Driving into Darlington county
Me and Wayne on the fouth of July
Driving into Darlington county
Looking for some work on the county line

/ G - - CG / G - C G / :

We drove down from New York City
Where the girls are pretty
But they just want to know your name
Driving in to Darlington City
Got a union connection with an uncle of Wayne's
We drove eight hundered miles without seeing a cop
We got rock and roll music blasting off the T-top

/ C - - FC C - FC G - - CG / G - C G / D - - - / / C - - - /

Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la la la la la
Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la la la la la

Hey little girl standing on the corner
Today's your lucky day for sure all right
Me and my buddy, we're from New York City
We got $200, we want to rock all night
Girl, you're looking at two big spenders
Why, the world don't know what me and Wayne might do
Our pa's each own one of the World Trade Centers
For a kiss and a smile I'll give mine all to you
Come on baby take a seat on my fender
It's a long night and tell me what else were you gonna do
Just me and you, we could


Little girl sitting in the window
Ain't seen my buddy in seven days
County man tells me the same thing
He don't work and he don't get paid
Little girl you're so young and pretty
Well, walk with me and yo can have your way
And we'll leave this Darlington City
For a ride down that Dixie Highway

Driving out of Darlington county
My eyes seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
Driving out of Darlington county
Seen Wayne handcuffed to the bumper of a state trooper's Ford

(Refrain as long as it takes)

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

Darlington County song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentGreat story of two buddies leaving home for work. One of their uncles hooked them up.

    The second verse is brilliant. These young naive cocky guys on the town with what they think is alot of money.

    But it doesn't go according to plan. One buddy let's the other one down. He gets arrested for unknown reasons as his mate drives out of Darlington County.

    springsteen: the greatest
    The Magic Raton November 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNot sure that the buddy is arrested for 'unknown reasons'. Given that they have been trying their luck with the 'little girl standing on the corner' and the 'little girl sitting in the window', by pointing out how much money they've got on them, I would suggest that he's been pulled up for soliciting.
    atroposon August 16, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOr, rather, the girls are soliciting. The guys are kerb-crawling.
    atroposon August 16, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA song about two friends from The CITY heading out looking for work. Probably about 18 or 19, an uncle has hooked them up with an out of town connection. But like most young men, girls are never far from their minds. They try all their charms and maybe a few white lies to see if they can hook up with these beauties. But being young and stupid (we were all that once), his buddy got arrested. I like to think it was for something reckless (fighting in a bar over the girl he met) rather than something more nefarious (sexual assault).
    rmcd0494on August 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is one of Bruce's great pop songs more palatable for the casual fan. However, those are some of Bruce's most important recordings in my opinion, since it always reassures me that he never took himself and his work TOO seriously. Anyway, two aspects of this song stick out to me. One is the chorus: sha la la, sha la la la la la. That says it all in ways words never could. They're two young guys all horned up and looking to impress girls while they explore new hot spots. I think "sha la la..." is poetically powerful here, for the reckless abandon, youthful cheer, and good time rock n roll it embodies. Secondly, and while being a minor point of opinion, it is nonetheless necessary for me to say that I think "C'mon baby, take a seat on the fender, its a long night and tell me what else are you gonna do?" is a line that summarizes a great deal of Bruce's songwriting. Besides, his raising voice sounds awesome on that line, plain and simple.
    differentstrokes5on April 05, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think there's more going on in this song.

    They went to find work "on the county line." As in, on the edge. And they live on the edge, picking up hookers, lying to them (their fathers own the World Trade Center). And Wayne never shows up for work.

    The song ends with the narrator heading into Dixie (it's not real life geography, but the implication is that they were just on the edge of Dixie), seeing Wayne arrested as he leaves.

    Is this a song of happiness for being the one to escape? Maybe, but the line about "My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord" is ambiguous and suggests at a dark irony. He's pledged to let the hooker have her way, and he is leaving his buddy? cousin? behind. In that light, going to Dixie and praising the Lord sounds like commentary on that part of the population.
    Finneganson July 11, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBecause I-95 runs the entire east coast from Florida to Maine, it's used as a drug run to bring drugs up north from Florida with several pick up spots along the way. Darlington County is one of those spots. The cops have always been on to this, so Wayne's Uncle sends the boys down to make the pick up so he doesn't get busted himself. I had 'a friend' that has made a couple runs like this back in the day.

    The narrator, Bruce, is just a naive, young kid along for the ride, easy money and a good time and maybe doesn't know what exactly Wayne and his uncle are up to.

    The boys are all cashed up, get into town, see a prostitute and are out for a good time. Who knows what them crazy fools will get up to with (what they think is) so much money. This is the problem with sending boys to do this kind of job. Like all boys with cash and too much testosterone they stand out like dogs balls and gather attention.

    What could go wrong? Wayne is the lead but things didn't go as planned or he dumps Bruce to do his deal and make the real money and hangs out with his connection a lot longer than expected. Perhaps it doesn't go quite right and disappears.

    Naive Bruce asks around where his buddy is. Asking the girl at the Police station (in the window) and the County Man but they don't know. Don't get the County man 'he don't work and he don't get paid' thing. Perhaps he doesn't care because they aren't residents or taxpayers of Darlington County.

    Bruce decides to head home with a young pretty thing and drives by Wayne being arrested. It all clicks and Bruce decides to get the hell out of there and head south just in case Wayne decides to narc on Bruce as an accomplice.

    Boys, drugs and money.
    greg106091on October 10, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is one of the happiest songs of all time. it's about adventure, those days where you and your buddy just hit the road looking for something, anything to do. sure wayne gets arrested, but as LCD soundsystem says, "I wouldn't trade one stupid decision for another five years of life"
    niyou77on May 01, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of my favorites from the Born in the USA album. It's one of those shaggy dog stories, a little bit funny and little bit ominous, that Bruce is so brilliant at writing. The friends are 'two big spenders' in from NYC, looking for a good time, bragging & telling tall tales. We last see Bruce driving by seeing his buddy Wayne handcuffed to a State Trooper's Ford. Others have speculated on what might have happened. The wit of the song revolves around that speculation as it's never made explicit.
    ddirkson June 08, 2019   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThere are some very interesting interpretations in this thread, HOWEVER they are all incorrect.

    This song is about a brief psychotic break episode of the DC Comic character Batman, AKA "The Dark Night." After years of the stresses of living the double-life of a wealthy playboy philanthropist by day and crime-fighting vigilante at night, Bruce Wayne's psyche breaks down and he goes into a fugue state and leaves Gotham; either to quit crimefighting altogether or either just for a short vacation.

    It is so obvious from the very first line that this is indeed the setting of the song ... "Driving into Darlington County, me (ie, the singer -- BRUCE) and WAYNE on the 4th of July (symbolizing freedom/independence).

    Later in the same verse: "We drove down from New York City (aka GOTHAM), where the girls are pretty but they just want to know your name." Everybody was always trying to figure out who Batman "really" was.

    The "union connection with an uncle of Wayne's" refers to either Philip Wayne (a paternal uncle, from Batman #208, or Philip Kane, a maternal uncle introduced in the New 52 Batman series. In both arcs, the uncle takes care of the management of Wayne Industries while Bruce is away.

    "We drove 800 miles without seeing a cop ..." Bruce Wayne is noting the lack of law enforcement presence, reminding him of the need for his vigilantism.

    The "sha-la-la, la-la-la-la-LA-lah" refrain is a lighthearted homage to the "na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na BATMAN" from the opening and closing credits of the 1960s Batman TV series.

    The entire second verse is about how Bruce, though originally intending to be low-key while he was AWOL in Darlington County, still had access to his vast fortune; which he is tempted to use in connection with seduction of the girl that he meets.

    Bruce continues living this life as an anonymous man in a rural county for a week (the lyrics say that he "hasn't seen [his] buddy (Batman) in 7 days."

    "County man" could be Commissioner Gordon, who keeps telling Bruce that "he" (Batman) isn't working (but then he is not getting paid, either).

    Finally, after a week away, recognizing the nihilistic futility of the human condition, and having adopted this third personality, he proposes that a young lady (perhaps the same one from the second verse?) accompany him on a road trip to the southern United States.

    It is never tacitly expressed whether she did accompany him or not; but in either case by the time Bruce leaves Darlington County to the south, he has an epiphany that he has shed BOTH his Batman identity, as well as that of the heir to the Wayne family fortune -- having "seen" Wayne "handcuffed to the bumper of a state trooper's Ford."

    Bruce is now free to start his new life. That is the actual meaning of the song.
    Nice guesses though!
    BrockOlssonon November 11, 2020   Link

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