I met a little girl and I settled down
In a little house out on the edge of town
We got married, and swore we'd never part
Then little by little we drifted from each other's heart

At first I thought it was just restlessness
That would fade as time went by and our love grew deep
In the end it was something more I guess
That tore us apart and made us weep

And I'm driving a stolen car
Down on Eldridge Avenue
Each night I wait to get caught
But I never do

She asked if I remembered the letters I wrote
When our love was young and bold
She said last night she read those letters
And they made her feel one hundred years old

And I'm driving a stolen car
On a pitch black night
And I'm telling myself I'm gonna be alright
But I ride by night and I travel in fear
That in this darkness I will disappear

Lyrics submitted by oofus

Stolen Car song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is about infidelity. The stolen car is a metaphor. He wants to get caught. This is the dark night of his soul.
    montresoron December 22, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This song soulfully used in the movie "Copland". Poor New Jersey, middlechild between Philadelphia and NY
    eppurseon February 21, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"I want to get caught but I never do."
    "I ride by night and travel in fear that in this darkness I will just disappear."
    "Nobody sees me when I drive by." is the last verse of the "Tracks" version.

    I believe the main character in "Stolen Car" is already dead, which makes the song take on a much different meaning, especially the section about the love letters.
    franklintitanon September 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMontresor is right, in my opinion. The "stolen car" is a metaphor for the isolation he feels after his failed relationship and the emotions he feels after it. He hopes to get caught ("Each night I wait to get caught but I never do"), but fears, and expects, to "ride by night and I travel in fear That in this darkness I will disappear" He fears total isolation from the people in his life.
    ryfall101on August 10, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIt makes sense to me that the "stolen car" is a metaphor for a woman that the protagonist is having an affair with. He's waiting to get caught so that he can end the lie. The "restlessness" he experienced was his desire for other woman and he hoped this would disappear as his relationship grew deeper, but it never did and now he's left driving that stolen car.
    jbiubass18on March 14, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationStolen car is a metaphor for a person in desperation,
    whose heart is broken, whose emotional life is in turmoil.
    McJensenon October 26, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI personally find the Tracks version to be better than the River version. I understand the whole etherealness he was going for on the album, but the straight-forward treatment on Tracks hits me more every time.
    jnb987on December 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNo one empathizes more with the down and outer than Springsteen. Here we have a guy who married his sweetheart but as Bruce knows, real life doesn't have happy endings. They are not as close as they were, they have been driven apart from each other, and in an act of deperation, he steals a car. Desperate people do desperate things. Is he hoping this act will bring his love back to him? And the final line in the song, is he contemplating suicide? A truly sad song, yet it rings true in the real world.
    rmcd0494on August 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat they thought was true love changed for the worse as they grew apart in time
    he is not blaming her or himself, but instead an outside force that tore them apart
    he didn't actually steal a car...it is a metaphor..he doesn't feel connected to her anymore and is doing something he knows is wrong and hopes someone will just put an end to it, implying he can't stop it himself

    his wife is acknowledging that their love is not what it once was and seems like ages since it felt strong

    he continues on...and he hopes he will be ok but he is ashamed of what he is doing and is afraid that he will lose sight of the person that he once was
    FourRunner72on October 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Tracks version and the River version are, basically, two different songs with identical lyrics. But the central character is the same. And he's a recurring character that was born in Stolen Car and resurfaces in "Two Steps Up", "Cautious Man", "Dancing in the Dark", "Two Faces", "Straight Time", "Nothing Man", "Loose Change", and others. A man defined by his own isolation. Crushed by it. And with no escape from it.
    ZFTon July 17, 2012   Link

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