Greasy Lake - "Spirit in the Night" - Bruce Springsteen
Posted by: 94RedRover
N 40° 05.278 W 074° 11.266
18T E 569243 N 4437836
Quick Description: In his song "Spirit in the Night", Bruce Springsteen asks, ..."anybody wanna go on up to Greasy Lake?"
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 7/6/2009 3:44:33 AM
Waymark Code: WM6Q22
"Spirit in the Night" has always been a favorite song of mine. Springsteen mentions going up to Greasy Lake with friends to party. I needed a little detective work to figure out where Greasy Lake was...and I found IT!
Springsteen grew up in Freehold, New Jersey. During his wild childhood, Lakewood had a number of places for young people to hang out...with just about anything going. Freehold is just a short ride up Route 9 (Springsteen mentions this road in yet another song). It would be very likely that his crew would cruise down Route 9 toward Lakewood.
"Well Billy slammed on his coaster brakes and said anybody wanna go on up to Greasy Lake
It's about a mile down on the dark side of route eighty-eight"
Route 88 begins (or ends) at the intersection of Route 9 in Lakewood. If you travel about a mile on Route 88, you will come to two different parks. One on the right, one on the left.
To the left is Ocean County Park, once the estate of John D. Rockafeller. This park has a nice lake, but is regularly patroled, and the drinking and "playing" mentioned int he song would not have been possible.
However...to the right of of Route 88 is Lake Shenandoah Park. Here, there is a large lake for fishing, boating, etc. There are many places to park here...and this area was less patroled at the time of the song's actions. This is Greasy Lake.
The song states that Greasy Lake is "on the dark side of route eighty-eight". This is one of many mentionings of racial tension in this area as Springsteen was growing up. The side of the road that Lake Shenandoah was created on was where a majority of the African-American residents of Lakewood settled. Segregation was alive and thriving during Sprinsgteen's youth in this area. The beaches at each park were segregated, and Shenandoah was created on that side of the road to further the segregation.
My husband grew up in Lakewood in the 1950s and 1960s. He remembers the segregation of family's at Ocean County Park, and when Lake Shenandoah was created by damming the stream and flooding the swamp area on the other side of the road.
Musician: Bruce Springsteen
Name of Song: Spirit in the Night
Crazy Janey and her mission man were back in the alley tradin' hands
'long came Wild Billy with his friend G-man all duded up for Saturday night
Well Billy slammed on his coaster brakes and said anybody wanna go on up to Greasy Lake
It's about a mile down on the dark side of route eighty-eight
I got a bottle of rose so let's try it
By the time we made it up to Greasy Lake I had my head out the window and Janey's fingers were in the cake
I think I really dug her 'cause I was too loose to fake
I said, "I'm hurt." She said, "Honey let me heal it".
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