Bruce Springsteen – No Surrender

This song was on the album “Born In The USA.” released in 1984. I was a Jr in high school and this song hit like a blast. Bruce had been huge when Born To Run was released in 1975 but since then he had been popular but this album placed him in the stratosphere. He was reluctant to release the album because Bruce had a clue on how big this album was going to be and he didn’t know how comfortable he would be with that.

When you are 17 years old and waiting for your life to start… then hear the lyrics Well, we busted out of class, Had to get away from those fools, We learned more from a three-minute record, baby Than we ever learned in school… it gets your attention.

I think every song on the album could have been released as a single. This one did not chart but remains a strong song. Steven Van Zandt convinced Springsteen to include this song on the album because Bruce was going to leave it off.

From Songfacts

Springsteen wrote this about the inspirational power of rock music. It came to represent his friendship with members of his band.

This was the last song chosen for the album. E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt had to convince Springsteen to put it on. Van Zandt had left the band, but remained close to Springsteen and would eventually play with him again.

The original title was “Brothers Under The Bridges.”

Part of the chorus provided the title for Jean-Claude Van Damme’s first movie, No Retreat, No Surrender.

Springsteen often performed a slower version of this at concerts. The version on the box set Live 1975-1985 is a slower, solo performance.

No Surrender

Well, we busted out of class
Had to get away from those fools
We learned more from a three-minute record, baby
Than we ever learned in school
Tonight I hear the neighborhood drummer sound
I can feel my heart begin to pound
You say you’re tired and you just want to close your eyes
And follow your dreams down

Well, we made a promise we swore we’d always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender
Like soldiers in the winter’s night
With a vow to defend
No retreat, baby, no surrender

Well, now young faces grow sad and old
And hearts of fire grow cold
We swore blood brothers against the wind
Now I’m ready to grow young again
And hear your sister’s voice calling us home
Across the open yards
Well maybe we’ll cut someplace of our own
With these drums and these guitars

‘Cause we made a promise we swore we’d always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender
Blood brothers in the stormy night
With a vow to defend
No retreat, baby, no surrender

Now on the street tonight the lights grow dim
The walls of my room are closing in
There’s a war outside still raging
You say it ain’t ours anymore to win
I want to sleep beneath
Peaceful skies in my lover’s bed
With a wide open country in my eyes
And these romantic dreams in my head

Once we made a promise we swore we’d always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender
Blood brothers in a stormy night
With a vow to defend
No retreat, baby, no surrender
No retreat, baby, no surrender

Ohh ohh ohh
Ohh ohh ohh
Ohh ohh ohh
Ohh ohh ohh

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

18 thoughts on “Bruce Springsteen – No Surrender”

      1. I’ve done the same thing on some artists… later to regret it. I was a fan of Bruce but could not believe how big he became after this album. He had more of a big cult following until Born in the USA

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The slow one does bring more emphasis to the lyrics and I should included that one.

      When I got the album…I gravitated toward this song and for some reason Darlington County. When I hear either one…I’m 17-18 again…in my mind anyway lol. It seems I go to the B sides first.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think after that album was played to death- as far as the singles go- the songs I like best from it now are the ones that weren’t played to death- I liked Bobby Jean a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I liked Bobby Jean also. I wasn’t a huge fan of Dancing in the Dark when it came out…as the other songs came out…I liked them better.
        When I heard the song Born in the USA it blew me away…I read where Dave Marsh said that no one sang that demented since Lennon did Twist and Shout… I’m paraphrasing.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I am with you on that album- when I hear it images of the summer of 1984 immediately come to me. There are a lot of albums that I really like that it might escape me what time of year it was released but not Born In The USA- summer 84.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I never knew Bruce was reluctant to release it. It’s of course a tremendous record. I think I read somewhere that ‘Dancing in the Dark’ was the second highest selling single in history behind Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’. I don’t know if that is true or not.
    One of my favourite songs is probably most people’s least favourite on the album – ‘I’m Going Down’. Loved the post Bad and those killer lyrics which would entice any 17 year old! Haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I LOVE I’m Going Down. People say it’s too repetitive but it’s such a mood that song sets.

      Oh those lyrics to No Surrender…I mean it was a war call as a teenager…

      Liked by 1 person

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