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Bruce Springsteen – Jungleland lyrics
The rangers had a homecoming in harlem late last night
And the magic rat drove his sleek machine over the jersey state line
Barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a dodge
Drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain
The rat pulls into town rolls up his pants
Together they take a stab at romance and disappear down flamingo lane

Well the maximum lawman run down flamingo chasing the rat and the barefoot
Girl
And the kids round here look just like shadows always quiet, holding hands
From the churches to the jails tonight all is silence in the world
As we take our stand down in jungleland

The midnight gangs assembled and picked a rendezvous for the night
They'll meet 'neath that giant exxon sign that brings this fair city light
Man there's an opera out on the turnpike
There's a ballet being fought out in the alley
Until the local cops, cherry tops, rips this holy night
The streets alive as secret debts are paid
Contacts made, they vanished unseen
Kids flash guitars just like switch-blades hustling for the record machine
The hungry and the hunted explode into rocknroll bands
That face off against each other out in the street down in jungleland

In the parking lot the visionaries dress in the latest rage
Inside the backstreet girls are dancing to the records that the D. J. Plays
Lonely-hearted lovers struggle in dark corners
Desperate as the night moves on, just a look and a whisper, and they're gone

Beneath the city two hearts beat
Soul engines running through a night so tender in a bedroom locked
In whispers of soft refusal and then surrender in the tunnels uptown
The rats own dream guns him down as shots echo down them hallways in the
Night
No one watches when the ambulance pulls away
Or as the girl shuts out the bedroom light

Outside the streets on fire in a real death waltz
Between flesh and what's fantasy and the poets down here
Don't write nothing at all, they just stand back and let it all be
And in the quick of the night they reach for their moment
And try to make an honest stand but they wind up wounded, not even dead
Tonight in jungleland
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Corrected by Listentothesong

Jungleland meanings

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    This song.. is a statement of the struggle for young people living the streets to find some moments of joy. Close enough to spit at the affluent beachtowns of Long Island and Manhattan, the Magic Rat and the Barefoot girl find themselves in a whole different world.. and still there are moments of happiness for them.

    But that happiness is fleeting, and, by the end, the Rat is gone, and...
    " No one watches when the ambulance pulls away
    Or as the girl shuts out the bedroom light".

    it's a world where no one asks for a handout, where no one expects there to be a silver lining, where hope is fleeting.. but where you struggle on, with pride and occasional moments of joy, drinking a warm beer in the soft summer rain.. or, in another song, just racing in the street..

    No "moral" to the story. Only a glimpse into the lives of so many young people who grow up in worlds far removed from most of us.. and who find something like love, for a moment, as they disappear down flamingo lane.

    But.
    At the end.
    They're left wounded. Not even dead.

    (I just had a shiver. I've heard the song a thousand times, and it still moves me.)
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      This song.. is a statement of the struggle for young people living the streets to find some moments... Read more →

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