Letter To You

Bruce Springsteen’s new studio album with the E Street Band, Letter To You, was released by Columbia Records on October 23. A rock album fueled by the band’s heart-stopping, house-rocking signature sound, the 12 track Letter To You is Springsteen’s 20th studio album, and was recorded at his home studio in New Jersey.

“I love the emotional nature of Letter To You,” says Springsteen. “And I love the sound of the E Street Band playing completely live in the studio, in a way we’ve never done before, and with no overdubs. We made the album in only five days, and it turned out to be one of the greatest recording experiences I’ve ever had.”

Letter To You includes nine recently written Springsteen songs, as well as new recordings of three of his legendary, but previously unreleased, compositions from the 1970s, “Janey Needs a Shooter,” “If I Was the Priest,” and “Song for Orphans.” Springsteen is joined on Letter To You by Roy Bittan, Nils Lofgren, Patti Scialfa, Garry Tallent, Stevie Van Zandt, Max Weinberg, Charlie Giordano and Jake Clemons. The album was produced by Ron Aniello with Bruce Springsteen, mixed by Bob Clearmountain and mastered by Bob Ludwig.

The album enjoyed one of the strongest worldwide sales debuts of 2020, entering  at #1 in 11 countries. In the U.S., the album enters at #2 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Albums Chart, #1 on the Top Rock Albums Chart, and #1 on the Vinyl Albums and Tastemaker Albums charts. In the UK, Letter To You is Springsteen’s twelfth #1 and the second biggest album of the year to date.

Released: October 23, 2020
Label: Columbia Records
Produced By: Bruce Springsteen, Ron Aniello
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1
One Minute You're Here
Lyrics
Big black train comin’ down the track
Blow your whistle long and long
One minute you’re here
Next minute you’re gone

I lay my penny down on the rails
As the summer wind sings its last song
One minute you’re here
Next minute you’re gone

Baby baby baby
I’m so alone
Baby baby baby
I’m coming home

Autumn carnival on the edge of town
We walk down the midway arm-in-arm
One minute you’re here
Next minute you’re gone

I thought I knew just who I was
And what I’d do but I was wrong
One minute you’re here
Next minute you’re gone

Red river running along the edge of town
On the muddy banks I lay my body down
This body down

Footsteps cracklin’ on a gravel road
Stars vanish in a sky as black as stone
One minute you’re here
Next minute you’re gone
One minute you’re here
Next minute you’re gone
One minute you’re here
2
Letter To You
Lyrics
’Neath a crowd of mongrel trees
I pulled that bothersome thread
Got down on my knees
Grabbed my pen and bowed my head
Tried to summon all that my heart finds true
And send it in my letter to you

Things I found out through hard times and good
I wrote ’em all out in ink and blood
Dug deep in my soul and signed my name true
And sent it in my letter to you

In my letter to you
I took all my fears and doubts
In my letter to you
All the hard things I found out
In my letter to you
All that I’ve found true
And I sent it in my letter to you

I took all the sunshine and rain
All my happiness and all my pain
The dark evening stars
And the morning sky of blue
And I sent it in my letter to you
And I sent it in my letter to you

In my letter to you
I took all my fears and doubts
In my letter to you
All the hard things that I found out
In my letter to you
All that I found true
And I sent it in my letter to you
I sent it in my letter to you
3
Burnin' Train
Lyrics
Zero’s my number
Time is my hunter
I wanted you to heal me
But instead you set me on fire
We were out over the borders
I washed you in holy water
We whispered our black prayers
And rose up in flames

Take me on your burnin’ train
Take me on your burnin’ train

White sun burnin’
Black wings beatin’
I ran my fingers ’cross the hollow of your stomach
As you lay breathing
With our shared faith
Rising dark and decayed
Take me and shake me from this mortal cage

Take me on your burnin’ train
Take me on your burnin’ train

Something’s shining in the light ’neath your breast
The thick smell of you on my chest

On your bed of thorns
I brought you shining gifts
Wiped the sweat from your brow
And I touched your lips
Sheets stained with sweat
Outside the endless rain
Darlin’ I’m blessed in your blood
And marked by Cain

Take me on your burnin’ train
Take me on your burnin’ train
4
Janey Needs A Shooter
Lyrics
Well Janey’s got a doctor who tears apart her insides
He investigates her and silently baits her sighs
He probes with his fingers
But knows her heart only through his stethoscope
His hands are cold and his body’s so old
Janey turns him down like dope

Janey needs a shooter now
A shooter like me on her side
Janey needs a shooter now
A shooter man who knows her style
The way that I know her style

Well Janey’s got a priest
From his marble pulpit he smiles
He provides consolation and hears her confession at anytime
In the pages of his bible he holds from what Janey he hides
With her doors open wide, she begs come inside
But he’s been frozen so long on the outside

Janey needs a shooter now
A shooter like me on her side
Janey needs a shooter now
A shooter man who knows her style
The way that I know her style

Well Janey’s got a cop who lives around the block
And checks on her every night
And her skin would turn pale as the siren he’d wail outside
When he knew I was inside
Janey’s small and sometimes he scared her
So I held her real close, she was more a saint than a ghost
And told her I so long had been prepared for her

Janey needs a shooter now
A shooter like me on her side
Janey needs a shooter now
A shooter man who knows her style
Janey needs a shooter now
A shooter like me on her side
Janey needs a shooter now
A shooter man who knows her style

The way that I know her style
A man who knows her style
The way that I know her style
A man who knows her style
The way that I know her style
A man who knows her style
The way that I know her style
A man who knows her style
The way that I know her style
A man who knows her style
The way that I know her style
A man who knows her style
The way that I know her style
5
Last Man Standing
Lyrics
Faded pictures in an old scrapbook
Faded pictures that somebody took
When you were hard and young and proud
Backed against the wall, running raw and loud

Snakeskin vest and a sharkskin suit
Cuban heels on your boots
You kick in the band and side-by-side
You take the crowd on their mystery ride

Knights of Columbus and the Fireman’s Ball
Friday night at the Union Hall
The black-leather clubs all along Route 9
You count the names of the missing as you count off time

Rock of ages lift me somehow
Somewhere high and hard and loud
Somewhere deep into the heart of the crowd
I’m the last man standing now

Out of school and out of work
Thrift-store jeans and flannel shirts
The lights go down as you face the crowd
The last man standing now

Lights come up at the Legion Hall
Pool cues go back up on the wall
You pack your guitar and have one last beer
With just the ringing in your ears

Rock of ages lift me somehow
Somewhere high and hard and loud
Somewhere deep into the heart of the crowd
I’m the last man standing now
(I’m the last man standing now)
I’m the last man standing now
6
Power Of Prayer
Lyrics
Dreamy afternoon ’neath the summer sun
We’d lie by the lake till the evening comes
I run my fingers through your sun-streaked hair
Baby, that’s the power of prayer

Summer night, summer’s in the air
I stack the tables with the chairs
It’s closing time, then you’re standing there
Baby, that’s the power of prayer

It’s a fixed game without any rules
An empty table on a ship of fools
I’m holding hearts I’ll play the pair
’Cause darlin’ it’s just the power of prayer

It’s a fixed game without any rules
An empty table on a ship of fools
I’m holding hearts I’ll play the pair
I’m goin’ all in, ’cause I don’t care
They say that love, love comes and goes
But darlin’ what, what do they know
I’m reachin’ for heaven
We’ll make it there
’Cause darlin’ it’s just the power of prayer
Baby it’s just the power of prayer
Darlin’ it’s just the power of prayer

Last call, the bouncer shuts the door
“This Magic Moment” drifts across the floor
As Benny King’s voice fills the air
Baby, that’s the power of prayer
7
House Of A Thousand Guitars
Lyrics
The blood moon shines across the vale
Bells ring out through churches and jails
I tally my wounds and count the scars
Here in the house of a thousand guitars

The criminal clown has stolen the throne
He steals what he can never own
May the truth ring out from every small-town bar
And we’ll light up the house of a thousand guitars

Well it’s all right, yeah it’s all right
Meet me darlin’ come Saturday night
All good souls from near and far
Will meet in the house of a thousand guitars

Here the bitter and the bored
Wake in search of the lost chord
That’ll band us together for as long as there’s stars
Here in the house of a thousand guitars

Yeah it’s all right, yeah it’s all right
Meet me darlin’ come Saturday night
Brother and sister, wherever you are
We’ll meet in the house of a thousand guitars

So wake and shake off your troubles my friend
We’ll go where the music never ends
From the stadiums to the small town bars
We’ll light up the house of a thousand guitars

House of a thousand guitars, house of a thousand guitars
Brother and sister wherever you are
We’ll rise together till we fire the spark
That’ll light up the house of a thousand guitars

Well it’s all right, yeah it’s all right
Meet me darlin’ come Saturday night
All good souls from near and far
We’ll meet in the house of a thousand guitars

A thousand guitars, a thousand guitars
A thousand guitars, a thousand guitars
A thousand guitars, a thousand guitars
A thousand guitars, a thousand guitars
8
Rainmaker
Lyrics
Parched crops dying ’neath a dead sun
We’ve been praying but no good comes
The dog’s howling, home’s stripped bare
We’ve been worried but now were scared

People come for comfort or just to come
Taste the dark sticky potion or hear the drums
Hands raised to Yahweh to bring the rain down
He comes crawlin’ ’cross the dry fields like a dark shroud

Rainmaker a little faith for hire
Rainmaker the house is on fire
Rainmaker take everything you have
Sometimes folks need to believe in something so bad, so bad, so bad
They’ll hire a rainmaker

Rainmaker says white’s black and black’s white
Says night’s day and day’s night
Says close your eyes and go to sleep now
I’m in a burnin’ field unloadin’ buckshot into low clouds

Rainmaker a little faith for hire
Rainmaker the house is on fire
Rainmaker take everything you have
Sometimes folks need to believe in something so bad, so bad, so bad
They’ll hire a rainmaker

Slow moving wagon drawing through a dry town
Painted rainbow, crescent moon and dark clouds
Brother patriot come forth and lay it down
Your blood brother for king and crown
For your rainmaker

They come for the smile, the firm handshake
They come for the raw chance of a fair shake
Some come to make damn sure, my friend
This mean season’s got nothin’ to do with them
They come ’cause they can’t stand the pain
Of another long hot day of no rain
’Cause they don’t care or understand
What it really takes for the sky to open up the land

Rainmaker
A little faith for hire
Rainmaker the house is on fire
Rainmaker take everything you have
Sometimes folks need to believe in something so bad, so bad, so bad
They’ll hire a rainmaker
Rainmaker
Rainmaker
Rainmaker
9
If I Was The Priest
Lyrics
There's a light on yonder mountain
And it's callin’ me to shine
There's a girl over by the water fountain
And she's askin’ to be mine
And Jesus is standin’ in the doorway
In a buckskin jacket, boots and spurs so fine
He says, “We need you son tonight up in Dodge City'
’Cause there's just too many outlaws tryin’ to work the same line”

Now if Jesus was a sheriff and I was the priest
If my lady was an heiress and my Mama was a thief
If Papa rode shotgun for the Fargo line
There's still too many bad boys tryin’ to work the same line

Well sweet Virgin Mary runs the Holy Grail saloon
For a nickel she’ll give you whiskey and a personally blessed balloon
And the Holy Ghost is the host with the most, he runs the burlesque show
Where they’ll let you in for free and they hit you when you go
Mary serves Mass on Sunday and then she sells her body on Monday
To the bootlegger who pays the highest price
He don't know he got stuck with a loser, she's a stone junkie what’s more she’s a user
She's only been made once or twice by some kind of magic

If Jesus was a sheriff and I was the priest
If my lady was an heiress and my Mama was a thief
And Papa rode shotgun on the Fargo line
There's still too many outlaws tryin’ to work the same line

Well things ain't been the same in heaven since big bad Bobby came to town
He's been known to down eleven, then ask for another round
Me, I’ve got scabs on my knees from kneeling way too long
It’s about time I played the man and took a stand where I belong
Forget about the old friends and the old times
There's just too many new boys tryin’ to work the same line

If Jesus was a sheriff and I were the priest
If my lady was an heiress and my Mama was a thief
And Papa rode shotgun for the Fargo line
There's just too many outlaws tryin’ to work the same line

Well there's a light on yonder mountain
And it's callin’ me to shine
There's a girl over by the water fountain
She's asking to be mine
Jesus is standin’ in the doorway
Six guns drawn and ready to fan
Said, “We need you son tonight up in Dodge City"
I told him I was already overdue for Cheyenne

If Jesus was the sheriff and I was the priest
If my lady was an heiress and my Mama was a thief
And Papa rode shotgun on the Fargo line
There's still too many bad boys tryin’ to work the same line

If Jesus was the sheriff and I was the priest
If my lady was an heiress and my Mama was a thief
And Papa rode shotgun on the Fargo line
There's still too many bad boys tryin’ to work the same line

If Jesus was the sheriff and I was the priest
10
Ghosts
Lyrics
I hear the sound of your guitar
Comin’ in from the mystic far
The stone and the gravel in your voice
Come in my dreams and I rejoice

It’s just your ghost
Moving through the night
Your spirit filled with light
I need, need you by my side
Your love and I’m alive

I’m alive and I can feel the blood shiver in my bones
I’m alive and I’m out here on my own
I’m alive and I’m coming’ home
Yeah I’m comin’ home

The old buckskin jacket you always wore
Hangs on the back of my bedroom door
The boots and the spurs you used to ride
Click down the hall but never arrive

It’s just your ghost
Moving through the night
Your spirit filled with light
I need, need you by my side
Your love and I’m alive

I’m alive, I can feel the blood shiver in my bones
I’m alive and I’m out here on my own
I’m alive and I’m coming’ home

Your old Fender Twin from Johnny’s Music downtown
Still set on 10 to burn this house down
Count the band in then kick into overdrive
By the end of the set we leave no one alive

Ghosts runnin’ through the night
Our spirits filled with light

I need
Need you by my side
Your love and I’m alive

I shoulder your Les Paul and finger the fretboard
I make my vows to those who’ve come before
I turn up the volume, let the spirits be my guide
Meet you brother and sister on the other side

I’m alive
I can feel the blood shiver in my bones
I’m alive and I’m out here on my own
I’m alive and I’m comin’ home
Yeah I’m comin’ home
11
Song For Orphans
Lyrics
The multitude assembled and tried to make the noise
The black blind poet generals and restless loud white boys
Times grew thin and the axis grew somehow incomplete
Where instead of child lions
We had aging junkie sheep
How many wasted have I seen signed “Hollywood or bust”
They’re left to ride them ever-ghostly Arizona gusts
Cheerleader tramps and kids with big amps
Sounding in the void
High society vamps, ex-heavyweight champs
Mistaking soot for soil

So break me now Big Mama, as Old Faithful breaks the day
Believe me, my good Linda, the aurora will shine your way
The confederacy is in my name now
The hounds are held at bay
The axis needs a stronger arm
Do you feel your muscles play

Well the doorstep blanket weaver
Madonna pushes bells
From house to house I see her
Givin’ last kisses and wishin’ well
To every gypsy mystic hero
That the kids might find a place
Who’ve been lost forever to mom and pop
On their weekends out in space

Well sons, they search for fathers
But their fathers are all gone
The lost souls search for saviors
But saviors don’t last long
Those nameless, questless renegade brats
Who live their lives in songs
They run the length of a candle
With a goodnight whisper then they’re gone

So break me now Big Mama, as Old Faithful breaks the day
Believe me, my good Linda, the aurora will shine your way
The confederacy is in my name now
The hounds are held at bay
The axis needs a stronger arm
Do you feel your muscles play

The missions are filled with hermits looking for a friend
The terraces are filled with cat-men, just lookin’ for a way in
There’s orphans junked on silver mountains
Lost in celestial alleyways
They wait for that old tramp dog man Moses
He takes in all the strays

Now don’t you grow on empty legends
Or lonely cradle songs
Billy The Kid was just a bowery boy
Who made his living twirling his guns
The night, she’s long and lanky,
And she speaks in a mother tongue
She lullabies the refugees with an amplifier’s hum

So break me now Big Mama, as Old Faithful breaks the day
Believe me, my good Linda, the aurora will shine your way
The confederacy is in my name now
The hounds are held at bay
The axis needs a stronger arm
Do you feel your muscles play

The confederacy is in my name now
And the hounds are held at bay
The axis needs a stronger arm
Do you feel your muscles play
12
I'll See You In My Dreams
Lyrics
The road is long
And seeming without end
Days go on
I remember you my friend
And though you’re gone
And my heart’s been emptied it seems
I’ll see you in my dreams

I got your guitar
Here, by the bed
All your favorite records
And all the books that you read
And though my soul feels like it’s been split at the seams
I’ll see you in my dreams

I’ll see you in my dreams
When all our summers have come to an end
I’ll see you in my dreams
We’ll meet and live and laugh again
I’ll see you in my dreams
Up around the riverbend
For death is not the end
And I’ll see you in my dreams

I’ll see you in my dreams
When all our summers have come to an end
I’ll see you in my dreams
We’ll meet and live and laugh again
I’ll see you in my dreams
Yeah up around the riverbend
For death is not the end
And I’ll see you in my dreams
I’ll see you in my dreams
I’ll see you in my dreams