Springsteen’s “Born to Run” Hits the Block

Fans of “The Boss” have a chance to bid on his handwritten lyrics at Sotheby’s this month.

By Angela M.h. Schuster 17/06/2018

Garden State rock and rollers often lament that Bruce Springsteen’s classic song “Born to Run” narrowly missed being named New Jersey’s state song. But the tide is turning, and a new offering just might make up for that bitter injustice.

Next week, fans of Bruce Springsteen will have a chance to bid on a bit of rock and roll history when The Boss’s lyrics to his 1975 breakout single“Born to Run” hits the block in an online auction at Sotheby’s.

Written entirely in Springsteen’s hand, the manuscript on offer is a working draft of the hit song, as the majority of the blue penned lines have neither been published nor recorded. The present manuscript does, however, include a nearly perfected rendering of the song’s chorus:

*“This town’ll rip the (out your) bones from your back /

it’s a suicide trap (rap) (it’s a trap to catch the young) your dead unless /

you get out (we got to) while your young so (come on! / with) take my hand

cause tramps / like us baby we were born to run.”*


A handwritten draft of Bruce Springsteen’s 1975 hit, “Born to Run” will be offered in an online auction at Sotheby’s June 18–28. Photo: Courtesy Sotheby’s

“The Springsteen smash became an essential American anthem, catapulting the New Jersey native from a local phenomenon to a national rock star,” says Richard Austin, senior vice president and head of the department of books and manuscripts at Sotheby’s. The then 26-year-old Springsteen, he says, spent six months writing and finalizing “Born to Run” in his home in Long Branch, New Jersey, following the release of his first two albums, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle—both of which received critical acclaim but only had modest commercial success.

Released by Columbia Records on August 13, 1975, “Born to Run” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.

The song, which clocks in at four-and-a-half minutes, says Austin, remains classic, having been ranked as the Grammy Award–winning singer’s greatest song by Rolling Stone magazine in 2013. Born to Run was also the title of the singer-songwriter’s 2016 autobiography.

The lyrics carry will be offered in an online auction of books and manuscripts, which runs June 18–28

ADVERTISE WITH US

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

5 Fitness Goal Mistakes – And The Best ‘Fixes’

Lachlan Rowston — co-founder of Sydney’s best, and most exclusive gym, Lockeroom – provides a realistic approach to achievement via beneficial goals.

By Lachlan Rowston

08/04/2022

‘Don’t Film Any Soldiers, They May Shoot Us’: Inside Ukraine’s Secret Battle To Save Its Art

Art critic Waldemar Januszczak reports on the country’s astonishing mission to stop the destruction of its artistic treasures.

By Waldemar Januszczak For The Times

22/04/2022

Forgotten Macallan Whisky Cask Could Break Auction Records

The owner purchased it over 30 years ago on a whim.

By Rachel Cormack

22/04/2022

A Jackson Pollock ‘Drip’ Painting Is Expected to Fetch $60 Million

‘Number 31’ (1949) will hit the block during an evening sale at Christie’s in New York on May 12.

By Angelica Villa

21/04/2022

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Art And Personal Mementos Head To Auction

The Potomack Company is selling items from the late Supreme Court justice’s DC apartment, including a Picasso engraving, a medal and more.

By Bryan Hood

19/04/2022

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected