The original handwritten lyrics to Bruce Springsteen’s iconic song “Born To Run” are to be displayed in public for the first time – and they reveal some startling differences from the finished track.
In December, the draft lyrics for the 1975 classic smashed estimates after going under the hammer at Sotheby’s auction house in New York for $197,000, almost double the estimate of $100,000.
The mystery buyer has now revealed himself as Floyd Bradley, from California, who is loaning the lyric sheet to officials at Duke University in North Carolina, where both his daughter, Melissa, and Springsteen’s daughter, Jessica, are due to graduate this weekend.
The sheet of words will be displayed at the university’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library until June 27, and a preview look has revealed Springsteen’s initial draft of the song was a lot different to the eventual lyrics.
There is no mention of the writer’s lover ‘Wendy’, who features heavily in the finished track, and instead Springsteen makes several references to a “gold Chevy 6″ car, that were later removed from the song.
The lyric sheet also features Springsteen’s margin notes, which include the words “wild angels” and “the rebels”, but despite the differences, the song’s famous hook – “Tramps like us/Baby we were born to run” – is featured in the chorus.
Meg Brown, exhibit librarian at Duke University, says, “Something as iconic as this song, it’s going to be important to American history. It came in at a time with a lot of change in American history and it made a significant difference.”