"Racing in the Street" as written by and Bruce Springsteen....
I got a sixty-nine Chevy with a three-ninety-six
Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor
She's waiting tonight down in the parking lot
Outside the Seven-Eleven store
Me and my partner Sonny built her straight out of scratch
And he rides with me from town to town
We only run for the money, got no strings attached
We shut 'em up and then we shut 'em down

Tonight, tonight the strip's just right
I want to blow 'em off in my first heat
Summer's here and the time is right
For racin' in the street

We take all the action we can meet
And we cover all the northeast state
When the strip shuts down we run 'em in the street
From the fire roads to the interstate
Some guys they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up
And go racin' in the street

Tonight, tonight the strip's just right
I want to blow 'em all out of their seats
Calling out around the world, we're going racin' in the street

I met her on the strip three years ago
In a Camaro with this dude from L.A.
I blew that Camaro off my back
And drove that little girl away
But now there's wrinkles around my baby's eyes
And she cries herself to sleep at night
When I come home the house is dark
She sighs, "baby did you make it all right"
She sits on the porch of her daddy's house
But all her pretty dreams are torn
She stares off alone into the night
With the eyes of one who hates for just being born
For all the shut down strangers and hot rod angels
Rumbling through this promised land
Tonight my baby and me, we're gonna ride to the sea
And wash these sins off our hands

Tonight, tonight the highway's bright
Out of our way, mister, you best keep
'Cause summer's here and the time is right
For racin' in the street


Lyrics submitted by oofus

"Racing in the Street" as written by Bruce Springsteen

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

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Racing in the Street song meanings
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  • +5
    General Commentthis song is about how going to a job that you hate, affects your life. The imagery in this song is unreal. Especially when he talks about his girlfriend. He comes home and his girlfriend is essentially dying inside. She's crying. The house is dark.

    Its almost like these two have given up on life. For Bruce the only salvation is racing in the street. Work is hell, and then the only saving grace is him washing up and racing.

    This song describes something that is familiar to Bruce, as many songs in his catalogue deal with it. People who are desperate to change, to leave, to get out. The feeling you are going to die if you dont.
    radiohead33on June 15, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMagic Rat definitely got the point (I bet, with thatnickname!:))

    "Now some guys they just give up living
    and start dying little by little, piece by piece
    Some guys come home from work and wash up
    And go racing in the street"

    I think the meaning lies in these lines: you try to live your life following just your own soul (but it often ends bed, such as in Something in the night).

    I saw Bruce live in Milan on 06/25, and during a 9 minutes version of RITS I had tears in my eyes.
    jack83on July 08, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is a Metaphor for people who find a passion in there lives and make something of themselves. He seems to be speaking about how some people seem to just exist but not 'live', as if dying little by little. The whole 'some guys come home' part I think is speaking of how some people found a passion and know that dreams are what make life tolerable. And they chase them dreams..

    I love this song and saw it in Milwaukee at the Harley Fest.. He played for 10 minutes and it was the most beautiful and haunting 10 minutes of my young adult life(I'm 20).

    Bravo Bruce, a true inspiration.
    bearfan34on September 14, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIts a man with an all consuming passion for racing, to the detriment of his relationship with his girlfriend/wife.
    Worry and fear has consumed her. She stays faithful to him even though it causes her to hate her life.

    At long last he sees what he is doing, and resolves to leave it all behind. His girl and himself are off to start again, build a new life, and hopefully one with no temptations from fellow drivers. Temptations that might drag them both down.

    A song of how narrow focused passion can destroy the ones you love, but how a realisation of this can bring redemption and a new life.

    A recurring Bruce theme....
    setanta1on December 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt seems like this great tune has the classic Springsteen themes of the albums of the late 70's to early 80's. Despair and what one feels in terms of emotional pain.
    This guy races in the street, he meets the girl but soon both their lives are shit. Although it seems as though his life was shit before he meets her, seems like he uses racing in the street as a getaway from a bad job, life, etc. Near the end it seems as though he realizes the state his life is in, as he comes home to a girlfriend who cries herself to sleep, a dark house, a strained relationship. They go and "Wash these sins off of our hands" however at the end he says the highway's bright, and Summer's here and its time to go racing in the street. This shows common character confusion we see in other songs like Hungry Heart and Stolen Car.
    ryfall101on August 10, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think if the lyrics are wrong as in my other post and it is talking about "me and my partners son, we built her straight out of scratch", then the "little girl" he drove that little girl away" from her old boyfriend at a time that she was excited by drag racing. So it's not Sonny that that's the girlfriend cos the next line says "he". So he does racing to get away from the everyday boredom of his life. She used to enjoy it but she just sit around being miserable on her own now, while her son from the previous partner goes out with her partner drag racing. That's why she asks if he is alright. Why would the car need the sins washed of its "hands". It must not be the car and cars don't get wrinkles. The song is more about how couples go through periods of not relating to each other anymore when the once common bonds and activities that drew them together are not enjoyed together. She once thrived on being at the drags and perhaps this was shallow to go out with guys with the best cars etc. So she had no true basis for her own identity to feel young and vibrant again, especially with her meaningless relationship, evident when she took off from the Camaro guy just cos another guy had a faster car. So he is trying to excite the woman again by involving her in what they both enjoy doing to escape their crappy daily lives. Originally I thought they committed suicide together by driving into the sea, but now I think it makes more sense that he is rescuing his girlfriend from despair and rekindling her interest in racing and driving with him. It is summer after all, so the reference to "sins" could mean they want to wash away all the things they have done wrong to each other in the relationship, like neglect each other and therefore find happiness again. I don't see it as an obsession, but a lifestyle. She was lonely on her own, that's why she was at her dad's house. He is rescuing her from "giving up living". It basically depicts everyday life as being shit. Which I agree.
    aussiemusicruleson March 24, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think its about venting all the frustration from your job and life in general.....instead of letting it build up and consume you
    dasquien!on September 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat a brilliant tale.
    About doing what you love and how it affects those close to you.
    It's all in the details - "I got a sixty-nine Chevy with a 396, Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor
    She's waiting tonight down in the parking lot
    Outside the Seven-Eleven store"
    Just brilliantly sad track.
    Check out it's unofficial sequel "Darkness on the Edge of Town"

    springsteen: the greatest
    The Magic Raton October 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt has to do with down and dirty Drag racing on the street ,while other people go home and watch the boob tube, others go out for the thrill and adreniline rush of street racing! Great song i will add..
    joe simion June 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere's an interesting point to be made here that might spark some thought or discussion:

    The song contains the lyrics "Summer's here and the time is right," a set of lyrics contained by three different songs, and possibly referential (at least on the Boss' part) to the previous two songs: Dancing in the Streets, and the Stones' Fighting Man.

    Just thought that beared mentioning.

    I'd say that Joe's comment is somehow missing the point. Clearly, the song writer's point of view is from that of someone who feels that this is his true love and his life, and what he wants to do, until he meets "that little girl" in "a Camaro with this dude from LA." He comes to see the effect it has on her and finally decides what he must do: "Tonight we're gonna ride to the sea and wash these sins from our hands."

    As noted by the Magic Rat, it's very plausible that Darkness is also a continuation of this person's life, and how he returns to something that has always called to him. Of course, it's a very sad ending, but with a somewhat triumphant "last stand" to it.

    "Tonight I'll be on that hill,
    Cause I can't stop,
    I'll be on that hill,
    with everything that I've got.
    Lives on the line,
    where dreams are found and lost,
    I'll be there on time and I'll pay the cost,
    for wanting things that can only be found,
    in the darkness on the edge of town."
    ncc74656mon April 06, 2007   Link

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