Second song off of Bruce Springsteen
's second album, "The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle
In its simplest form, it seems to be a basic ballad of summer love; the singer promising to love the girl forever if she goes to bed with him that night. But the song, like many of Springsteen's songs, is far more depressing.
Asbury Park was a popular resort town on the Jersey Shore in the 1950s and '60s. In the early 1970s, the town started to fall apart. The song is more of a farewell ballad to the city that was his home, that he's watching crumble before his eyes, and his needing to take something away from it. "Sandy" is an amalgam of all of the girls he knew while living there.
The weekend of July 4th, 1970 saw 5 days worth of race riots in Asbury Park. 46 people were shot over this time. This was probably the turning point for the town's decline and fall, and probably why Springsteen chose to title the song "4th Of July, Asbury Park" rather than "Sandy", since the former is more likely what the song is about.
Most of the landmarks in the song were still standing at least in 1998. The Casino is now used as a skateboard park (and was used as the locale for Springsteen's Tunnel of Love video). Madame Marie and her daughters still tell fortunes, although they have since moved. However, the circuit where people would cruise, is now closed, and the "joints under the boardwalk" have long since been covered in sand.
--- lyrics removed pending copyright questions and finding the boss' email address ---
This song has also been covered by the Hollies
, Ben E. King
, and Air Supply
. Whether or not they understood the meaning
, the music
itself is still pretty
CST Approved. WHEE.