Atlantic City
Bruce Springsteen Lyrics


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Well, they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night
Now they blew up his house, too
Down on the boardwalk they're gettin' ready
For a fight, gonna see what them racket boys can do

Now there's trouble busin' in from outta state
And the DA can't get no relief
Gonna be a rumble out on the promenade
And the gamblin' commission's hangin' on by the skin of its teeth

Well, now everything dies, baby, that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City

Well, I got a job and tried to put my money away
But I got debts that no honest man can pay
So I drew what I had from the Central Trust
And I bought us two tickets on that Coast City bus

Now, baby, everything dies, honey, that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City

Now our luck may have died and our love may be cold
But with you forever I'll stay
We're goin' out where the sands turnin' to gold now
Put on your stockings, baby, 'cause the nights gettin' cold and
Everything dies, baby, that's a fact but maybe
Everything that dies someday comes back

Now I've been lookin' for a job but it's hard to find
Down here it's just winners and losers
And don't get caught on the wrong side of that line
Well I'm tired of comin' out on this losin' end
So, honey, last night I met this guy
And I'm gonna do a little favor for him

Well I guess everything dies, baby, that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Fix your hair up nice, make yourself look pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Come meet me tonight in Atlantic City
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City
(Tonight in Atlantic City)
(Tonight in Atlantic City)
(Meet me tonight in Atlantic City)




(Tonight in Atlantic City)
(Tonight in Atlantic City)

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Bruce Springsteen's song, Atlantic City, describe the desperate situation of a couple who live in Atlantic City, a city that has been in decline for many years. The city has become a hub for criminal activities, as seen in the opening lines where "they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night" and "they blew up his house too". The couple seems to have financial difficulties, and the man decides to take a risky job that involves criminal activities. The lyrics depict the bleakness of their situation, and the hopelessness of their future.


However, the lyrics also offer a glimmer of hope as the couple plans to meet in Atlantic City. They hope to turn their fortunes around and start a new life. The lyrics suggest that the couple will not be able to escape the harsh realities of Atlantic City, but they are willing to take a chance.


In conclusion, Atlantic City is a song that paints a picture of a city in decline, and a couple that is trying to survive the difficult times. The lyrics offer a realistic view of the harsh realities of life and suggest that even in the darkest of times, there is a glimmer of hope for a better future.


Line by Line Meaning

Well, they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night
Recent troubles near Atlantic City have led to an explosion in Philadelphia last night where a local businessman known as the 'chicken man' was killed along with his house.


Now they blew up his house, too
As a result of this violent act, the house of the 'chicken man' was also destroyed in the explosion.


Down on the boardwalk they're gettin' ready for a fight, gonna see what them racket boys can do
The situation around Atlantic City has caused tension and violence is expected to erupt soon as the groups involved prepare for a confrontation.


Now there's trouble busin' in from outta state and the DA can't get no relief
The problems in Atlantic City have attracted attention from other areas outside of the state, and even with the involvement of the District Attorney, the situation hasn't resolved.


Gonna be a rumble out on the promenade and the gamblin' commission's hangin' on by the skin of its teeth
There will likely be a violent clash on the promenade soon, and the gambling commission in the area is barely holding on as the situation escalates.


Well, now everything dies, baby, that's a fact. But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
The singer acknowledges that death is inevitable, but there's a chance for things to reappear again in the future.


Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty. And meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Despite the chaos and uncertainty, the singer wants his partner to look her best for a fun night out in Atlantic City.


Well, I got a job and tried to put my money away. But I got debts that no honest man can pay
The artist has a job, but he's still struggling to make ends meet because of debts that are impossible to pay off.


So I drew what I had from the Central Trust. And I bought us two tickets on that Coast City bus
To get away from their problems, the artist used money from the Central Trust to buy tickets for a trip on a bus leaving for the coast.


Now, baby, everything dies, honey, that's a fact. But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
The artist reiterates the inevitability of death, but again suggests that things may come back in the future.


Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty. And meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Again, the singer urges his partner to get ready for a night out in Atlantic City, despite their hardships.


Now our luck may have died and our love may be cold. But with you forever I'll stay
Their luck may have run out and their relationship may not be particularly strong, but the artist still promises to stick by his partner forever.


We're goin' out where the sands turnin' to gold now. Put on your stockings, baby, 'cause the nights gettin' cold
The couple is headed to a place where things are looking up, but it's still chilly at night so the partner is reminded to wear stockings.


Everything dies, baby, that's a fact but maybe. Everything that dies someday comes back
The song reminds listeners that death is inevitable, but holds onto the idea that things can be renewed or reappear again some day.


Now I've been lookin' for a job but it's hard to find. Down here it's just winners and losers
The singer has been searching for a job, but has found it difficult to come by with the high rate of competition in the area.


And don't get caught on the wrong side of that line
There seems to be an invisible line separating the 'winners' from the 'losers,' and the artist warns his partner not to end up on the wrong side of it.


Well I'm tired of comin' out on this losin' end
The constant struggle to make ends meet is wearing on the artist, and he's growing tired of never being able to succeed.


So, honey, last night I met this guy. And I'm gonna do a little favor for him
In an effort to turn their fortunes around, the singer admits to meeting someone who has asked him to do a favor for him in exchange for money.


Fix your hair up nice, make yourself look pretty. And meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Despite the questionable favor the singer has committed to, he still wants his partner to look her best for their night out in Atlantic City together.


Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
The song's repeated refrain urges the partner to join the artist for a night out in Atlantic City.




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: Bruce Springsteen

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@lookupthereupinthetrees9860

I was a night shift taxi driver years ago, and what Bruce managed to distill in several verses is just incredible to me.
The raw struggle and despair out there in the world. The things people will confess to a young taxi driver out of emotional desperation.

@JuanSchwartz

Its true. I drove for a few yrs in a small mill town here in sw Washington. And it was horrifyingly beautiful if that makes sense.

@ZackHamlin1

I do Uber on the side and it is absolutely true. The trauma dunking would shock me at first and I wouldn’t know how to respond at all. but I realize now they just need to talk.

@lookupthereupinthetrees9860

@@ZackHamlin1 it feels like an important social obligation. I remember spending two hours trying to talk a woman out of ending her life. She'd just walked in on the man she'd intended to marry cheating in front of her. Stood there watching him in the doorway. You've never seen such despair.

@nicolebetz8484

I heard this song for the first time today while I was feeling really sad, missing my parents. Today would've been their 61st and 59th birthdays. I just know it was sent from them for me. ❤️

@catboi1188

Wow 🥺 young ...I miss my mother. Worst part of aging is experiencing the loss of our loved ones 😢

@eudaimoniac7143

Wow!!!!! My parents shared the same birthday 9/22. My father overdosed on my 45th (4/5) birthday in one of those hotels that line Rte.30 (which is the road with the billboards). Thanks for sharing your pain. I come here because this was also the last song I sent him before he died. Music was our language!!! Thanks for being vulnerable. ❤

@enzothebaker22

I'm sorry that your folks are gone, it seems they were so young. I'm sure they would appreciate your memory of them. I have no advice but have been where you are; it'll be ok.

@williamannette558

What kind of narcissist are u? Lol

@ashleymonday298

The anguished howls in the background give this song a haunting quality that sticks with you long after the song is over.

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