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Bruce Springsteen — Highway Patrolman
Album: Nebraska
Avg rating:
6.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 204









Released: 1982
Length: 5:36
Plays (last 30 days): 0
My name is Joe Roberts, I work for the state
I'm a sergeant out of Perrineville barracks number 8
I always done an honest job as honest as I could
I got a brother named Franky and Franky ain't no good

Now ever since we was young kids, it's been the same come down
I get a call on the short-wave, Franky's in trouble downtown
Well, if it was any other man, I'd put him straight away
But when it's your brother, sometimes you look the other way

Me and Franky laughin' and drinkin', nothin' feels better than blood on blood
Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band played "Night of the Johnstown Flood"
I catch him when he's strayin', like any brother would
Man turns his back on his family, well, he just ain't no good

Well, Franky went in the army back in 1965
I got a farm deferment, settled down, took Maria for my wife
But them wheat prices kept on droppin' 'til it was like we were gettin' robbed
Franky came home in '68, and me, I took this job

Yeah, we're laughin' and drinkin', nothin' feels better than blood on blood
Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band played "Night of the Johnstown Flood"
I catch him when he's strayin', teach him how to walk that line
Man turns his back on his family, he ain't no friend of mine

Well, the night was like any other, I got a call 'bout quarter to nine
There was trouble in a roadhouse out on the Michigan line
There was a kid lyin' on the floor, lookin' bad, bleedin' hard from his head
There was a girl cryin' at a table and it was Frank, they said

Well, I went out and I jumped in my car and I hit the lights
Well, I must've done a hundred and ten through Michigan county that night
It was out at the crossroads, down round Willow bank
Seen a Buick with Ohio plates, behind the wheel was Frank
Well, I chased him through them county roads 'til a sign said Canadian border five miles from here
Pulled over the side of the highway and watched his taillights disappear

Me and Franky laughin' and drinkin', nothin' feels better than blood on blood
Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band played "Night of the Johnstown Flood"
I catch him when he's strayin', like any brother would
Man turns his back on his family, he just ain't no good
Comments (41)add comment
Got nothing against Springsteen, but Johnny Cash does this song better.
 Sloggydog wrote:
This raw album is what it took for me to understand why i should be giving Bruce a go...and i don't regret it
 
Me, too.  Never understood the Bruce hoopla until I heard this.  Still haven't warmed up to much of the arena rock stuff (because it all suffers from galactically bad recording/mixing), but this album, and The Ghost of Tom Jode . . . that's some great stuff.


 wrangler wrote:
nope - it's the same set today, quite a few months later.  this is really my only hangup with radio paradise.

 

Pretty silly hangup. Surely you don't think that Bill can stay awake 24/7?
This is one of the few Bruce Springsteen songs I genuinely like, rather than tolerate. Very raw and honest.
 TJOpootertoot wrote:
 romeotuma wrote:

If I remember right, Springsteen recorded the whole album of Nebraska by himself on an 8-track...

 
Not even - I think it was just a four track.
He dubbed it to a normal casette and when they made the proper album they had to figure out how to master his two-track audio cassette for mass production. One of the great "homemade" albums.
 
Yep, it was little Tascam Portastudio 4 track cassette recorder - they became very popular, used all four tracks available on a compact cassette & I think it ran at double speed for higher quality,

This raw album is what it took for me to understand why i should be giving Bruce a go...and i don't regret it
 wrangler wrote:
nope - it's the same set today, quite a few months later.  this is really my only hangup with radio paradise.
 
The same 4 songs in a row, quite a few months later? That's your only hangup? Life is good.

 romeotuma wrote:

If I remember right, Springsteen recorded the whole album of Nebraska by himself on an 8-track...

 




Not even - I think it was just a four track.
He dubbed it to a normal casette and when they made the proper album they had to figure out how to master his two-track audio cassette for mass production. One of the great "homemade" albums.
 Hannio wrote:

I like this a lot, if only because it is not the usual Born-in-the-USA Springsteeny stuff you hear so much.


 
My thoughts exactly

nope - it's the same set today, quite a few months later.  this is really my only hangup with radio paradise.

 rickhoran wrote:
someone get busted for speeding lately? {#Smile}

52 amBruce Springsteen
Highway Patrolman
Nebraska (1982)6.7
 
6:47 amThe Clash
Police and Thieves
The Clash (1979)7.5
 
6:44 amBottle Rockets
Radar Gun
The Brooklyn Side (1994)6.1
 
6:40 amMorphine
Radar
Yes (0)6.4

 


 romeotuma wrote:

If I remember right, Springsteen recorded the whole album of Nebraska by himself on an 8-track...

 

Yes, and i hear years ago  it was in the kitchen.

I like this a lot, if only because it is not the usual Born-in-the-USA Springsteeny stuff you hear so much.


someone get busted for speeding lately? {#Smile}

52 amBruce Springsteen
Highway Patrolman
Nebraska (1982)6.7
 
6:47 amThe Clash
Police and Thieves
The Clash (1979)7.5
 
6:44 amBottle Rockets
Radar Gun
The Brooklyn Side (1994)6.1
 
6:40 amMorphine
Radar
Yes (0)6.4

Interesting back story on the Johnstown Flood:
here and here

Sandy Paton in the Mudcat forum wrote:

The story of the Johnstown Flood ought to be enough to radicalize the masses. The rich Pittsburgh sportsmen (Mellon, Carnegie, etc.) refused to breach their earthen dam to let the water building up behind it out a little at a time. Warned that the dam was going to give way, they still refused to sacrifice their private lake. As a result, thousands of lives were sacrificed when the dam broke and the wall of water swept down the valley. Read about it, folks.




Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
I've loved Nebraska from the first time I heard it. It is so bare, so impressive.
:yawn: So Boring, So Awful, So Over-rated. He has always been a horrible Bob Dylan wannabe....Playing Woody HOW ORIGINAL!!! Please stop playing this east coast imposter.
I've been a Springsteen fan since the early 70's. This album just hit me on a different level. I have introduced it to many people over the years, and anyone who takes the time to really listen to it will always have a copy. Kind of like "Leaves of Grass" or "A Confederacy of Dunces". You can't improve on perfect. :meditate:
Bruce has many good songs. This isn't one of them. Solid One.
Dirktooth wrote:
Though I live in California these days, this song brings back my mid-western memories something sharp.
It does the same thing for me. I am an old mid-westerner also.
Booooriingg
Darkmatter wrote:
I saw the movie "Indian Runner" directed by Sean Penn the other day, and it struck me how the story in the movie seemed to be very much inspired by the lyrics of this song. If you have not seen it, do it if you have the chance! It is a criminally underrated movie. :smile:
It's straight-up based on the song. Unusual to base a movie on a song instead of a book or a play but that's Bruce Springsteen for ya.
I don't own this album but I do have the tribute album of different artists doing this album. I think it's called Badlands or something like that. Dar Williams does this song and although I like her version I now realize that the original is even better.
Thank You :clap:, Thank you :clap:
Kill the lights; let the shadows fill the room. Play this album straight through. Beautiful, somber poetry here.
BlueHeronDruid wrote:
The flatness of some of his notes in his ballads (like this) annoys me.
Yeah, I agree, but the story is kind of cool. Another thing is his habit of trying to put to many words in a line. Come on Bruce, work on the phrasing. Other than that its ok, I give it a 4.
FlamingLotus wrote:
the next song on Nebraska is "State Trooper", a version of the same event told from the brother's point of view. Nebraska is Bruce as I like to hear him: raw. Awesome album.
The flatness of some of his notes in his ballads (like this) annoys me.
I saw the movie "Indian Runner" directed by Sean Penn the other day, and it struck me how the story in the movie seemed to be very much inspired by the lyrics of this song. If you have not seen it, do it if you have the chance! It is a criminally underrated movie. :smile:
the next song on Nebraska is \"State Trooper\", a version of the same event told from the brother\'s poing of view. Nebraska is Bruce as I like to hear him: raw. Awesome album.
Bloody haunting ballad this one. Gut-ripper.
alanthecowboy wrote:
Ummm... nope, actually this is my least favorite Bruce song, so far. I'm not a huge fan to begin with, but this doesn't help. By the way, I'm not used to seeing spam on this forum. Get lost.
If you check out fotobruce's 'song comments' you'll see that this is all he that he does. Spam, spam, spam...Hey Bill is this guy playing by the rules?
The set today... Bruce Springsteen - Highway Patrolman Golden Earring - Radar Love Bottle Rockets - Radar Gun Morphine - Radar Did Bill get pulled over, and talk his way out of it?
FotoBruce wrote:
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Ummm... nope, actually this is my least favorite Bruce song, so far. I'm not a huge fan to begin with, but this doesn't help. By the way, I'm not used to seeing spam on this forum. Get lost.
Though I live in California these days, this song brings back my mid-western memories something sharp.
I've never been a particular fan of Bruce,but this is good.A solid 8.
...is this your favorite Bruce song? Discover the New Bruce Springsteen book, For You Bursting with amazing stories the editors are looking for written contributions documenting fans experiences with Bruce Springsteen and his music. Also original photography from the early 1970s to the present. Visit(click here)