One soft infested summer me and Terry became friends
Trying in vain to breathe the fire we was born in
Catching rides to the outskirts tying faith between our teeth
Sleeping in that old abandoned beach house getting wasted in the heat
And hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
With a love so hard and filled with defeat
Running for our lives at night on them backstreets

Slow dancing in the dark on the beach at Stockton's Wing
Where desperate lovers park we sat with the last of the Duke Street Kings
Huddled in our cars waiting for the bells that ring
In the deep heart of the night to set us loose from everything
to go running on the backstreets, running on the backstreets
We swore we'd live forever on the backstreets we take it together

Endless juke joints and Valentino drag where dancers scraped the tears
Up off the street dressed down in rags running into the darkness
Some hurt bad some really dying at night sometimes it seemed
You could hear the whole damn city crying blame it on the lies that killed us
Blame it on the truth that ran us down you can blame it all on me Terry
It don't matter to me now when the breakdown hit at midnight
There was nothing left to say but I hated him and I hated you when you went away

Laying here in the dark you're like an angel on my chest
Just another tramp of hearts crying tears of faithlessness
Remember all the movies, Terry, we'd go see
Trying to learn how to walk like heroes we thought we had to be
And after all this time to find we're just like all the rest
Stranded in the park and forced to confess
To hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
We swore forever friends on the backstreets until the end
Hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets

Lyrics submitted by Bobo192

Backstreets song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentCheekyBoy099, that's my favorite part of the song too. I'm a little young for Springsteen -- I didn't really discover him until high school in the late 90's -- but he's definitely my favorite musical artist of all time. "Backstreets" is one of my fave songs, and the way his voice cracks in the bridge is an incredibly emotional, painful moment. I've always assumed Terry was a boy, the narrator's best friend, and the pain isn't so much losing the girl but losing the girl and the best friend. As a teeanger, your friends are often your family (cause parents just don't understand!), and there's no greater betrayal than losing your girl to your best friend.

    The first verse or so describes an idealic summer where the narrator has his best friend and his best girl and gets into all kinds of innocent teenage trouble, before moving into the darker elements of young love, through descriptions of the seedier side of town and the ultimate betrayal. Then, he moves back to those blissful days when things were simple and easy and hurt wasn't something he understood firsthand.

    I don't normally have trouble interpreting Springsteen songs, but "Backstreets" has always been tricky for me. The way the narrator flits between characters, Terry and the unnamed girl (at least, that's who I think it is), makes the song so hard to understand. For me, the most logical interpretation was a betrayal so painful that the narrator forever confuses the two, which is why it's all the more painful -- because he can never have a relationship again with either party without being reminded of the mistake they made when they were young.
    Frost82on October 13, 2007   Link

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