Spanish Johnny drove in from the underworld last night
With bruised arms and broken rhythm and a beat-up old Buick but dressed just like dynamite
He tried sellin' his heart to the hard girls over on easy Street
But they said, Johnny, it falls apart so easy, and you know hearts these days are cheap
And the pimps swung their axes and said, Johnny, you're a cheater
And the pimps swung their axes and said, Johnny, you're a liar
And from out of the shadows came a young girl's voice
Said, Johnny, don't cry
Puerto Rican Jane, oh, won't you tell me, what's your name?
I want to drive you down to the other side of town
Where paradise ain't so crowded and there'll be action goin' down on Shanty Lane tonight
All the golden-heeled fairies in a real bitch-fight
Pull thirty-eight's and kiss their girls goodnight

Oh, goodnight, it's alright, Jane
Now let them black boys in to light the soul flame
We may find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may walk until the daylight, maybe

Well, like a cool Romeo he made his moves, oh, she looked so fine
Like a late Juliet, she knew she'd never be true but then, she really didn't mind
Upstairs a band was playin' and the singer was singin' something about going home
She whispered, Spanish Johnny, you can leave me tonight, but just don't leave me alone
And Johnny cried, Puerto Rican Jane, word is down, the cops have found the vein
Oh, them barefoot boys left their homes for the woods
Them little barefoot street boys, they said their homes ain't no good
They left the corners, threw away all of their switchblade knives
And kissed each other goodbye

Johnny was sittin' on the fire escape, watchin' the kids playin' down the street
He called down, hey little heroes, summer's long, but I guess it ain't very sweet around here anymore
Janey sleeps in sheets damp with sweat
Johnny sits up alone and watches her dream on, dream on
And the sister prays for lost souls, then breaks down in the chapel after everyone's gone

Jane moves over to share her pillow but opens her eyes to see Johnny up and putting his clothes on
She says, those romantic young boys (those romantic young boys), all they ever want to do is fight
Those romantic young boys (those romantic young boys), they're callin' through the window
Hey, Spanish Johnny, you want to make a little easy money tonight?

And Johnny whispered, goodnight, it's all tight, Jane
I'll meet you tomorrow night on lover's lane
We may find it out on the street tonight, now, baby
Or we may walk until the daylight, maybe
Oh, goodnight, it's alright, Jane
I'm gonna meet you tomorrow night on lover's lane
Oh, we can find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may walk until the daylight, maybe

Ah, goodnight, it's alright, Jane
I'll meet you tomorrow night on lover's lane
Oh, we may find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may have to walk until the daylight, maybe (goodnight it's alright, Jane)

(Goodnight, it's alright, Jane)
(Goodnight, it's alright, Jane)
(Goodnight, it's alright, Jane)


Lyrics submitted by oofus

"Incident On 57th Street" as written by

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing LLC

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Incident On 57th Street song meanings
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16 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI'm shocked that there are only 13 comments, since this is not just one of Bruce's best songs, but perhaps one of the top 5 songs recorded in the past 50+ years, maybe ever! Many would probably disagree, but just consider the narrative, plot, and mental pictures this song evokes. Not to mention beautiful piano arrangements and an almost haunting vocal performance. This is the real deal. Somehow, I find it fitting that Bruce wrote what I think is unequivocally his best song at 23 or 24 years old, before he became the legendary Boss of rock n roll. This is one of those rarest of rare musical gems that can change your life in a listen. Check out youtube for a variety of live versions, each of which is somehow more awesome than the next, no matter what order you play them.
    differentstrokes5on April 05, 2012   Link

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