*Author’s note: Click on the song title and artist’s name at the end of this post to listen to this song in its entirety and to visit a Web site dedicated to the singer.




Jungleland, the epic final song of the classic Born to Run album, is a song that conjures up what might have been if West Side Story had been written with a rock and roll score. Like most of Springsteen’s songs, Jungleland is filled with the emotionally tangible imagery of recurring Springsteen characters against a stifling, yet somehow romatic urban backdrop, who are struggling to survive or escape their place in life. Born to Run is one of the rare rock and roll albums you can and should listen to in its entirety from start to finish without skipping any tracks to appreciate its narrative genius. It is definitely not like many hit rock and roll albums which end up being a mixture of a few hopefully hit singles and several throw away tunes. Every song on Born to Run stands alone as an individual narrative, while at the same time forming a integral piece of this complete musical masterpiece.



The rangers had a homecoming in Harlem late last night
And the Magic Rat drove his sleek machine over the Jersey state line
Barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge
Drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain
The Rat pulls into town rolls up his pants
Together they take a stab at romance and disappear down Flamingo Lane

Well the Maximum Lawman run down Flamingo chasing the Rat and the barefoot girl
And the kids round here look just like shadows always quiet, holding hands
From the churches to the jails tonight all is silence in the world
As we take our stand down in Jungleland

The midnight gang’s assembled and picked a rendezvous for the night
They’ll meet ‘neath that giant Exxon sign that brings this fair city light
Man there’s an opera out on the Turnpike
There’s a ballet being fought out in the alley
Until the local cops, Cherry Tops, rips this holy night
The street’s alive as secret debts are paid
Contacts made, they vanished unseen
Kids flash guitars just like switch-blades hustling for the record machine
The hungry and the hunted explode into rock’n’roll bands
That face off against each other out in the street down in Jungleland

Bruce Springsteen, Jungleland

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