Used Cars

Album: Nebraska (1982)
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Songfacts®:

  • Springsteen: "The exciting story of my own personal life."
  • Springsteen wrote this from the viewpoint of him as a child. He would often introduce this by sharing various childhood memories.
  • Recorded as a demo by Springsteen on a 4-track tape recorder in his house. After trying it with the band, he decided this and the other songs that would make up Nebraska sounded best as he originally recorded them.
  • Ani DiFranco covered this in 2000 on Badlands, a tribute album of songs from the album Nebraska.

Comments: 6

  • Andrew from Wales, UkUnpopular opinion: this is Springsteen’s finest song on his finest album
  • Leo from Westminster 1, MdI totally agree with The Boss. Bruce is right in screams of rage "Now mister the day the lottery I win/I ain't never gonna ride in no used car again!" The perfect requiem for the automobile age.
  • Jamie from Limerick, IrelandI recently converted a keen bluesman to springsteen mania with this song and album
  • Callie from Hattiesburg, MsI love this song. I am a dance major and am creating a work to this song for a class. It haunts my ideas. I relate so well to the shame of not having money in your life and not being able to have the simplest things.
  • Fred from Abilene, TxI, too, can relate this song to my childhood. My dad was a bricklayer, and we mostly drove used pickup trucks. (Back in those days, we kids would ride in the back.) The salesman "stare[s] at my old man's hands." The salesman can tell that the man buying the car is a laborer by looking at his hands, and knows just how much he can afford to pay.
  • Kristie from Ester, ArAs with many Springsteen songs, the lyrics of this one touched a place in my heart that I'd forgotten existed. My father, an engineer, raised 7 children, and he could only afford used cars, a fact that embarrassed me as a kid. I used to think, "When I grow up, I'll never buy used cars!" Was I ashamed of the cars or the parents who bought them?
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