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It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City Lyrics

Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Album: Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.

I had skin like leather and the diamond-hard look of a cobra
I was born blue and weathered but I burst just like a supernova
I could walk like Brando right into the sun, then dance just like a Casanova
With my blackjack and jacket and hair slicked sweet
Silver star studs on my duds, just like a Harley in heat
When I strut down the street, I could feel its heart beat
The sisters fell back and said, "Don't that man look pretty"
The cripple on the corner cried out, "Nickels for your pity"
Them gasoline boys downtown sure talk gritty
It's so hard to be a saint in the city

I was the king of the alley, Mama, I could talk some trash
I was the prince of the paupers, crowned downtown at the beggar's bash
I was the pimp's main prophet, I kept everything cool
Just a backstreet gambler with the luck to lose
And when the heat came down it was left on the ground
The devil appeared like Jesus through the steam in the street
Showin' me a hand I knew even the cops couldn't beat
I felt his hot breath on my neck as I dove into the heat
It's so hard to be a saint when you're just a boy out on the street

And the sages of the subway sit just like the living dead
As the tracks clack out the rhythm, their eyes fixed straight ahead
They ride the line of balance and hold on by just a thread
But it's too hot in these tunnels, you can get hit up by the heat
You get up to get out at your next stop, but they push you back in your seat
Your heart starts beatin' faster as you struggle to your feet
Then you're outa that hole and back up on the street

And them South Side sisters sure look pretty
The cripple on the corner cries out, "Nickels for your pity"
And them downtown boys sure talk gritty
It's so hard to be a saint in the city
Comments/Interpretations
by jake on 11/18/2010 2:18pm
fucking awesome song
by Robert on 2/8/2011 7:30am
Sheer poetry. Great words and great music to go with it if you get a chance to hear it.
by William on 2/11/2011 10:46am
Excellent lyrics and even better guitar work. Most definitely the Boss's best work. Especially the original acoustic version.
by joec on 1/27/2013 7:32pm
soooo cool
by Jersey Girl on 1/27/2013 9:29pm
Love the boss's and also love the Bowie version!
by Giaki on 4/6/2013 6:12am
I'm not that much of a Springsteen fan, but this is definitely a GREAT song. Love both versions (the original and the cover made by the White Duke).


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