Animals ( The ) - IT'S MY LIFE

First performance: 12/12/1975


Coverinfo

Bruce covers this song 85 times, introduced with a intense narrative about the troubled relationship between him and his father. In the 1987 BBC documentary Glory Days, Max Weinberg spoke about the premiere of "It's My Life" when he was asked if Bruce had ever launched into a song without telling the band what he was going to play. Max said that the band had never rehearsed the song before playing it in concert, but fortunately they all knew it. The tempo of the song itself was greatly slowed down, to the point where it bore little obvious resemblance to the Animals' original, and renditions could easily run over ten minutes overall in duration; lyrics were varied somewhat across almost every performance. A live version of Springsteen's version was released in early 2015 as part of his 'Archives' series.
 
 
 
Narrative :
"I used to live in this house....in this town, about 10,000 people, a small town and uh....it was like a two-family house, was the kind of house that to get, to get into the house, you had to go through the kitchen, had a screen door....so like....my father would like, my father used to....at night he´d sit in the kitchen, you see, and he´d, he drinks beer and like he´d turn off all the lights in the house and he´d get real, he´d get really angry, pissed off if you switched them on (?) and he´d sit there, all you´d see of him was like a cigarette butt, just sitting there in the dark, you know, and like if you came in around, if you came in around 10, it wasn´t too bad, you know, but if you came in around like 1, you know, after he´d been sitting there for a while....he´d always stop me and so I´d walk in and.....so I walked in about 1 o´clock, 1.30, I´d slick my hair back so that, uh, so he couldn´t tell how long it was, you know (chuckles) and I´d walk in and he´d be sitting there, right, and I´d try to sneak by, (?) sneak by in the dark and he´d say ´Bruce´, I´d say ´Oh damn´....(?) I´d sit down, at first he´d start talking about how things doing, how´s it going, you know, what you been doing, where were you tonight, you know, and we´d be talking about things and then....then he´d start talking about, like....what a bad world it was, how hard it was and how I´d better get out there and start (?) and stop messing around, you know, if I was about to start making some bucks, you know....and he´d start rapping....(?)....and I´d just sit there and I´d try not to say nothing to him that could get him uptight, I´d just wanna sneak up to my room and get in bed (?)....we´d sit there....and he´d start, he´d turn on the gas....the gas in the stove....and he´d shut all the doors and the room would get real hot.....(?) start yelling at me....then we´d start screaming at each other, you know....and I´d tell him how it´s my life..."
 
1975-12-12 - POST DOME, C.W. POST COLLEGE, GREENVALE, NY
1975-12-27 - TOWER THEATER, UPPER DARBY, PHILADELPHIA, PA
1975-12-28 - TOWER THEATER, UPPER DARBY, PHILADELPHIA, PA
1975-12-30 - TOWER THEATER, UPPER DARBY, PHILADELPHIA, PA
1975-12-31 - TOWER THEATER, UPPER DARBY, PHILADELPHIA, PA 
1976-03-25 - TOWNSHIP AUDITORIUM, COLUMBIA, SC
1976-03-26 - FOX THEATRE, ATLANTA, GA
1976-03-28 - CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM, DUKE UNIVERSITY, DURHAM, NC
1976-03-29 - OVENS AUDITORIUM, CHARLOTTE, NC
1976-04-02 - MACAULEY THEATRE, LOUISVILLE, KY
1976-04-04 - MSU AUDITORIUM, MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY, EAST LANSING, MI
1976-04-07 - ALLEN THEATRE, CLEVELAND, OH
1976-04-08 - ALLEN THEATRE, CLEVELAND, OH
1976-04-09 - REID ATHLETIC CENTER, COLGATE UNIVERSITY, HAMILTON, NY
1976-04-10 - PAUL MELLON ARTS CENTER, CHOATE ROSEMARY HALL, WALLINGFORD, CT
1976-04-13 - REC HALL, PENN STATE UNIVERSITY, UNIVERSITY PARK, PA
1976-04-15 - SYRIA MOSQUE, PITTSBURGH, PA
1976-04-17 - LOUIS A. ALEXANDER PALESTRA, UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER, ROCHESTER, NY
1976-04-22 - BURRUSS AUDITORIUM, VIRGINIA TECH UNIVERSITY, BLACKSBURG, VA
1976-04-24 - VARSITY GYM, APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY, BOONE, NC
1976-04-26 - SOLDIERS & SAILORS MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM, CHATTANOOGA, TN
1976-04-29 - ELLIS AUDITORIUM, MEMPHIS, TN
1976-05-03 - ROBINSON AUDITORIUM, LITTLE ROCK, AR
1976-05-11 - MEMORIAL COLISEUM, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, AL
1976-05-13 - MUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM, NEW ORLEANS, LA
1976-05-27 - EISENHOWER HALL AUDITORIUM, U.S. MILITARY ACADEMY, WEST POINT, NY
1976-05-28 - HALSEY FIELD HOUSE, U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY, ANNAPOLIS, MD
1976-08-01 - MONMOUTH ARTS CENTER, RED BANK, NJ
1976-08-02 - MONMOUTH ARTS CENTER, RED BANK, NJ
1976-08-03 - MONMOUTH ARTS CENTER, RED BANK, NJ
1976-08-05 - MONMOUTH ARTS CENTER, RED BANK, NJ
1976-08-06 - MONMOUTH ARTS CENTER, RED BANK, NJ
1976-08-07 - MONMOUTH ARTS CENTER, RED BANK, NJ
1976-08-21 - PALACE THEATER, WATERBURY, CT
1976-08-22 - SPRINGFIELD CIVIC CENTER, SPRINGFIELD, MA
1976-09-26 - ARIZONA VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUM, PHOENIX, AZ
1976-09-29 - SANTA MONICA CIVIC AUDITORIUM, SANTA MONICA, CA
1976-09-30 - SANTA MONICA CIVIC AUDITORIUM, SANTA MONICA, CA
1976-10-02 - PARAMOUNT THEATRE, OAKLAND, CA
1976-10-05 - SANTA BARBARA COUNTY BOWL, SANTA BARBARA, CA
1976-10-09 - ATHLETIC & CONVOCATION CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME, SOUTH BEND, IN
1976-10-10 - MILLETT HALL, MIAMI UNIVERSITY, OXFORD, OH
1976-10-12 - RUTGERS GYM, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY, NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ
1976-10-13 - WILKINS THEATRE, KEAN COLLEGE, UNION, NJ
1976-10-16 - WILLIAM & MARY HALL, THE COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY, WILLIAMSBURG. VA
1976-10-17 - McDONOUGH ARENA, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY, WASHINGTON, DC
1976-10-25 - SPECTRUM, PHILADELPHIA, PA
1976-10-28 - PALLADIUM, NEW YORK CITY, NY
1976-10-30 - PALLADIUM, NEW YORK CITY, NY
1976-11-02 - PALLADIUM, NEW YORK CITY, NY
1976-11-03 - PALLADIUM, NEW YORK CITY, NY
1976-11-04 - PALLADIUM, NEW YORK CITY, NY
1977-02-07 - PALACE THEATRE, ALBANY, NY
1977-02-08 - AUDITORIUM THEATRE, ROCHESTER, NY
1977-02-09 - KLEINHANS MUSIC HALL, BUFFALO, NY
1977-02-12 - OTTAWA CIVIC CENTRE, OTTAWA, ON
1977-02-13 - MAPLE LEAF GARDENS, TORONTO, ON
1977-02-15 - MASONIC TEMPLE THEATRE, DETROIT, MI
1977-02-16 - VETERANS MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM, COLUMBUS, OH
1977-02-17 - RICHFIELD COLISEUM, RICHFIELD, OH
1977-02-19 - ST PAUL CIVIC CENTER THEATRE, ST PAUL, MN
1977-02-22 - MILWAUKEE AUDITORIUM, MILWAUKEE, WI
1977-02-23 - AUDITORIUM THEATRE, CHICAGO, IL
1977-02-25 - EDWARD C. ELLIOTT HALL OF MUSIC, PURDUE UNIVERSITY, WEST LAFAYETTE, IN
1977-02-26 - INDIANA CONVENTION CENTER, INDIANAPOLIS, IN
1977-02-27 - RIVERFRONT COLISEUM, CINCINNATI, OH
1977-02-28 - FOX THEATRE, ST LOUIS, MO
1977-03-02 - CIVIC CENTER AUDITORIUM, ATLANTA, GA
1977-03-04 - CIVIC AUDITORIUM, JACKSONVILLE, FL
1977-03-05 - JAI ALAI FRONTON, ORLANDO, FL
1977-03-06 - JAI ALAI FRONTON, MIAMI, FL
1977-03-13 - TOWSON CENTER, TOWSON STATE UNIVERSITY, TOWSON, MD
1977-03-15 - BROOME COUNTY VETERANS MEMORIAL ARENA, BINGHAMTON, NY
1977-03-18 - NEW HAVEN VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUM, NEW HAVEN, CT
1977-03-19 - CENTRAL MAINE YOUTH CENTER, LEWISTON, ME
1977-03-20 - ALUMNI HALL, PROVIDENCE COLLEGE, PROVIDENCE, RI
1977-03-22 - MUSIC HALL, BOSTON, MA
1978-08-29 - STANLEY THEATRE, PITTSBURGH, PA
1978-08-30 - RICHFIELD COLISEUM, RICHFIELD, OH
1978-09-03 - SAGINAW CIVIC CENTER, SAGINAW, MI
1978-09-05 - VETERANS MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM, COLUMBUS, OH
1978-09-09 - ATHLETIC & CONVOCATION CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME, SOUTH BEND, IN
1978-09-20 - CAPITOL THEATRE, PASSAIC, NJ
1978-10-01 - FOX THEATRE, ATLANTA, GA
 
 
 
 

Songinfo

"It's My Life" is a song written by Brill Building songwriters Roger Atkins and Carl D'Errico. The song was originally performed by English R&B band The Animals, who released it as a single in October 1965 (see 1965 in music). The song became a hit in several different countries and has since been recorded by multiple artists. 
 
 
 

Bruce on the artist

2012 SXSW Keynote (at 23:00)

"For some, the Animals were just another one the really good beat groups that came of the Sixties," Bruce Springsteen said at his 2012 keynote speech at South By Southwest. "But to me, the Animals were a revelation. The first records with full blown class consciousness that I had ever heard." The passionate vocals and organ-heavy sound of the Animals was a huge influence on Springsteen as a young songwriter and he fully admits he stole the chords of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" for "Badlands."

Bruce met The Animals frontman Eric Burdon when he joined the E Street Band in 2013.

 
  
 

Lyrics

It's a hard world to get a break in
All the good things have been taken
But girl there are ways to make certain things pay
Though I'm dressed in these rags, I'll wear sable someday

Hear what I say, I'm gonna ride the serpent
No more time spent sweating rent
Hear my command, I'm breaking loose, it ain't no use
Holding me down, stick around

But baby (baby), remember (remember)
It's my life and I'll do what I want
It's my mind and I'll think what I want
Show me I'm wrong, hurt me sometime
But someday I'll treat you real fine

There'll be women and their fortunes
Who just want to mother orphans
Are you gonna cry when I'm squeezing 'em dry
Taking all I can get, no regrets
When I openly lie, ha
And live on their money
Believe me honey, that money
Can you believe
I ain't no saint, no complaints
So girl throw out any doubt

And baby (baby), remember (remember)
It's my life and I'll do what I want
It's my mind and I'll think what I want
Show me I'm wrong, hurt me sometime
But someday I'll treat you real fine

(It's my life and I'll do what I want) Don't push me
(It's my mind and I'll think what I want) It's my life
(It's my life and I'll do what I want) I can do what I want
(It's my mind and I'll think what I want) You can't tell me
(It's my life and I'll do what I want) I'll do what I want
(It's my mind and I'll think...)