cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night (was bruce springsteen ever blinded by the light? – part 2)

Es­ti­mated reading time is 4 min­utes.

HERE ARE THE LYRICS to Bruce Spring­steen’s orig­inal recording of Blinded By The Light as best that I can de­ci­pher them. I used a couple of lyrics sites and then lis­tened to the recording re­peat­edly (and yes it’s “deuce” not “douche”) each time com­paring the words I had typed with the words that I was hearing.

This is part 2 in a se­ries of es­says on Spring­steen’s first com­mer­cially is­sued single, Blinded By The Light / The Angel, from 1973.

It was cer­tainly am­bi­tious an am­bi­tious ef­fort. It was also pretentious—as if he didn’t get what dos Passos Ker­ouac Gins­berg even Dylan were after and just damned the tor­pedos and went full speed ahead after some­thing any­thing every­thing in sight and mind with nary a care in the world about struc­ture grammar meaning and ex­ces­sive in-jokes as if he were blinded by the light of suc­cess or least its pos­si­bil­i­ties and even prob­a­bil­i­ties plus it was more a failure than a suc­cess and there were too many damn words!

The punc­tu­a­tion and cap­i­tal­iza­tion in the lyrics below are mine. I have as­signed the verses (V) and cho­ruses © num­bers, such as V1, V2, C1, etc. This is for the sake of a com­par­ison which will take place in the second part of this essay.



Madman drum­mers, bum­mers, and Indians
in the summer with a teenage diplomat.
In the dumps with the mumps
as the ado­les­cent pumps his way into his hat.
With a boulder on my shoulder, feeling kinda older,
I tripped the merry-go-round.
With this very un­pleasing sneezing and wheezing,
the cal­liope crashed to the ground.


Some all-hot half-shot was heading for a hot-spot
snap­ping his fin­gers, clap­ping his hands.
And some fleshpot mascot was tied into a lover’s knot
with a whatnot in her hand.


And now young Scott with a sling­shot fi­nally found a tender spot
and throws his lover in the sand.
And some blood­shot forget-me-not whispers,
“Dad­dy’s within earshot, save the buck­shot, turn up the band.”


And she was blinded by the light, cut loose like a deuce,
an­other runner in the night
Blinded by the light, she got down but she never got tight,
but she’ll make it alright.


Some brim­stone, bari­tone, anti-cyclone,
rolling stone preacher from the east.
He says, “De­throne the dictaphone,
hit it in its funny-bone, that’s where they ex­pect it least.”
And some new-mown chap­erone standing in the corner
all alone watching the young girls dance.
And some fresh-sown moon­stone was messing
with his frozen zone to re­mind him of the feeling of romance.


And he was blinded by the light, cut loose like a deuce,
an­other runner in the night.
Blinded by the light.
He got down but he never got tight,
but he’s gonna make it tonight.


Some sil­i­cone sister with her man­ager, mister,
told me I got what it takes.
She said, “I’ll turn you on, sonny, to some­thing strong
if you play that song with the funky break.”
And Go-cart Mozart was checking out the weather chart
to see if it was safe to go outside.
And little Early Pearly came in by her curly-wurly
and asked me if I needed a ride.


Some hazard from Har­vard was skunked on beer
playing back­yard bombardier.
Yes, and Scot­land Yard was trying hard,
they sent some dude with a calling card,
he said, “Do what you like, but don’t do it here.”
Well, I jumped up, turned around, spit in the air,
fell on the ground, asked him which was the way back home.
He said, “Take a right at the light, keep going straight
until night and then, boy, you’re on your own.”


And now in Zanz­ibar a shooting star
was riding in a side-car hum­ming a lunar tune.
Yes and the Avatar said, “Blow the bar but first re­move the cookie jar,
we’re gonna teach those boys to laugh too soon.”
And some kid­napped hand­icap was complaining
that he caught the clap from some mouse­trap he bought last night.
Well, I un­snapped his skull-cap and be­tween his ears
I saw a gap but fig­ured he’d be all right.


He was just blinded by the light, cut loose like a deuce,
an­other runner in the night.
Blinded by the light.
Mama al­ways told me not to look into the sights of the sun,
but mama that’s where the fun is.

Pentecostal enthusiasm or total disdain

Re­turning to Mr. Metcalf’s ar­ticle in part 1 of this essay, he fin­ishes up the para­graph above where I left off by stating, “And so we’ve reached a strange junc­ture. About America’s last rock star, it’s ei­ther Pen­te­costal en­thu­siasm or total disdain.”

The second half of “I Still Love Bruce Spring­steen” serves as a pos­i­tive re­view of Springsteen’s then-new album, DEVILS & DUST. Met­calf ends his opinion piece by af­fec­tion­ately telling the artist, “You old bull­shitter, you got me again.”



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