Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Bruce Springsteen Lyrics


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Tear drops on the city, Bad Scooter searching for his groove
Seem like the whole world walking pretty and you can't find the room to move
Well, everybody better move over, that's all
'Cause I'm running on the bad side and I got my back to the wall
Tenth Avenue freeze-out
Tenth Avenue freeze-out

Well, I was stranded in the jungle trying to take in all the heat they was giving
The night is dark but the sidewalk's bright and lined with the light of the living
From a tenement window a transistor blasts
Turn around the corner, things got real quiet real fast
I walked into a Tenth Avenue freeze-out
Tenth Avenue freeze-out

And I'm all alone, I'm all alone
(And kid, you better get the picture)
And I'm on my own, I'm on my own
And I can't go home

When the change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band
From the coastline to the city, all the little pretties raise their hands
I'm gonna sit back right easy and laugh
When Scooter and the Big Man bust this city in half
With the Tenth Avenue freeze-out
Tenth Avenue freeze-out
Tenth Avenue freeze-out
Tenth Avenue freeze
I'm talking 'bout a Tenth
Oh, nothing but a Tenth
I'm talking 'bout a Tenth
I'm talking bout a Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, Tenth




Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, I'm talking 'bout a
Tenth Avenue freeze-out

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" paint a picture of a struggling individual in an urban environment. The first stanza introduces a character named Bad Scooter, who is searching for his groove in a city where everyone seems to be walking pretty but there's no space to move. The singer declares that he's running on the bad side with his back against the wall, and warns everybody to move over, thus foreshadowing the upcoming Tenth Avenue freeze-out, which is portrayed as a powerful, unstoppable force.


The second stanza describes the singer stranded in the jungle, trying to take in all the heat that's being given, meaning it's a harsh and unforgiving environment. The night is dark, but the sidewalk is bright and lined with the light of the living. As the singer turns a corner, things get real quiet real fast, and a transistor blasts from a tenement window. This creates a contrast between the isolation and danger the singer feels, and the lively, electrified atmosphere of the city.


The third and final stanza is an upbeat declaration of the power of music and the arrival of a new era. The change was made uptown, and the Big Man joined the band, referring to the addition of saxophonist Clarence Clemons to the E Street Band. This event is celebrated by all the little pretties - a metaphor for the enthusiastic fans. The singer declares that he's going to sit back and laugh when Scooter and the Big Man bust the city in half with the Tenth Avenue freeze-out. The repeated line "Tenth Avenue freeze-out" anchors the entire song, creating a sense of momentum and rising excitement.


Line by Line Meaning

Tear drops on the city, Bad Scooter searching for his groove
The city is crying and Bad Scooter is looking for his place in it


Seem like the whole world walking pretty and you can't find the room to move
Everyone else is doing well but you're feeling stuck


Well, everybody better move over, that's all
You're coming through and everyone else needs to make way


'Cause I'm running on the bad side and I got my back to the wall
You're taking risks and in a difficult situation, but still moving forward


Tenth Avenue freeze-out
Describing the feeling of being stuck in life and trying to move forward


Well, I was stranded in the jungle trying to take in all the heat they was giving
Metaphor for feeling overwhelmed and struggling to keep up


The night is dark but the sidewalk's bright and lined with the light of the living
Contrasting dark times with the light around you and the hope it brings


From a tenement window a transistor blasts
The loudness of life all around you, even if it's not your own


Turn around the corner, things got real quiet real fast
Suddenly everything can change and the world can become still


I walked into a Tenth Avenue freeze-out
Still speaking to the feeling of being stuck and struggling to move forward


And I'm all alone, I'm all alone (And kid, you better get the picture)
No one else can help but you need to understand that you're in control


And I'm on my own, I'm on my own
Repeating the sense of being on one's own and needing to find a way forward


And I can't go home
There's no going back to what used to be or what's familiar


When the change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band
A time when things started to look up, with the addition of new players to the group


From the coastline to the city, all the little pretties raise their hands
Everybody is feeling the music and the energy, and getting into it


I'm gonna sit back right easy and laugh
The feeling of victory and finally being able to relax and enjoy it


When Scooter and the Big Man bust this city in half
Feeling like you can take on anything and truly conquer it


With the Tenth Avenue freeze-out
Bringing the song full circle, still speaking to the feeling of being stuck and needing to push through


I'm talking 'bout a Tenth Oh, nothing but a Tenth I'm talking 'bout a Tenth I'm talking bout a Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, Tenth Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, Tenth, I'm talking 'bout a
Repeating the chorus to drive home the meaning of being on the brink of something, needing to push forward, and finding the way out of feeling stuck




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

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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