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THE LINE Lyrics

Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Album: Ghost Of Tom Joad

I got my discharge from Fort Irwin
Took a place on the San Diego county line
Felt funny bein' a civilian again
It'd be some time
My wife had died a year ago
I was still tryin' to find my way back whole
Went to work for the INS on the line
With the California border patrol
Bobby Ramirez was a ten year veteran
We became friends
His family was from
Guanajuato
So the job it was different for him
He said "They risk death in the deserts and mountains
Pay all they got to the smugglers rings
We send 'em home and they come right back again
Carl hunger is a powerful thing."
Well I was good at doin' what I was to
l'd Kept my uniform pressed and clean
At night I chased their shadows
Thru the arroyos and ravines
Drug runners farmers with their families
Young women with little children by their sides
Come night we'd wait out in the canyons
And try to keep 'em from crossin' the line
Well the first time that I saw her
She was in the holdin' pen
Our eyes met and she looked away
Then she looked back again
Her hair was black as coal
Her eyes reminded me of what I'd lost
She had a young child cryin' in her arms
I asked "Senora is there anything I can do?"
There's a bar in Tijuana
Where me and Bobby drink alongside
The same people we'd sent back the day before
She said her name was Louisa
She was from Sonora and had just come north
We danced and I held her in my arms
And I knew what I would do
She said she had some family in Madera county
If she her child and younger brother could just get thru
At night they come across the levee
In the searchlight's dusty glow
We'd rush 'em in our Broncos
Force 'em back down into the river below
She climbed into my truck
She leaned toward me and we kissed
As we drove her brother's shirt slipped open
And I saw the tape across his chest
We were just about on the highway
When Bobby's jeep come up in the dust on my right
I pulled over and let my engine run
And stepped out into his lights
I felt myself movin'
My gun restin' 'neath my hand
We stood there starin' at each other
As off thru the arroyo she ran
Bobby Ramirez he never said nothin'
6 months later I left the line
I drifted to the central valley
And took what work I could find
At night I searched the local bars
And the migrant towns
Lookin' for my Louisa
With the black hair fallin' down
Comments/Interpretations
by David Bernazani on 3/31/2012 9:26pm
Bruce has an amazing talent for telling a man's life story in just a few stanzas, and make it heartbreakingly poignant.


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