This song is based on people and places Springsteen met in his early years as a songwriter. His father Doug was a bus driver for a time, which helped inspire the song.
Suggestion credit: Dirk - Southwest of Freehold, NJ
The barrage of images in the lyrics helped earn Springsteen the tag "The New Dylan," a comparison he played down. He moved away from the Dylan style by writing less introspective, harder rocking songs on his next album, The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle.
This song started with the lyrics, something Springsteen did from time to time when he started out as a songwriter. Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. was his first album, and it marked a turning point in his songwriting: Instead of keeping the lyrics as simple and repetitive as possible to accommodate the bars he was playing with his bands, he started using elaborate wordplay to tell different stories, often within the same song - something you could do in a recording studio but not in a noisy club. This song makes passing reference to a number of characters, but leaves the listener to decide their fates. Just what becomes of Mary Lou, the mongrel nymphs and the lucky, young matador who catches the rose is in the ear of the beholder.
Joan Fontaine pops up in the lyrics for no apparent reason:
Broadway Mary, Joan Fontaine advertiser on a downtown train
She was an actress who starred in the Alfred Hitchcock movie Rebecca.
Matt Murscoe from Keystone FlI remember the nickel beer joints he played in. So good.
Jim from Long Beach, CaI believe this song is about his first bus trips to NYC from Freehold,NJ. This is his feelings towards a new and exciting city with a lot of characters and action unlike Freehold..
Steve from Fenton, MoIt seems like this song is the first part of a two part song with Lost in the Flood. This song ends with a slight pause, and then the music starts back up with what seems to be the same key and tempo.
Adrian from Kingston, CanadaI cant get over how every bruce springsteen song is good .. serioulsy ill just download a randome springsteen song that ive never heard and love it
Ryan from Manchester, Nhthe song was based on a trip he took on a new york city bus and the people that were there with him
Al from Paris, FranceI always thought this song was dedicated to his father, who was a bus driver...