Springsteen outtake du jour: “Preacher’s Daughter”


I asked Bruce about this song. I’d only heard it on the Winterland bootleg from ’78, and figured it for an extended, only vaguely-written lead-in for “She’s The One,” which it introduces in that show. They also used Bo Diddley’s “Mona” in that space some nights, and had a jokey (and less pleasing, to my ear) kind of “Jungle Rock” riff on other nights. Or some nights it was “Mona” and the jungle thing. And other nights it was just “Preacher’s Daughter,” and that’s what’s on the Winterland show.

but there was more: “We actually recorded that, it’s a whole song,” Bruce said. I had no idea. Why hadn’t it turned up on the “The Promise” package? He shrugged it off, he had no idea.

For some reason it took me until just now to track down the recorded track itself. Here it is, and way more fleshed out than on the Winterland show. The preacher takes on full form here — a kind of slightly-reined in Jimmy Swaggart character, tearing after his daughter just when the singer is making his move:

“Then like a she-devil howlin’ from the gates of hell/Goddamn, here comes the preacher in his Coupe de Ville….Oh, baby, preacher thinks he’s in church…”

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