Song of the Day #3,438: ‘Blinded By the Light’ – Bruce Springsteen

‘Blinded By the Light’ is the first track on the first album by Bruce Springsteen, kicking off 1972’s Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ with a burst of folk-rock word salad. It was also the first single he released, though it didn’t perform very well.

Not until the British rock group Manfred Mann’s Earth Band got a hold of it, anyway.

Mann stripped out most of the song’s lyrics, gave it a synth-heavy overhaul, sang “deuce” in a way that made it sound a whole lot like “douche,” and delivered a #1 hit.

Shockingly, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s version of this track remains the only Springsteen-penned song to ever reach #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Madman drummers bummers and Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat
With a boulder on my shoulder feelin’ kinda older I tripped the
Merry-go-round
With this very unpleasing sneezing and wheezing the calliope
Crashed to the ground

Some all-hot half-shot was headin’ for the hot spot snappin’ his fingers clappin’ his hands
And some fleshpot mascot was tied into a lover’s knot with a whatnot in her hand
And now young Scott with a slingshot finally found a tender spot and throws his lover in the sand
And some bloodshot forget-me-not whispers daddy’s within earshot save the buckshot turn up the band

And she was blinded by the light
Cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
She got down but she never got tight, but she’ll make it alright

Some brimstone baritone anti-cyclone rolling stone preacher from the east
He says: “Dethrone the dictaphone, hit it in its funny bone, that’s where they expect it least”
And some new-mown chaperone was standin’ in the corner all alone watchin’ the young girls dance
And some fresh-sown moonstone was messin’ with his frozen zone to remind him of the feeling of romance

Yeah he was blinded by the light
Cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
He got down but she never got tight, but he’s gonna make it tonight

Some silicone sister with her manager’s mister told me I got what it takes
She said I’ll turn you on sonny, to something strong if you play that song with the funky break
And go-cart Mozart was checkin’ out the weather chart to see if it was safe to go outside
And little Early-Pearly came in by her curly-wurly and asked me if I needed a ride

Oh, some hazard from Harvard was skunked on beer playin’ backyard bombardier
Yes and Scotland Yard was trying hard, they sent a dude with a calling card
He said, do what you like, but don’t do it here
Well I jumped up, turned around, spit in the air, fell on the ground
Asked him which was the way back home
He said take a right at the light, keep goin’ straight until night, and then boy, you’re on your own

And now in Zanzibar a shootin’ star was ridin’ in a side car hummin’ a lunar tune
Yes, and the avatar said blow the bar but first remove the cookie jar we’re gonna teach those boys to laugh too soon
And some kidnapped handicap was complainin’ that he caught the clap from some mousetrap he bought last night
Well I unsnapped his skull cap and between his ears I saw
A gap but figured he’d be all right

He was just blinded by the light
Cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
Mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun
Oh but mama that’s
Where the fun is

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,438: ‘Blinded By the Light’ – Bruce Springsteen

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I had always thought that Mandord Mann was able to bastardize “Blinded by the Light” due to Springsteen’s feud with his record label, but it seems that feud came a bit later.

    Anyway, quite the impressive opening track on a debut album! Too bad he didn’t think to add “Chopsticks” in the bridge. It’s that kind of thinking that showed Manford Mann to be the superior artists that propelled them to years of success and iconic status…Not!

  2. Andrea katz says:

    I loathed that stupid Manfred Mann cover and resented having to hear there inferior version on the radio constantly. Sorry to be so cranky but this really touched a nerve…lol!

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