Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Let's all chip in and bid on handwritten lyrics to Bruce Springsteen's "Born To Run"

Here’s Springsteen, performing at the opening of a local Asbury Park bowling alley like a...well, you know.
Photo: Kevin Mazur (Getty Images for iStar)

Bruce Springsteen is no stranger to auctions. Just a few years ago, he was busy auctioning off his mom’s homemade lasagna to raise money for the Stand Up For Heroes charity event, because that’s what you do when you’re the Boss. Hell, just last night he appeared at the opening of a bowling alley, simply because it’s in his Asbury Park. He’s a delightful gentleman, is the general bullet point here.

Which is why we should all pool our money to bid on the lyrics to “Born To Run.” Bloomberg reports that Sotheby’s just opened the bidding yesterday on a page of early handwritten lyrics to the classic song, and we’re thinking if we can just pass the hat, we may be able to score this thing. Not because it’s the right thing to do—the anonymous collector offering it up apparently paid $197,000 for it back in 2013, and the high estimate is now around $300,000. So this is a purely mercenary business transaction for them, presumably. No, we should do it because it would be fun as hell to be able to have friends over for afternoon tea, and then when they see the scrap of torn-out notebook paper sitting next to the couch, we can casually remark, “Oh, that old thing? Yeah, that’s an early draft of ‘Born To Run,’ written by the man himself. Canapé?”


Apparently, most of the verses for this rough version of the song were never recorded or published, but it does contain a “nearly perfected chorus.” It’s unclear what exactly “nearly perfected” means, but we’re going to go ahead and assume it means the refrain reads, “We’ve gotta get out while we’re young, ’cuz tramps like us, baby, we were born to make car metaphors.” If we all throw in twenty bucks, then we can take turns holding on to the page one day each in a rotation, with your first turn probably coming sometime in 2021.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

About the author

Alex McLevy

Alex McLevy is a writer and editor at The A.V. Club, and would kindly appreciate additional videos of robots failing to accomplish basic tasks.