Springsteen Sunday (Vol. 7, Rosalita)

Well, we were going to get to Rosie sooner or later, weren’t we. Might as well be today.

Welcome back for your musical Sunday Service.

Song: Rosalita
Album: The Wild the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle



When Rosalita was released in 1973, it instantly became Springsteen’s concert party anthem; one that blew the roof off every show. It was also, according to Bruce, autobiographical, as much of his music was back then. It was about a former girlfriend, whose true name he’s never revealed. However, other people mentioned in the song, Jack the Rabbit, Weak Knee Will, Sloppy Sue and Big Bone Willy, are all part of his past.
images-1 The lyrics are fun and, as always, make you shake your head and smile at how he comes up with some of these phrases.

Spread out now Rosie, doctor come cut loose her mama’s reins
You know playin’ blind man’s bluff is a little baby’s game
You pick up Little Dynamite, I’ll pick up Little Gun
And together we’re gonna go out tonight and make that highway run
You don’t have to call me lieutenant, Rosie, and I don’t want to be your son
The only lover I’m ever gonna need’s your soft, sweet, little girl’s tongue
And Rosie, you’re the one

Dynamite’s in the belfry, baby, playin’ with the bats
Little Gun’s downtown in front of Woolworth’s tryin’ out his attitude on all the cats
Papa’s on the corner, waitin’ for the bus
Mama, she’s home in the window, waitin’ up for us
She’ll be there in that chair when they wrestle her upstairs, ’cause you know we ain’t gonna come
I ain’t here on business, baby, I’m only here for fun
And Rosie, you’re the one

Rosalita, jump a little higher
Senorita, come sit by my fire
I just want to be your lover, ain’t no liar
Rosalita, you’re my stone desire

Jack the Rabbit and Weak Knee Willie, don’t you know they’re gonna be there
Sloppy Sue and Big Bone Billy, they’ll be coming up for air
We’re gonna play some pool, skip some school
Act real cool, stay out all night, it’s gonna feel alright
So Rosie, come out tonight, little baby, come out tonight
Windows are for cheaters, chimneys for the poor
Closets are for hangers, winners use the door
So use it, Rosie, that’s what it’s there for


Now, I know your mama, she don’t like me, ’cause I play in a rock and roll band
And I know your daddy, he don’t dig me, but he never did understand
Your papa lowered the boom, he locked you in your room– I’m comin’ to lend a hand
I’m comin’ to liberate you, confiscate you, I want to be your man
Someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny
But now you’re sad, your mama’s mad
And your papa says he knows that I don’t have any money
Your papa says he knows that I don’t have any money
Oh, your daddy says he knows that I don’t have any money
Well, tell him this is his last chance to get his daughter in a fine romance
‘Cause a record company, Rosie, just gave me a big advance

And my tires were slashed and I almost crashed, but the Lord had mercy
And my machine, she’s a dud, out stuck in the mud somewhere in the swamps of Jersey
Well, hold on tight, stay up all night, ’cause Rosie, I’m comin’ on strong
By the time we meet the morning light, I will hold you in my arms
I know a pretty little place in Southern California, down San Diego way
There’s a little cafe, where they play guitars all night and all day
You can hear them in the back room strummin’
So hold tight, baby, ’cause don’t you know Daddy’s comin’
Everybody sing

Rosalita, jump a little higher
Senorita, come sit by my fire
I just want to be your lover, ain’t no liar
Oh Baby, you’re my stone desire

Hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey


As I mentioned earlier, Rosalita was played at almost every concert beginning in ’73 for about 15-20 years. After that he only played it on special occasions, which disappointed many of his concert fans who had grown accustomed to hearing it. In 1999, when Bruce and The E Street Band reunited for a tour, he kicked it off by playing 15 shows at the Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey. Three hundred thousand tickets were sold in just a few minutes. He could have sold out another 15 shows in the same amount of time if he chose to play more dates. After all, this is Springsteen territory. We actually caught two of those shows and one at Madison Square Garden at another date and I can tell you the crowd was as electric as any concert I’ve ever been to and the band was amazing. For 3 1/2- 4 hours, nobody sat and everyone sang.

This clip is not the best  quality but it relates to the story. He had not played Rosalita at any of his first 14 shows even though the crowd held up posters and called out for it. On the final night, at the end of the concert, he started thanking everyone for coming and began teasing the crowd. I apologize for the craziness at the beginning of this clip but someone was very excited. The rest of the video is worth viewing and captures some of that electricity. Here’s how it played out.

See you next week. Say hello to Rosie if you see her.

6 thoughts on “Springsteen Sunday (Vol. 7, Rosalita)

  1. Dale

    Springsteen definitely gives you lots for your money! I’ll never forget the concert I went to in, ahem, 1981…
    Isn’t it annoying when you are trying to film and you have some fat-head in front of you getting in the way? I went to a Bryan Adams concert recently and the guy in front of me must have measured a good 6’4″… C’mon dammit.. Sit down already!!! 😉 Finally I just focused on the big screen ‘coz Bryan was totally eclipsed by buddy… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. George Post author

      So you went to see Bruce when you were 4? I’m guessing your parents were big fans…….:)
      Yes it is crazy when people won’t sit but it’s understood at his concerts; that and starting an hour after the scheduled time. I like Bryan Adams, must have been a food one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dale

        47!!! Um. No. I’m 51 now!! 😉
        Nope…I was 16 when I went and no, my parents were still stuck on Elvis and rock ‘n’ roll…and country for my mom!
        Bryan is almost as generous with his time as Bruce is!

        Liked by 1 person

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