"Used Cars" as written by and Bruce Springsteen....
My little sister's in the front seat with an ice cream cone
My ma's in the back seat sitting all alone
As my pa steers her slow out of the lot
For a test drive down Michigan Avenue

Now my ma she fingers her wedding band
And watches the salesman stare at my old man's hands
He's telling us all about the break he'd give us, if he could but he just can't
Well if I could I swear I know just what I'd do

Now mister the day the lottery I win
I ain't ever gonna ride in no used car again

Now the neighbors come from near and far
As we pull up in our brand new used car
I wish he'd just hit the gas and let out a cry
And tell them all they can kiss our asses goodbye

My dad he sweats the same job from morning to morn
Me I walk home on the same dirty streets where I was born
Up the block I can hear my little sister in the front seat blowing that horn
The sounds echoing all down Michigan Avenue

Now mister the day my number comes in
I ain't ever gonna ride in no used car again


Lyrics submitted by sakebox

"Used Cars [Version]" as written by Bruce Springsteen

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

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Used Cars song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +4
    My OpinionYou guys are hilarious!

    The second verse doesn't happen in the car.

    They go for a test drive in a used car in the first verse. Bruce doesn't go because he hates what a used car means.

    In the second, they are probably sitting in the office or something, trying to get a deal on the car (or maybe a new one??), but they can't. The salesman eyes the dad's hands, sees that he's a working man and decides not to take a risk on him. More insult in Bruce's eyes.

    The neighbors coming out to check out the car is yet another humiliation. In the last two verses, we are back with Bruce, waiting for his parents to get back from the test drive.

    But the daughter is too young to notice all this. All she cares about is that it's a 'new' car! Honk! Honk!

    Brilliant.
    Blernsballon September 05, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPretty self-explanatory song. Reminds me of going to downtown Cincinnati with my dad when I was about 7, to pick up his "brand-new" used '64 Impala.

    But am I the only person to find the seating arrangement in this song a little wonky? If Ma is in the back seat all alone, Pa, little sis, the salesman, AND Bruce are all in the front seat!
    msgelteron May 13, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song reflects the shame one feels (usually at an age when you are self conscience about everything) about having to buy a used car. Once again Springsteen spins lyrical poetry in his words. The line about the the saleman looking at his old man's hands tells us volumes. That his dad is a laborer and the salesman knows he has him in a corner. The bitterness a teen feels at their parents for making him suffer this humiliation (A Used CAR, the horror). Great, great stuff from the BOSS.
    rmcd0494on March 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes! I can't take this song seriously because of that. My dad theorizes that the car is triangular with the apex at the back, leaving room only for Ma.
    RedDwarfon September 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think theres a chance the car could be a truck with a bench seat in the front and only Ma decided to sit in the back
    HajianDon November 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think theres a chance the car could be a truck with a bench seat in the front and only Ma decided to sit in the back
    HajianDon November 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think Bruce has ever written a better verse than:

    Now, the neighbors come from near and far
    As we pull up in our brandnew used car
    I wish he'd just hit the gas and let out
    a cry
    Tell `em all they can kiss our asses
    goodbye.

    Sums up the way a 9 or 10 year old kid feels in that situation perfectly. As for the question of where the 'narrator' is sitting - try the lyrics of 'My Hometown' for a clue...
    comeonthewellon April 30, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a very powerfull song and very heart warming. I can't think of meny songs that are wirtten from a childs point of vue.

    I also love how relaxing it is. The sort of songs that would put you to sleep after a long day,
    thrashgrunge4lifeon July 18, 2012   Link

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