For You

Album: Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. (1973)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song could be described as a "suicide ballad" - it finds Springsteen singing about trying to rescue a girl who is clearly a wounded soul, only to find out that she doesn't want his help:

    I came for you, but you did not need my urgency
    I came for you, but your life was one long emergency


    With references to an ambulance ride and a "Chelsea suicide," he clearly things she needs saving, although the suicide is likely metaphorical.

    Springsteen has said that this was his first attempt at a love song, be it not the normal love song.
  • Greg Kihn, who had hits with "The Breakup Song" and "Jeopardy," recorded this in 1976. It was his first song to get any airplay and helped launch his career.
  • Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. was Springsteen's first album. It earned him comparisons to Bob Dylan for his lengthy, contemplative lyrics that were filled with ambiguous images. On this song, he started with the lyrics, then added the music.
  • Along with "Blinded By The Light" and "Spirit In The Night," this was covered by Manfred Mann's Earth Band in 1977.

Comments: 19

  • Joe Kastel from NorwatThis song breaks my heart , deep and so sad , deep lyric. heard a rumor it was about hes first girlfriend she had some problems. very underated song. heard it live with only acoustic guitar song was so sad and good
  • Carmen G from Burlington, NcI always thought the line re: “kept you waiting-my turn to be the god” was hos reference to putting his career before their relationship as he was trying to make it in the music world. She bolted to the UK, got caught up in heroin and od’d. He wanted her forgiveness before she died-went to UK for absolution. Too late. My take pieced together from Bruce’s piecemeal comments over my half-century :)
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny'I stand stuffed like some soldier undaunted'...
    In 1977 Greg Kihn released his covered version of "For You", the single didn't make Billboard's Top 100 chart, "For You" was track two on side two from his 1977 album 'Greg Kihn Again'...
    And on this day in 1981 {March 15th} the Manfred Mann Earth Band's covered version peaked at #106 on Billboard's Bubbling Under the Top 100 chart...
    Bruce: And who am I to ask you to lick my sores?
    While Manfred: And who am I to ask you to fight my wars.
    Greg Kihn: ???
    Personal Note: "For You" was the track from Asbury Park that made me sit up & take notice, and I've been a big Bruuuuuce fan ever since...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny'I stand stuffed like some soldier undaunted'
    Manfred Mann's Earth Band released their covered version of the song in 1981; it didn't do as well as their "Blinded By the Light" {#1 in 1976}, "For You" reached #106 on Billboard's Bubbling Under the Top 100 chart.
  • Joannajoy from BathI'm pretty sure I heard it's a song about a girl he fell in love with in NJ but she moved to the UK & killed herself. I assume he's kicking himself thinking maybe he could have done something the one or few times she came to him but most of the times he came for her but she couldn't believe he really loved her.
  • Rachael from New Orleans, LaI saw the line "Remember how I kept you waiting when it was my turn to be the god?" questioned. My interpretation come from him saying, " I'll stand on file, she's all I ever wanted..." and that he's saying he is waiting for her...apparently at one point he got to be "the god," the decider of their relationship. She's sent him away with his mirror and jacks and he's asked her to tell him how she really feels, "But I could give it all to you now, if only you could ask," and it seems like she's been the one in charge. But there was one point in time where he got to be in charge of Them, despite her pride, strength and medal she always wore on her chest. And he screwed it up. "You were not quite half so proud when I found you broken on the beach" (this was his chance) "Remember how I poured salt on your tongue and hung just out of reach?" So she was broken, he poured salt on her wounds, and hung back. He should have taken his chance. :-/
  • Mike from Lafayette, InOne of the greatest lines in any I've heard in any kind of writing: "bar room eyes shine vacancy, to see her you gotta look hard."
  • Sammy from Annapolis, MdI once plagiarised this song (with a few changes) in a letter trying to get back an ex-girlfriend in high school. It didn't work. She knew more about Bruce than I gave her credit for and I was busted.
  • Angela from Collinsville, Il"I don't understand fully what the line "Remember how I kept you waiting when it was my turn to be the god?" is about."

    I don't exactly, either, but I THINK that it MIGHT mean something like...okay, he's being snarky and sarcastic because he's frustrated, and he's saying something like, "Oh, remember that ONE time where *I* got to have MY meltdown/have attention on me and it wasn't just all about YOU?!" I could be wrong, though. I'd love to know definitively what it means...
  • Emily from Temecula, Ca"Remember how i kept you waiting when it was my turn to be the god?"
    that line is very powerful again it touches on the sucide note of the song
  • Emily from Temecula, Cathis song is actually about a girl who has attempted suicide and is thinking about trying again...it's all in the song "
    crawl into my ambulance, your pulse is getting weak
    Oh, reveal yourself all now to me girl while you've got the strength to speak"
  • Shayna from Richmond, VaThis song sounds like its about a bipolar girl.
  • Shayna from Richmond, VaThis song gives me chills. The first time I heard it was in concert. Whewww.
  • Jim from Long Beach, CaI think this song is about a British girl he fell for with reference with Cheshire and Union Jack. Great song definately one of my faves...
  • Lee from Llandudno, Walesi have many, many, many favourite Bruce songs.
    still this is one of the most amazin love songs of all time, and i still get lost in the song every single time i watch the video where Bruce plays it live on the piano, or even just reading the lyrics, it is something else

    one of many reasons why he is one of the(if not the) greatest of all time
  • Laser from Montreal, CanadaFor You. One of Bruce Springsteen's original great songs. And now the title has inspired a brand new book. We are editing a new book on Bruce Springsteen are calling out to all of his fans to contribute a word or two on what you think of him as a person and or performer.
    Filled with amazing stories we are looking
    for written contributions documenting your experience
    with Bruce Springsteen and his music.
    We invite you to visit: www.foryoubruce.com
  • Patrick from Statesville, NcI dont understand fully what the line "Remember how i kept you waiting when it was my turn to be the god?" is about.
  • Chad from Reading, PaSome lines in this song really jump out at me as being Dylan-esque

    "You were not quite half so proud when I found you broken on the beach
    Remember how I poured salt on your tongue and hung just out of reach
    And the band, they played the homecoming theme as I caressed your cheek"

    Those lines sound straight out of Blonde on Blonde along with some other lines in the song like "And who am I to ask you to lick my sores?"

    Bruce played an amazing slowed down version accompanied only by the piano during the 2-5-75 show at the Main Point in Bryn Mawr, PA. It is extremely powerful and puts across the emotion better than the studio version IMO.
  • Steve from Torrance, CaThe version recorded by Manfred Mann's Earth Band appeared on their 1980 album, "Chance". Chris Thompson sings lead vocals, and future Yes member Trevor Rabin co-produces and plays guitar.
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