I was driving through my hometown
I was just kinda killin' time
When I seen a face staring out of a black velvet painting
From the window of the five and dime
I couldn't quite recall the name
But the pose looked familiar to me
So I asked the salesgirl "Who was that man
Between the doberman and Bruce Lee?"
She said "Just a local hero"
"Local hero" she said with a smile
"Yeah a local hero he used to live here for a while"

I met a stranger dressed in black
At the train station
He said "Son your soul can be saved"
There's beautiful women nights of low livin'
And some dangerous money to be made
There's a big town 'cross the whiskey line
And if we turn the right cards up
They make us boss the devil pays off
And them folks that are real hard up
They get their local hero
Somebody with the right style
They get their local hero
Somebody with just the right smile

Well I learned my job I learned it well
Fit myself with religion and a story to tell
First they made me the king then they made me pope
Then they brought the rope

I woke to a gypsy girl sayin' "Drink this"
Well my hands had lost all sensation
These days I'm feeling all right
'Cept I can't tell my courage from my desperation
From the tainted chalice
Well I drunk some heady wine
Tonight I'm layin' here
But there's something in my ear
Sayin' there's a little town just beneath the floodline
Needs a local hero
Somebody with the right style
Lookin' for a local hero
Someone with the right smile
Local hero local hero she said with a smile
Local hero he used to live here for a while

Lyrics submitted by oofus

Local Hero song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought this song was about Bruce going back to his hometown and the local hero is him but it has been awhile and he's been through alot all round the world so he doesn't recognise himself?
    juncopardneron May 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe first stanza is about Bruce and Patti driving around a remote New Jersey town. just killing time, as the song says. Bruce spotted a 'Velvet Bruce' (like a Velvet Elvis, but Bruce) in the window of a small store. It was between 2 other velvet pictures, one of a Doberman and one of Bruce Lee. Bruce asked Patti to go in and buy the artwork, since he did not want to be recognized. While making small talk with the salesperson, she asked her who it was on the velvet. The girl replied "just a local hero, he used to live here for a while". Kind of a reference one makes when they are in a hurry, just trying to get you to pay for the object and get you out of the store. Patti laughed hysterically when retelling the story to Bruce a few moments later, as did Bruce. And now the Springsteen's have a Velvet Bruce hanging on the wall in their home.
    StreetSenseon May 20, 2009   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top