"Atlantic City" as written by and Bap/mc Quade Kennedy....
Well they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night
Now they blew up his house too
Down on the boardwalk they're gettin' ready
For a fight gonna see what them racket boys can do

Now there's trouble busin' in from outta state
And the D.A. can't get no relief
Gonna be a rumble out on the promenade and
The gamblin' commission's hangin' on by the skin of its teeth

Well now everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City

Well I got a job and tried to put my money away
But I got debts that no honest man could pay
So I drew what I had from the Central Trust
And I bought us two tickets on that Coast City bus

Now baby everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your makeup on fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City

Now our luck may have died and out love may be cold
But with you forever I'll stay
We're goin' out where the sand's turnin' to gold
Put on your stockin's 'cause the night's getting' cold
And maybe everything dies that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back

Now I been lookin' for a job but it's hard to find
Down here it's just winners and losers
And don't get caught on the wrong side of that line
Well I'm tired of comin' out on this losin' end
So honey last night I met this guy
And I'm gonna do a little favor for him

Well I guess everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Fix your hair up nice, fix yourself up pretty
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City


Lyrics submitted by oofus, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Atlantic City" as written by Bruce Springsteen

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing

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Atlantic City song meanings
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  • +3
    General Commentalmost everyone is missing the point of this song.

    the story behind it is that the narrator is in trouble, weather it be debt or something else. he wants to get away and start over. when he says "i met a guy and did a favor for him", it means a hit, possibly the "chicken man'' who is a mob boss. "everything dies thats a fact, but maybe everything that dies someday comes back" means that people might come after him to get revenge for the hit of their boss. "...meet me in atlantic city" and "two tickets on that coast city bus" means that he has a way to get away and he wants his significant other to be able to come with him so they can start over.
    blondxgurlyon April 23, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentEveryone keeps nibbling at the edges and getting parts of it. I believe, this is the definitive explanation of the meaning of this song.

    Backdrop:
    At the time this song was written Atlantic City, after decades of decay, was in the beginning stages of a re-birth due to the legalization of Casino Gambling (first Casino opened in 1978). All who opposed and even some who were in favor of Atlantic City gambling saw it as the "easy way out" or "any port in a storm" to the economic woes of Atlantic City.

    The person in the song serves at a personal symbolic embodiment of this "choice" Atlantic City made. For example, The song talks about the fact that despite saving money he could not keep up with his debts. This is symbolic of Atlantic City as a whole and its financial condition prior to the Casinos.

    In the end, instead of making the harder choices the main character takes the "path of least resistance" and does a "favor" for the mob. This is allegorical with Atlantic City did.

    The song of one of Springsteen in his highest form because of these two layers woven so organically. From the standpoint of literature, I see this song a poetic masterpiece for this reason. The more personal and detailed he is about the main character, the more he says about the allegory. So the more he draws you into this man, personally, the more you can more viscerally understand the real realities facing Atlantic City itself.

    Today Atlantic City is richer and has "come back" but the question is whether it was worth it. The song does not answer this question. It simply paints the picture of what was happening.

    Ultimately, the song is BOTH about the man and the choices we face but also a real quality commentary on a big Jersery of that day. One should not detract from the other, but only add to the understanding of each.
    Albacheeseron May 21, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think its worth mentioning that the ''chincken man'' was the nickname for a mafia boss in philadelphia named Philip Testa, he was killed in 1981...
    Anyway, meaning aside this is a really great song, i think the boss really outdid himself with this.
    CityRolleron August 01, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI have always seen this song differently. This song is not about getting out of Atlantic City; it's about getting to Atlantic City in hopes of a new beginning ("Goin' out where the sands turnin' to gold"). The protagonist is a guy from a small, working class town somewhere in Jersey/Pennsylvania/New York. He might owe some money ("Debts that no honest man can pay") so he's running away from that because of the promise of making it in AC. The beginning of the song is a backdrop with the hit of the Philly mob boss Salvatore Testa who had strong ties in AC. Then with the D.A. and the gambling commision. All this is setting a tone.

    The main story is about a guy, as described before, trying to get him and his girlfriend/wife a new, better life. Their relationship isnt good anymore and they are on the brink of poverty but he's going to try and make it work. ("Well our luck may have died and our love may be cold, but with you forever I'll stay.") The lines "Everything dies baby thats a fact, well maybe everything that dies some day comes back" is metaphorical for their life and their love. Atlantic City is suppose to be the promised land. He gets there and gets on the wrong side of the law, probably getting involved in the mob. The hope for a better life is then dead.
    anthony29on January 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe live in NY version is even better
    Lucky Loseron April 25, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about how his love and luck are all dying, but he has hope that "everything that dies someday comes back"

    Beautiful song. Bruce seriously owns.
    DubC4Lifeon October 30, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is why they call him The Boss.
    pakaloloon January 30, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentRetards please, this song is crap you guys dont get it , Bruce is a junky !
    amauryvdson September 23, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis son is UNNNNREALLLLLL
    DaveGod2288on May 01, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentamazing.
    lauren539on June 16, 2002   Link

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