I slipped on her shoe, she was a perfect size seven
I said "there's no smokin' in the store ma'am"
She crossed her legs and then
We made some small talk, that's where it should have stopped
She slipped me a number, I put it in my pocket
My hand slipped up her skirt, everything slipped my mind
In that little roadhouse On highway 29

It was a small town bank, it was a mess
Well I had a gun, you know the rest
Money on the floorboards, shirt was covered in blood
And she was cryin', her and me we headed south
On highway 29

In a little desert motel, the air it was hot and clean
l slept the sleep of the dead, I didn't dream
I woke in the morning washed my face in the sink
We headed into the Sierra Madres 'cross the borderline
The winter sun, shot through the black trees
I told myself it was all something in her
But as we drove I knew it was something in me
Something had been comin' for a long long time
And something that was here with me now
On highway 29

The road was filled with broken glass and gasoline
She wasn't sayin' nothin'', it was just a dream
The wind come silent through the windshield
All I could see was snow and sky and pines
I closed my eyes and I was runnin',
I was runnin' then I was flyin'



Lyrics submitted by oofus

Highway 29 song meanings
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    General CommentAnother great example of Bruce's ability to write film noir in the context of a 3 minute song; most novelists and script writers would sell their soul for Springsteen's innate storytelling skills,

    Love how the first stanza uses four instances of the word "slip." It's a smart way to show the character's rational decision making process slowly "slipping" away. But he doesn't overdo it. For example, when she gives him her number he doesn't slip it in his pocket, he "puts" it there. As usual, Bruce knows when enough is enough.

    I take the song at face value. The girl is real, so is the bank robbery. After getting away he sleeps without dreaming, wakes up and they head for Mexico.

    But like another reader suggested, a roadblock forces him into the ditch. She's messed up; not dead, but in shock. He's in bad shape too; drifting in and and out of consciousness. That explains his feeling at the end that he starts running and ends up flying. Maybe he really did run? Just as likely he was lying in the road only dreaming that he was on his feet.

    I like how this song follows Straight Time on the album. In Straight Time the guy has "a cold mind to go tripping across that thin line." In Hwy 29 he actually does it. They have fun for a while, but ultimately his choices catch up with him.
    Kedzieon December 23, 2015   Link

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