Spanish Johnny drove in from the underworld last night
With bruised arms and broken rhythm and a beat-up old Buick but dressed just like dynamite
He tried sellin' his heart to the hard girls over on easy Street
But they said, Johnny, it falls apart so easy, and you know hearts these days are cheap
And the pimps swung their axes and said, Johnny, you're a cheater
And the pimps swung their axes and said, Johnny, you're a liar
And from out of the shadows came a young girl's voice
Said, Johnny, don't cry
Puerto Rican Jane, oh, won't you tell me, what's your name?
I want to drive you down to the other side of town
Where paradise ain't so crowded and there'll be action goin' down on Shanty Lane tonight
All the golden-heeled fairies in a real bitch-fight
Pull thirty-eight's and kiss their girls goodnight

Oh, goodnight, it's alright, Jane
Now let them black boys in to light the soul flame
We may find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may walk until the daylight, maybe

Well, like a cool Romeo he made his moves, oh, she looked so fine
Like a late Juliet, she knew she'd never be true but then, she really didn't mind
Upstairs a band was playin' and the singer was singin' something about going home
She whispered, Spanish Johnny, you can leave me tonight, but just don't leave me alone
And Johnny cried, Puerto Rican Jane, word is down, the cops have found the vein
Oh, them barefoot boys left their homes for the woods
Them little barefoot street boys, they said their homes ain't no good
They left the corners, threw away all of their switchblade knives
And kissed each other goodbye

Johnny was sittin' on the fire escape, watchin' the kids playin' down the street
He called down, hey little heroes, summer's long, but I guess it ain't very sweet around here anymore
Janey sleeps in sheets damp with sweat
Johnny sits up alone and watches her dream on, dream on
And the sister prays for lost souls, then breaks down in the chapel after everyone's gone

Jane moves over to share her pillow but opens her eyes to see Johnny up and putting his clothes on
She says, those romantic young boys (those romantic young boys), all they ever want to do is fight
Those romantic young boys (those romantic young boys), they're callin' through the window
Hey, Spanish Johnny, you want to make a little easy money tonight?

And Johnny whispered, goodnight, it's all tight, Jane
I'll meet you tomorrow night on lover's lane
We may find it out on the street tonight, now, baby
Or we may walk until the daylight, maybe
Oh, goodnight, it's alright, Jane
I'm gonna meet you tomorrow night on lover's lane
Oh, we can find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may walk until the daylight, maybe

Ah, goodnight, it's alright, Jane
I'll meet you tomorrow night on lover's lane
Oh, we may find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may have to walk until the daylight, maybe (goodnight it's alright, Jane)

(Goodnight, it's alright, Jane)
(Goodnight, it's alright, Jane)
(Goodnight, it's alright, Jane)


Lyrics submitted by oofus

"Incident on 57th Street" as written by

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing LLC

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Incident On 57th Street song meanings
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16 Comments

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  • +3
    General Commentbasically this is a story about a spannish guy... who promises the girls (prostitutes) everything to make them fall for him... and then leaves them... while he's promising the world in the background his past loves are calling him a liar... the girls are desperate for love and to have johnny take them out of the world they live in... but johnny is no savior... and he does what he always does and by the end of the song he leaves "Jane" like the others promised he would... the call of the street is too much for johnny to resist... meanwhile he is making the same promises he can't keep... such a song of desperation... beautiful and powerful
    adrock1011on October 16, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHow is there one damn comment on this song? Christ, I love this song more than air. That's not actually true, but it is a hell of a song. Where are your hearts, people?
    sexmaniacon February 16, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'm shocked that there are only 13 comments, since this is not just one of Bruce's best songs, but perhaps one of the top 5 songs recorded in the past 50+ years, maybe ever! Many would probably disagree, but just consider the narrative, plot, and mental pictures this song evokes. Not to mention beautiful piano arrangements and an almost haunting vocal performance. This is the real deal. Somehow, I find it fitting that Bruce wrote what I think is unequivocally his best song at 23 or 24 years old, before he became the legendary Boss of rock n roll. This is one of those rarest of rare musical gems that can change your life in a listen. Check out youtube for a variety of live versions, each of which is somehow more awesome than the next, no matter what order you play them.
    differentstrokes5on April 05, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBeautiful! It's like a movie...all these things happening. I love the ending when everything is stripped bare and he just screams it...and the last lines...!
    veloceon March 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAll I know is that the best line in this song is "I want to drive you down to the other side of town where paradise ain't so crowded"............LOVE IT!!!!!!!!
    coldfoldson July 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of my favorite songs, too bad it is not on "The River" (my favorite album
    benlevine68on January 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit is like a movie.......i love it.........bruce is incomparable
    dasquien!on July 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow - How can a piano & vocal be so, so wow
    nagromnaion February 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song reminds me so much of a west side story, not that hard to understand but such a great epic tale from early in bruces career, that whole album is fantastic. this song is a great story about a forbidden love that was never meant to be, just to young kids caught up in the fiery passions of young love in the city
    fallenchief123on July 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti also wanted to add something that i found pretty cool, when bruce says:Upstairs a band was playin', the singer was singin' something about goin' home
    he was referring to the song i don't wanna go home by southside johnny and the asbury jukes, of whom bruce was a good friend.
    Also for anyone who likes this song there is an amazing version from main point '75 on youtube, great concert by the way
    fallenchief123on July 02, 2008   Link

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