Blinded by The Light is about Bruce Springsteen’s carefree days on the boardwalk in New Jersey, and the general undertones of aspiration and ‘American’ values that are often found in his work.

Life on the New Jersey Boardwalks

The song appeared in the eponymous film “Blinded by the Light.” It’s a feel-good movie about fish-out-of-water Pakistanis trying to exist in Thatcher’s racist Britain. The racism cuts in two directions in the film, however, with the protagonist’s father making anti-Semitic comments about both Springsteen himself and the music, calling it “Jewish music” in a derisive and dismissive tone. Springsteen’s frequent themes of backbreaking work and family togetherness are central to the plot of the film, however.

The character of Javed in the film has similar carefree dreams. The film is ultimately about the power of a great song to inspire, motivate, and make people think. Javed’s journey, which takes him all over the United Kingdom and to America, is incidental to the effectiveness of Springsteen’s music.

Historical Context & More Information

Many more people identify “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred’s version of this song created by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band than Bruce Springsteen’s. “The Boss,” however, had written the song a full four years before the British band led by Manfred took it to No. 1. 

His version clearly states a line,  “Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night” which is generally mistaken by Americans as “Wrapped up like a douche, another runner in the night!” or “Blinded by the light, revved up like a douche”. The fun fact here is that the meaning of the line “Wrapped up like a douche, another runner in the night!” or “Blinded by the light, revved up like a douche” is completely different from the original meaning. 

The distorted line and meaning signal towards feminine hygiene products whereas, the meaning of the original line “blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night”, is completely different. The contradicted interpretation of the line has taken place due to the mispronunciation of the word ‘Deuce’ as ‘Douche’, leading towards adding a completely different meaning altogether to the line “revved up like a deuce”. 

However, the word ‘Deuce’ is also a reference to a 1932 Ford vehicle that was nicknamed “The Deuce.” Springsteen has always loved hot rods and street racers, and he paid homage to them on more than one occasion. When describing the song, Springsteen himself said, “Don’t overthink it.”

The other striking lines like “With this very unpleasin’, Sneezin’ and wheezin, The calliope crashed to the ground”, refer to the state of being high with drugs like cocaine. The phrase ‘calliope crashed to the ground” is the indication towards the prevalence of the consumption of cocaine and other drugs to remain high, in the American music industry. 

Interestingly, “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann was released as the opening track of the seventh studio album of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and also became a number one hit in America. Moreover, it is equally surprising and contrary to know that Springsteen’s single never made it to the charts and did not become as popular as the version of the song produced by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. 

Of the four covers of this song one has been sung by Springsteen, two covers have been sung by Michael Mind Project and, the most popular one among the four covers is obviously the one produced by Manfred, which is also the longest one with the total duration of around seven minutes. To make the cover even more amazing they have added brilliant instrumentals like chopsticks to it. Chopsticks, which are played on piano by using only two fingers, have enhanced the appeal of the track.

Back in 1972, despite off-color and subversive lyrics from performers like Frank Zappa, either alone or with the Mothers of Invention, audiotape producers would routinely censor lyrics they thought were dirty. So, Springsteen had to hide the raunch of the song “Blinded by the Light” in imagery and esoteric references. The reference to the “silicone sister,” referring to a woman who had had breast augmentation surgery is about as spicy as the lyrics get. She’s standing with her manager mister while she’s trying to lure men.

Bruce Springsteen also features prominently in the biographical film “Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives.” The 2019 film is a touching tribute to the now 90-year-old record producer. In it, Davis says that, “Bruce Springsteen was a revelation,” and in an interview about the song and other topics, he compares Springsteen’s importance as a lyricist and poet to that of Bob Dylan, a Nobel Prize winner. That’s heady praise, indeed, from a talent scout and producer of Davis’s stature. “Greetings from Asbury Park” was Springsteen’s debut album, and the song “Blinded by the Light” was the track from that album. Just starting out, Springsteen’s “… boulder on my shoulder …” got noticeably lighter after Davis heard the album.

Blinded by the Light Lyrics

Blinded by the Light Lyrics

[Verse 1]

Madman drummers bummers and Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat
With a boulder on my shoulder feelin’ kinda older I tripped the Merry-go-round
With this very unpleasing sneezing and wheezing the calliope Cras to the ground

[Verse 2]

Some all-hot half-shot was headin’ for the hot spot snappin’ his fingers clappin’ his hands

And some flashpot mascot was tied into a lover’s knot with a whatnot in her hand

And now young Scott with a slingshot finally found a tender spot and throws his lover in the sand
And some bloodshot forget-me-not whispers daddy’s within earshot save the buckshot turn up the band


And she was blinded by the light

Oh, cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
She got down but she never got tight, but she’ll make it alright

[Verse 3]

Some brimstone baritone anti-cyclone rolling stone preacher from the east
He says, “Dethrone the dictaphone, hit it in its funny bone, that’s where they expect it least”
And some new-mown chaperone was standin’ in the corner all alone watchin’ the young girls dance
And some fresh-sown moonstone was messin’ with his frozen zone to remind him of the feeling of romance

Yeah, he was blinded by the light
Oh, cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
He got down but she never got tight, but he’s gonna make it tonight

[Verse 4]

Some silicone sister with her manager’s mister told me I got what it takes
She said I’ll turn you on sonny, to something strong if you play that song with the funky break
And go-cart Mozart was checkin’ out the weather chart to see if it was safe to go outside
And little Early-Pearly came in bu her curly-wurly and asked me if I needed a ride

[Verse 5]

Oh, some hazard from Harvard was skunked on beer playin’ backyard bombardier
Yes and Scotland Yard was trying hard, they sent some dude with a calling card
He said, do what you like, but don’t do it here
Well I jumped up, turned around, spit in the air, fell on the ground
Asked him which was the way back home
He said take a right at the light, keep goin’ straight until night, and then boy, you’re on your own

[Verse 6]
And now in Zanzibar a shootin’ star was ridin’ in a side car hummin’ a lunar tune
Yes, and the avatar said blow the bar but first remove the cookie jar we’re gonna teach those boys to laugh too soon
And some kidnapped handicap was complainin’ that he caught the clap from some mousetrap he bought last night
Well I unsnapped his skull cap and between his ears I saw
A gap but figured he’d be all right


He was just blinded by the light
Cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
Mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun
Woah, but but mama that’s where the fun is


I was blinded
Oh mama, oh mama
I was blinded
Oh mama, oh mama
I was blinded by the light
I was blinded
I was blinded
I was blinded by the light
I was blinded
I was blinded by the light
I was blinded
I was blinded

Songwriters: Bruce Springsteen

Blinded by the Light lyrics © Warner-tamerlane Publishing Corp., Back In Djibouti, Kmr Music Royalties Ii Scsp, Springsteen Bruce Music, Sony Pop Music Publishing, Eldridge Publishing Co.

Listeners that enjoy this Rock song may also be interested in the song Hotel California by The Eagles.

Editor’s Note: This article was first published March 6, 2023 and last updated June 2, 2023