They're still racing out at the Trestles
But that blood it never burned in her veins
Now I hear she's got a house up in Fairview
And a style she's trying to maintain
Well if she wants to see me
You can tell her that I'm easily found
Tell her there's a spot out 'neath Abram's Bridge
And tell her there's a darkness on the edge of town

Everybody's got a secret Sonny
Something that they just can't face
Some folks spend their whole lives trying to keep it
They carry it with them every step that they take
Till some day they just cut it loose
Cut it loose or let it drag 'em down
Where no one asks any questions
Or looks too long in your face
In the darkness on the edge of town

Some folks are born into a good life
Other folks get it anyway anyhow
I lost my money and I lost my wife
Them things don't seem to matter much to me now
Tonight I'll be on that hill 'cause I can't stop
I'll be on that hill with everything I got
Lives on the line where dreams are found and lost
I'll be there on time and I'll pay the cost
For wanting things that can only be found
In the darkness on the edge of town


Lyrics submitted by oofus

Darkness on the Edge of Town song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentIts no coincidence that this song ended side two, just as Racing in the Street ended side one. This song is a continuation of Racing In the Street, just a little further on down the road.

    They're still racing out at the Trestles
    But that blood it never burned in her veins

    ***In Racing, same girl

    When I come home the house is dark
    She sighs "Baby did you make it all right"

    Now I hear she's got a house up in Fairview
    And a style she's trying to maintain

    ***She has since left him for the promise of a better life with a more established man.

    Well if she wants to see me
    You can tell her that I'm easily found
    Tell her there's a spot out 'neath Abram's Bridge
    And tell her there's a darkness on the edge of town

    *** I always took Abrams Bridge to be a spot where guys would meet up to duel in their race cars, as in "Brothers Under the Bridges 85"

    "'Neath the trestless drinkin' the beer and the wine
    Now some came on run, some just to pass the time
    With the brothers under the bridges"

    and

    "Well me and my brother'd hitched a ride in Joey's pickup to the edge of town
    And we watched from the tall grass as the challenges were made and the duels went down"

    Everybody's got a secret Sonny
    Something that they just can't face
    Some folks spend their whole lives trying to keep it
    They carry it with them every step that they take
    Till some day they just cut it loose
    Cut it loose or let it drag 'em down
    Where no one asks any questions
    Or looks too long in your face
    In the darkness on the edge of town


    In Racing, the singers partner was a guy named "Sonny", and here in the second verse, he is again speaking to Sonny. Notice that the name is capitalized in the official lyrics, as it would be for a proper name. I think that gets overlooked, it is a direct tie back to Racing. As to the secret, I think he is referring to issues everyone carries around with them. Whether it be insecurity, fear of rejection, failure, success, whatever. Bruce always writes from a personal perspective, and while the song may not necessarily be about him, his characters also have many of the same insecurities, and fears he does. This is no longer the romantic Born to Run phase, but Darkness is a record about the transition from young rebel stage into adulthood, and the struggles that go along with it. It is the realization that you can't just live Born to Run, there is a more permanent existence, and you will either rise above your issues or they will drag you down. The entire record is about that defiance to not just give up and be one of the faceless hordes going to work every day, and living a meaningless existence.

    Some folks are born into a good life
    Other folks get it anyway anyhow
    I lost my money and I lost my wife
    Them things don't seem to matter much to me now
    Tonight I'll be on that hill 'cause I can't stop
    I'll be on that hill with everything I got
    Lives on the line where dreams are found and lost
    I'll be there on time and I'll pay the cost
    For wanting things that can only be found
    In the darkness on the edge of town

    Again Bruce is writing about the things he has seen. Its not necessarily from a point of being bitter, it's just he grew up in a working class suburb of NJ, and has seen that for some people they are born into a good life, and some others may do whatever they have to to get it, lie cheat steal, or being pretty enough to get that life, whatever. The last few verses is that defiance showing through, like an old Black and white movie where the hero rises up against all odds, and does the impossible, with no apologies.It's meant as a moment of triumph, just as:

    I wanna find one face that ain't looking through me
    I wanna find one place, I wanna spit in the face of these.. Badlands

    or

    There's a dark cloud rising on the desert floor
    I've packed my bags and I'm headed straight through the storm
    It's gonna be a twister that'll blow everything down
    That ain't got the faith to stand its ground.

    It is a bold statement, a desperate cry against the life he so does not want to settle for.
    chrisg19on November 19, 2011   Link

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