Balboa Park

by Bruce Springsteen 

He lay on his blanket underneath the freeway
As the evening sky grew dark
Took a sniff of toncho from his coke can
And headed through Balboa Park
Where the men in their Mercedes
Come nightly to employ
In the cool San Diego evening
The services of the border boys

He grew up near the Zona Norte
With the hustlers and smugglers he hung out with
He swallowed their balloons of cocaine
Brought ’em across the Twelfth Street strip
Sleeping in a shelter
If the night got too cold
Runnin’ from the migra
Of the border patrol

Past the salvage yard ‘cross the train tracks
And in through the storm drain
They stretched their blankets out ‘neath the freeway
And each one took a name
There was X-man and Cochise
Little Spider his sneakers covered in river mud
They come…

He did what he had to do for the money
Sometimes he sent home what he could spare
The rest went to high-top sneakers and toncho
And jeans like the gavachos wear

One night the border patrol swept Twelfth Street
A big car come fast down the boulevard
Spider stood caught in its headlights
Got hit and went down hard
As the car sped away Spider held his stomach
Limped to his blanket ‘neath the underpass
Lie there tasting his own blood on his tongue
Closed his eyes and listened to the cars
Rushin’ by so fast

 

Songwriters: Bruce Springsteen

Balboa Park lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

 

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