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
    My InterpretationI can see the ambiguity in this song, but I don't believe it was initially written about a male friendship. Bruce may use a bit of revisionist history today when discussing the song, but even he has said his songs take on new and different meanings as they age. The reasons I think the song is about a relationship with a woman is because while it may be questionable in the finished version we have here, the genesis of the song was clearly about a relationship with a woman.

    During the early days of the Born to Run sessions, Bruce was singing a longer more drawn out version of Shes the One, which contained the early seeds of what would become Backstreets. Bruce was streamlining his wordiness during this period, and you can see the streamlining that took place from his earlier records to Born to Run, and progressed even further into Darkness.

    Obviously Shes the One is about a girl, I think we can all agree upon that, so...

    From Early versions of Shes the One:

    Most of all I hated that town and what they did,
    I hated the way they made us live,
    I hated him and his fancy ways,
    and I hated you when you went away

    And of course Backstreets:

    There was nothing left to say but I hated him
    and I hated you when you went away


    From Backstreets:

    Laying here in the dark you're like an angel on my chest
    Just another tramp of hearts crying tears of faithlessness

    (By the way, just how does this imagery project to a platonic male friendship?)

    Similar imagery from Shes the One:

    Now you're back and you're huddled in a corner
    Where you hated me baby just like a child.


    From Shes the One:

    Remember all those movies, baby,
    all those movies that we'd go see
    Trying to learn how to walk tough, talk rough
    Just like those heroes we thought we had to be.

    And of Course Backstreets:

    Remember all the movies, Terry, we'd go see
    Trying to learn how to walk like heroes we thought we had to be


    Furthermore when he would play Backstreets in concert in 78, he would slow it down and go into a free word version of Sad Eyes, which would later become Drive All Night released on the River album. Sad Eyes, like Drive All Night, was clearly about a woman, and her coming back into his life much like the last verse of Backstreets. Now of course you can say that Sad Eyes was just a new song idea he was trying out, but then why stick it in the middle of a song about male friendship?
    chrisg19on January 27, 2012   Link

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