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4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)

by

Bruce Springsteen



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

"Sandy" was a composite of girls Springsteen knew growing up in New Jersey. He calls the song "a goodbye to my adopted hometown and the life I'd lived there before I recorded."
Asbury Park is a resort town in New Jersey that has gradually deteriorated. The summer romance and the images on the boardwalk struck a chord with just about anyone who grew up in New Jersey. The town provided the name for Springsteen's first album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.
This evolved out of 2 songs that did not make Springsteen's first album: "Casper" and "Glory Road."
E Street Band member Danny Federici played the accordion.
Springsteen whispered his vocal to create a sense of intimacy.
Regarding the lyrics, "Did you hear the cops finally busted Madam Marie for tellin' fortunes better than they do," Madam Marie was a real fortune teller on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. According to the Asbury Park Press, she was never arrested, but she was a fixture on the boardwalk. Legend has it that when Springsteen saw her, she told him he would be a success, and that Springsteen joked that she said that to all musicians. Madam Marie died on June 27, 2008 at age 93.
The choir is really one female singer with lots of overdubs. Springsteen wanted to use a children's choir, but ended up using Suki Lahav. She played with the band from September 1974 - March 1975, but was not credited on the album.
Springsteen is not from Asbury Park. He was born in Long Branch, New Jersey and raised in Freehold. Asbury Park is his "adopted" hometown, where he hung out and played.
The version included on the box set Live 1975-1985 has some extra lyrics in the third verse.
The Hollies covered this in 1975 with its title shortened to "Sandy." It was the first song written by Springsteen to chart, hitting #85 in the US.
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Comments (11):

On July 4th 1975, the Hollies performed "Sandy" on the NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special'...
Three months earlier on April 6th, 1975 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #90, the next week it peaked at #85 and the following week it was off the Top 100...
And on July 20th, 1975 Bruce began his legendary 'Born To Run' tour at the Palace Theater in Providence, RI; "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" was the 12th song in his set that night.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
"The narrator of 'Sandy' is an adolescent loser, the kid whose shirt gets stuck in the fun-fair ride, leaving him stranded and looking like a fool. You'd think he was ruining his chances with girl: he can't stop telling her about his humiliations, about the girls who led him on, about the waitress that got tired of him. He can't even hand her a line without blowing it: 'I promise I'll love you-forever?' Springsteen's voice squeaks incredulously. Oh, there'll always be another girl; adolescence is something you grow out of. But that's cold comfort and Springsteen's offering something warmer and more immediate: the moon is rising, the organ notes twinkle like stars, the 'sha la las' are triumphant and irrestible. The chorus promises romance despite the odds."
-From Ariel Swartley (Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island)
- Mike, Johnstown, PA
The Kokomo is a reference to Chuck Berry's song "No Particular Place To Go". Berry truly invented the "Cars & Girls" type of lyrics, and Bruce has been one of his main disciples.
- Pollux, Bayonne, but the one in, NJ
I believe there is a reference to "Pinball Wizard" by The Who is this song. There is a line that states, "as those wizards play, down on pinball way"
- Rob, Savannah, GA
I've been trying to figure out what Bruce means by Kokomo. He uses it in 2 different songs. If you look it up its a city in Indiana and used to be the name of an island near Jamaica. Anybody out there know what it refers to on the Jersey shore?
- donna, cedar grove, NJ
'and I saw her parked with Loverboy out on the Kokomo' What's a kokomo???
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
The summer romance and the images on the boardwalk struck a chord with just about anyone who grew up in New Jersey AS WELL AS ANYONE WHO VACATIONED AT THE SHORE AND BOARDWALK. This certainly is not exclusive to NJ!!
- Tom, Hershey, PA
Springsteen is now playing this during the Magic tour as a tribute to Danny Federici, who died in april 2008. Danny played the accordion on this song and it was also the last song he performed with the band before passing away.
- Juan, Bilbao, Spain
Madame Marie (Castello) has passed away. She was 93! Her Temple of Knowledge hut is still a mainstay of the Asbury Park boardwalk and hopefully will never be torn down.
- Bill, Martinsville, NJ
Since I have an obsession with abandoned things, I've explored Asbury Park. After it was abandoned. That's why I looked at this page..
- Ferris, Ohio, OH
I love the line "bangin them pleasure machines." Where can I purchase such a pleasure machine at a reasonable price?
- Scott, St. Louis, MO
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