Tear drops on the city
Bad Scooter searching for his groove
Seem like the whole world walking pretty
And you can't find the room to move
Well everybody better move over, that's all
I'm running on the bad side
And I got my back to the wall
Tenth Avenue freeze-out, Tenth Avenue freeze-out

I'm stranded in the jungle
Taking all the heat they was giving
The night is dark but the sidewalk's bright
And lined with the light of the living
From a tenement window a transistor blasts
Turn around the corner things got real quiet real fast
She hit me with a Tenth Avenue freeze-out
Tenth Avenue freeze-out
And I'm all alone, I'm all alone
And kid you better get the picture
And I'm on my own, I'm on my own
And I can't go home

When the change was made uptown
And the Big Man joined the band
From the coastline to the city
All the little pretties raise their hands
I'm gonna sit back right easy and laugh
When Scooter and the Big Man bust this city in half
With a Tenth Avenue freeze-out, Tenth Avenue freeze-out
Tenth Avenue freeze-out...

Lyrics submitted by oofus

Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI live in belmar, and for some reason this song makes a lot of sense to me and everyone here, don't know why other people wouldn't, maybe just gotta be in the atmosphere he describes.
    Socomon July 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is just a good-time song, with a wicked little tune. The lyrics are trademark city-clever Springsteen, but quite thin on meaning- I get the feel that they are a giant inside joke, and I enjoy it.
    ButtOfMalmseyon May 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe only thing i know about this song is that Bad Scooter is a nickname for Sprinsteen, and that the Big man refers to Clarence. Great tune.
    larchon May 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is for people who listen to the whole album. it is an introduction to the band and a preamble th Jungleland
    Lucky Loseron April 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song definitely has a mood to it, but it mostly seems to be a bunch of images rather than about anything. What is a Tenth Avenue Freeze Out?
    stoolhardyon December 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"The night is dark and the sidewalks bright” – mega lyric! Best James Brown copy cat impression from any artist ! PS - Clarence is the coolest Token.
    bkat004on January 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentactually this song does have alot of meaning, scooter is springsteen and the big man is clarence, it's a referal to the early band and how clarence met sprinsteen, at the stone pony one night, tenth avanue is a street in belmar nj an ajoining town to asbury park where e street is too and where the band got their name from, in the live version springsteen actually says "now here's the important part, when the big man joined the band and all the little pretties raised their hands"
    miamvar99on February 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song is basically about how the E Street Shuffle came to be.
    alfiebabyon May 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it really does help set the scene for the album... I've always seen the album as a sort of concept album, but rather than one full story its a set of vignettes in the city, with a general theme of escape (every song besides the epic finale features a clear essence of trying to escape the cloutch of the city). While Thunder Road's the dramatic opener, Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out sets the scene - here's the city, here's the people telling these stories and this is the kind of place it is. Its a wonderful, jazzy little song which I think helps really bring life to the album, which magically has a totally different tone to the rest of the songs, but still sets the mood beautifully.

    Also, its worth mentioning that even Springsteen himself admits that to this day he doesn't know just what a "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" is, but it just sounded right (yes, I have the DVD from the box set, and yes I do see the set as one of the most important items in my room).
    Thesmellyoneon September 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love how his voice cracks at the end of each of the verse lines... you know it's coming and you still love it.
    thirsty_thursdayon November 05, 2009   Link

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