Traditional - Precious Memories

First performance: no live date


Between Spring 1981 and Spring 1982, Bruce Springsteen spent much time laying down home demos at Thrill Hill Recording (Springsteen's home studio) in Colts Neck, NJ. Much of these non-professional home recordings have surfaced on The Lost Masters bootleg series in 1996. On one of these recordings, Springsteen can be heard singing the chorus of the traditional song Precious memories. According to Brucebase, it was recorded sometime between mid-September and December 1981 at Thrill Hill Recording. This home demo can now be found on The Lost Masters Vol. 1 (Labour Of Love) bootleg.


Precious memories is a traditional gospel hymn credited to J.B.F. Wright in 1925. Wright was born in Tennessee, February 21, 1877. It has been performed by a wide variety of famous recording artists including Tammy Wynette, Rosetta Tharpe, Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Emmylou Harris, Daniel O'Donnell, the Edwin Hawkins Singers, a duet by George Jones & Patti Page, Jim Reeves, Bob Dylan, J. J. Cale, and James Blackwood's quartet. Dolly Parton recorded the song on her 1999 Dollywood-exclusive album benefitting the Dollywood Foundation, Precious Memories. Her sister, Stella Parton, recorded the song for her gospel album Appalachian Gospel. A cover by The Stanley Brothers can be heard on Rick Grimes' (Andrew Lincoln) radio at the beginning of The Walking Dead fourth-season premiere episode, "30 Days Without An Accident". Susan Raye's cover was in the opening and closing credits sequences of Paul Schrader's crime drama, Hardcore (1979). Aretha Franklin recorded a live version of the song for her album Amazing Grace (1972) and Ronnie Milsap for his album Then Sings My Soul (2009).

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist


Precious memories, how they linger
How they live in my soul
Baby, in the stillness of the midnight
Precious sacred scenes unfold

When the moon goes over the mountain
Da da da da da da da
Da da da da da da da
da da da da da da da