10th avenue freeze out lyrics meaning

10th avenue freeze out is a song by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. It is an adaptation of the traditional folk song “Casey Jones” and also appears on his 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home.

“Tenth Avenue Freeze Out”

Tear drops on the city
Bad Scooter searching for his groove
Seem like the whole world walking pretty
And you can’t find the room to move
Well everybody better move over, that’s all
‘Cause I’m running on the bad side
And I got my back to the wall
Tenth Avenue freeze-out, Tenth Avenue freeze-out

I was stranded in the jungle
Tryin’ to take in all the heat they was giving
The night is dark but the sidewalks bright
And lined with the light of the living
From a tenement window a transistor blasts
Turn around the corner things got real quiet real fast
I walked into a Tenth Avenue freeze-out
Tenth Avenue freeze-out

And I’m all alone, I’m all alone
And kid you better get the picture
And I’m on my own, I’m on my own
And I can’t go home

When the change was made uptown
And the Big Man joined the band
From the coastline to the city
All the little pretties raise their hands
I’m gonna sit back right easy and laugh
When Scooter and the Big Man bust this city in half
With a Tenth Avenue freeze-out, tenth avenue freeze-out
Tenth avenue freeze-out

Best guess- no one knows, not even Springsteen himself. It references 10th Avenue New York City. No 10th Avenue in Asbury, it’s a lake. (Which might be cold but no I don’t think that’s it).

And it’s about a back to the wall turnaround moment of feeling down, followed by success.

There is a 10th Street in Belmar and the band name comes from E Street which intersects 10th Avenue in the same town. The song is about the band’s formative years, so it’s a possibility.

But these lines to me say NYC

Well, I was stranded in the jungle trying to take in all the heat they was giving
The night is dark but the sidewalk’s bright and lined with the light of the living
From a tenement window a transistor blasts
Turn around the corner, things got real quiet real fast
I walked into a Tenth Avenue freeze-out
Tenth Avenue freeze-out

There’s no tenements in Belmar on 10th Avenue I’m aware of and it’s a beach town, not much of a concrete jungle. The sidewalk wouldn’t be that active w the light of the living. 10th avenue new york city on the other hand would have tenements so to speak. And if you turned a corner in 1970s manhattan, that area would probably be pretty quiet. We are pretty far from the High Line days – 10th avenue means quiet and so he’s walking alone and has a moment.

And I’m all alone, I’m all alone
(And kid, you better get the picture)
And I’m on my own, I’m on my own
And I can’t go home

If you ask me – I think I believe him when he says he doesn’t remember. He has notebooks upon notebooks. You write something down one day, and see it a few days later, but you are writing so much you don’t quite remember. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out could have been one of those things.

Springsteen has been much more open about his depression in the book Born to Run. I think it’s pretty likely this freeze-out is like a point where he felt low, felt down, felt like he wasn’t getting anywhere and then – started the band with the Big Man and took on the world ‘cut the city in half, so to speak’

“10th avenue freeze out lyrics meaning”

I know Bruce has said that he doesn’t really know what that phrase means to this day, but I was wondering if anyone on here has any thoughts about it. One of my relatives (big fan of Bruce) that grew up in Neptune Township, right outside of Asbury Park, told me that he thinks it has something to do with Deal Lake freezing over in winter and becoming a “Tenth Avenue”, as there isn’t actually a 10th Ave. in Asbury Park. Just what I’ve heard, anyways.

Its clearly a song about the beginning of the E-Street band and Bruce kind of finding himself through The Big Man and the start of the band, but I wanted to see if anybody had any thoughts beyond that.

In the Wings for Wheels documentary he made it pretty clear — “I don’t know what it means, but it’s important!”

This was still in an era where he used a lot of semi-nonsensical imagery but uses it to create a very tangible and real atmosphere. The one you get in “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” is absolutely one about finding your groove and learning to “split this city in half.” The definition of the words sometimes matters less than their overall impression, if that makes any sense.

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