Bruce Springsteen – Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)

Bruce Springsteen – Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)

‘Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)’ is a 1973 song by Bruce Springsteen, from his The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle album, and is especially famed as a concert number for Springsteen and The E Street Band. The song, which clocks in at just over seven minutes, is a story of forbidden love between the singer and the titular Rosalita, whose parents disapprove of his life in a rock and roll band. It is included on the compilation albums The Essential Bruce Springsteen and Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Greatest Hits. In 2021, Rolling Stone ranked it the 446th greatest song of all time on their updated 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

‘Rosalita’ is Springsteen's musical autobiography. After touring relentlessly around the Jersey Shore, he finally signed a record deal and got some money, proving his naysayers wrong. Springsteen called the song "a kiss-off to everybody who counted you out, put you down, or decided you weren't good enough." In 1974 and 1975, Springsteen would sometimes tell journalists that when he was 17, he was hot and heavy for a girl whose mother didn't approve and got a court order against him. She would call the cops if she saw him, so Bruce had to come by on the sly. He said this was the inspiration for "Rosalita," specifically the line, "Mama, she's home in the window, waitin' up for us."

Springsteen considers this the best love song he ever wrote, which he would often declare before performing it. It's proof that a love song does not have to be slow or sappy.

The audience always goes crazy when Springsteen sings the line: "The record company, Rosie, just gave me a big advance." He got a $25,000 advance from Columbia Records when he signed his first record deal, proving to his father and others who doubted him that he did have a real job. This was one of the first songs to showcase Clarence Clemons on sax. With his bright suits and imposing size, he quickly became the most popular member of the E Street Band. Along with Clemons and Springsteen, the other performers on this track are bass player Garry Tallent, piano player David Sancious, and drummer Vini Lopez. Both Sancious and Lopez left the band the following year, with Sancious forming his own group, Tone.

Never released as a single in U.S. and generally unknown upon its initial album release, ‘Rosalita’ began to get FM radio airplay when an advance version of ‘Born to Run’ was distributed to rock radio stations. As Springsteen gained commercial success, ‘Rosalita’ became one of his most popular airplay tracks, and is still heard on classic rock radio. The song, despite never receiving an official US single release, has been lauded hugely by music critics in the years since its release in 1973. On its release Ken Emerson of Rolling Stone dubbed it "a raucous celebration of desire." In Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau described it as "more lyrical and ironic than you could have dreamed". George P Pelecanos of Uncut magazine has called it "One of the great rock'n roll performances, and as close to a perfect song as anyone's ever recorded," while Chris T-T in the same publication declared "Never mind The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, this is the best rock'n roll track of all time." The song is one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Its music video occupies the number 71 spot on Rolling Stone's 1993 list of the top 100 videos.

Label – Columbia
Songwriter – Bruce Springsteen
Producers – Mike Appel, Jim Cretecos


[Verse 1]
Spread out now, Rosie, doctor come cut loose her mama's reins
You know playin' blind man's bluff is a little baby's game
You pick up Little Dynamite, I'm gonna pick up Little Gun
And together we're gonna go out tonight and make that highway run
You don't have to call me lieutenant, Rosie, and I don't want to be your son
The only lover I'm ever gonna need's your soft sweet little girl's tongue
Ah, Rosie, you're the one
[Verse 2]
Dynamite's in the belfry, baby, playin' with the bats
Little Gun's downtown in front of Woolworth's, tryin' out his attitude on all the cats
Papa's on the corner, waitin' for the bus
Mama, she's home in the window, waitin' up for us
She'll be there in that chair when they wrestle her upstairs, cause you know we ain't gonna come
Ah, I ain't here on business, baby, I'm only here for fun
And Rosie, you're the one
Rosalita, jump a little lighter
Señorita, come sit by my fire
I just want to be your lover, ain't no liar
Rosalita, you're my stone desire
[Verse 3]
Jack the Rabbit and Weak Knees Willie, don't you know they're gonna be there
Ah, Sloppy Sue and Big Bones Billy, they'll be comin' up for air
We're gonna play some pool, skip some school, act real cool
Stay out all night, it's gonna feel all right
So Rosie, come out tonight, oh, baby, come out tonight
Windows are for cheaters, chimneys for the poor
Oh, closets are for hangers, winners use the door
So use it Rosie, that's what it's there for
Rosalita, jump a little lighter
Señorita, come sit by my fire
I just want to be your lover, ain't no liar
Rosalita, you're my stone desire
All right
[Instrumental Break]
Now, I know your mama, she don't like me cause I play in a rock and roll band
And I know your daddy, he don't dig me, but he never did understand
Your papa lowered the boom, he locked you in your room
I'm coming to lend a hand
I'm coming to liberate you, confiscate you, I want to be your man
Someday we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny
But now you're sad, your mama's mad
And your papa says he knows that I don't (have any money)
Whoa, your papa says he knows (that I don't have any money)
Whoa, so your daddy says he knows I don't have (Papa says he knows that I don't have any money)
Well, tell him this is his last chance to get his daughter in a fine romance
Because the record company, Rosie, just gave me a big advance
[Verse 4]
And my tires were slashed and I almost crashed, but the Lord had mercy
And my machine, she's a dud, I'm stuck in the mud somewhere in the swamps of Jersey
Well, hold on tight, stay up all night, cause Rosie, I'm comin' on strong
By the time we meet the morning light, I will hold you in my arms
I know a pretty little place in Southern California down San Diego way
There's a little café where they play guitars all night and all day
You can hear 'em in the back room strummin'
So hold tight, baby, cause don't you know daddy's comin'
Oh, everybody, so!
Rosalita, jump a little lighter
Señorita, come sit by my fire
I just want to be your lover, ain't no liar
Rosalita, you're my stone desire
Oh, yeah
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