire” in 1977, he didn’t record and release it until ten years later. By that time, the Pointer Sisters‘ 1979 recording hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it their first gold single. “I’m On Fire” was Springsteen’s fourth of seven Top Ten hit singles off his hugely successful “Born In The USA” album, peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The accompanying music video received the 1985 MTV Music Video Award for Best Male Video.  Enjoy!

 

I’m On Fire

Hey little girl is your daddy home
Did he go away and leave you all alone
I got a bad desire
I’m on fire

Tell me now baby is he good to you
Can he do to you the things that I do
I can take you higher
I’m on fire

Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley
Through the middle of my soul

At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
And a freight train running through the
Middle of my head
Only you can cool my desire
I’m on fire

 

Fire

I’m driving in my car
I turn on the radio
I’m pulling you close
You just say no
You say you don’t like it
But girl I know you’re a liar
‘Cause when we kiss
Ooooh, Fire

Late at night
I’m takin’ you home
I say I wanna stay
You say you wanna be alone
You say you don’t love me
Girl you can’t hide your desire
‘Cause when we kiss
Oh, Fire
Fire

You had a hold on me
Right from the start
A grip so tight
I couldn’t tear it apart
My nerves all jumpin’
Actin’ like a fool
Well your kisses they burn
But your heart stays cool

Romeo and Juliet
Samson and Delilah
Baby you can bet
Their love they didn’t deny
Your words say split
But your words they lie
‘Cause when we kiss
Mmmmmm, Fire
Fire

Burnin in my soul
It’s outta control

 

Song Lyric Sunday — “Thunder Road”

Song Lyric Sunday, to me, is an adventure — rediscovering old favorites, unearthing new ones.  Our intrepid leader, Jim Adams, has provided mutiple paths to adventure with this week’s theme of Avenue/Bouelvard/Drive/Lane/Road/Street. Naturally, my first thought was “Drive” by The Cars, but I used that song for one of last August’s themes. Jim’s chosen topics are so broad, I’d feel like a cheater if I didn’t come up with something different.

So I decided to go with “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen. Featured on his seminal 1975 album, “Born to Run,” the song is a fan favorite and is generally considered one of Springsteen’s, and rock’s, best songs. Funny thing about “Thunder Road,” though. When I searched for the right video, I stumbled across another song called “The Ballad of Thunder Road,” written by actor Robert Mitchum and Don Raye for the movie “Thunder Road.” Coincidentally, I later read that Springsteen’s song title comes from the movie.

While I often feature multiple videos of the same song, this week you’re getting two different songs with similar titles. Lyrics are in the videos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday — “Havin’ a Party” with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes

Jim Adams has chosen another great theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday: Record/Juke Box/DJ/Radio. As soon as I saw this theme, I started singing my choice for this theme: “Havin’ A Party.” Written and recorded by Sam Cooke in 1962, the song charted at number 4 on the Billboard R&B chart and at 17 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The song has been covered by many groups including, The Pointer Sisters, The Supremes, Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. Springsteen fiddled a bit with the lyrics circa 1974 (Springsteen included it in a setlist in 1974), but I’m posting Cooke’s original lyrics.  You can read the Springsteen lyrics here.

My favorite version is Springsteen lyrics exuberantly sung by Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes. Although Southside’s first studio recording of the song is on his 1981 album, “Reach Up and Touch the Sky,” it has been a staple in his live setlist since at least 1978, as evidenced by the below video. Their August 31, 1978, concert at The Agora in Cleveland, Ohio, was delayed about three hours. Their lead guitarist at the time, Steven Van Zandt, was doing double-duty performing first with Springsteen and the E Street Band at another Ohio location, then hustling to Cleveland to play with the Jukes. Both Springsteen and Van Zandt joined with Johnny and the Jukes for “Havin’ a Party.” The video opens with a few bars of Curtis Mayfield’s “It’s All Right” and rolls into the party. (Sam Cooke’s original recording is here.)

 

Having a Party (Sam Cooke original lyrics)

We’re havin’ a party
Dancin’ to the music
Played by the DJ
On the radio
The Coke’s out in the icebox
Popcorn’s on the table
Me and my baby
We’re out here on the floor

So Mr, Mr. DJ
Keep those records playin’
‘Cause I’m a-havin’ such a good time
Dancin’ with my baby

Everybody’s swingin’
Sally’s doin’ the twist now
If you take requests I’ve
Got a few for you
Play that song called soul twist
Play that one called I know
Don’t forget the mashed potatoes
No other songs will do

Let me tell you Mr, Mr. DJ
Keep those records playin’
‘Cause I’m a-havin’ such a good time
Dancin’ with my baby

We’re havin’ a party, yeah
Everybody’s swingin’, oh yeah
Dancin’ to the music, yeah
On the radio

Oh, we’re havin’ a party
Everybody’s swingin’
Dancin’ to the music, yeah
On the radio

One more time
We’re havin’ a party, yeah
And everybody’s swingin’
Oh we’re dancin’ to the music, yeah
On the radioWriter/s: SAM COOKE
Publisher: Abkco Music, Inc.
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind