This was first recorded in May 1982, but was not released until Born In The U.S.A. was finished in 1984. Springsteen had written about 70 songs for the album, and this was one of the few that made it.
This is one of Springsteen's story songs, complete with interesting working-class characters and a road trip. It tells the story of two guys who head out of New York City looking for work in Darlington County, South Carolina. They don't find work but they do find trouble, as one of them ends up getting arrested.
Springsteen originally wrote this for his 1978 album Darkness On The Edge Of Town, but it didn't make the cut.
Alan from Forest Acres, ScDarlington County's county seat is located in Darlington, SC, home of the Southern 500 (and the Rebel 500 when this song was written). Darlington is the oldest super speedway on the NASCAR circuit and is known to fans as the track too tough to tame--it opened in 1949. What Springsteen describes happening to this unfortunate foreigner (the word Yankee comes to mind, with longhair a close second) was not unusual in 1978 or in 1984 when the song was finally released. The folks in that part of the state didn't take too kindly to "invaders" such as Yankees and longhairs, and the police would generally make life tough on them if they weren't there to see the race!
Hedrek from Los Angeles, Ca"Why the world don't know what me and Wayne might do" Freaking hilarious. Never thought Bruce had much wit until this, the whole song taking the piss out of the young dumb American male itching to prop up his leisure time with wild adventures. What was Wayne handcuffed to at the end, the State Trooper's Ford? I revise my earlier statement: f--king hilarious.
Frank from Lexington, KyWhen you listen to the fade out of this song, there is an obscenity. It's Bruce saying it but he is singing as the character in the song. You may have to turn up the stereo to hear it as the song fades out.
J.e. from Fredrick, MdThis is a good song. I am from Maryland but now I live in Columbia, South Carolina. I have been to Darlington County (but not the famous raceway). Btw I'm not ashamed of living in SC but just too lazy to change my profile.
Gene from San Diego, CaOkay, Mary is crazy. And Jerry, I think you are right about the prostitute thing. But it isn't about the prostitute, as much as it is about a good time in the city. Great song, love the rythm.
Mike from Hueytown , AlThis may be my all time favorite Springsteen song. It'll bring chills down your spine
Mary from St Petersburg, FlI am intrigued that he mentioned the trade center towers years before the 9/11 happened, I always knew my man Bruce was a visionary but darlin ya beat me to it, I can usually predict what is going to happen next, and if i had heard the words of your songs years ago as plain as I hear them now, then maybe my prayers of faith and love and hope might have been heard sooner. It is about a young girl hitching around the country like I did and I wish I had met up with a band long ago. Use my name all you please, I love all your music and adore you Bruce I am a diehard energizer bunny fan 4 real. PS Jerry I been to Broken arrow, but can't say I ever prostituted, my pretty smile got me all I ever wanted and my style was a little above being such as those who sell their body and soul, although i been propositioned, I never succumbed to selling my body at all, so I disagree, its not all about a prostitue see , the song says something else only a visionary can see...
Jerry from Broken Arrow, Oki'm pretty sure its about picking up a prostitute
Tyler from Hamilton, CanadaA lot of people associate Wayne to being Steve Zan Vandt