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Born To Run

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Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 212
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We continue with Bruce week. While not his biggest commercial hit, Born To Run is Bruce's signature song. There's some barre chords and a funky slash chord, so It may read more like an intermediate song. This is my first submission to the ESD - go easy on me. :)

See it live here:

Some of the chords used:

E Esus4 E9, E/G# A B B(alt) C#m F#m G Gsus4 C Csus4

D Dsus4 F Fsus4 C(2)


E Esus4 E A B (2X)

In the [E] day we sweat it [Esus4]out in the
[E]streets of a [A]runaway American dream
At [E] night we ride through [Esus4]mansions of
[E]glory in [A]suicide machines

[A]Sprung from cages out on [E/G#]highway 9,
Chrome [F#m]wheeled, fuel injected
and [G#/E]steppin' out over the [E]line[E9]
[A]Baby this town rips the [E/G#]bones from your back
It's a [F#m]death trap, it's a [E/G#]suicide rap
We gotta [E]get out while we're [C#m]young
Cause [A]`tramps like us, baby we were born to [E]run Esus4/E/A/B

Wendy [E] let me in I wanna [Esus4]be your [E]friend
I want to [A]guard your dreams and visions
Just [E] wrap your legs 'round these [Esus4]velvet rims [E]
and [A]strap your hands across my engines
[A]Together we could [E/G#]break this trap
We'll [F#m]run till we drop, [E/G#]baby we'll never go [E]back [E9]
Will you [A]walk with me out on the [E/G#]wire
`Cause [F#m]baby I'm just a scared and [E/G#]lonely rider
But I [E]gotta find out how it [C#m]feels
I want to [A]know if love is wild
I want to know if love is [E]real

Sax Solo: Play Esus4/E/A/B 2X

Be [Dsus4]yond the Pa[D]lace hemi-[Dsus4]powered [D]drones [Gsus4]scream down the [G]boulevard [Gsus4]
[G]Girls [Asus4]comb their hair [A]in rear [Asus4]view [A]mirrors
And the [Csus4]boys try to [C]look so [Csus4]hard
[C]The a [Dsus4]musement park [D]rises bold [Dsus4]and [D]stark as
kids are [Gsus4]huddled on the [G]beach in a mist[Gsus4]
[G]I wanna [Asus4]die with you [A]Wendy on the [Asus4]streets tonight
[A]In an [Csus4]ever [C]lasting [Csus4]kiss [C]

Fsus4/F (X3)/C(2)/C(2)/Fsus4/F/(X3) F#sus4/F#

Then walk it all the way down to the B one fret at a time

The [E] highway's jammed with [Esus4] broken [E] heroes on a [E] last chance power drive
Every [E] body's out on [Esus4] the run [E] tonight
but there's [A] no place left to
Together [A] Wendy we'll [G#/E] live with sadness
I'll [F#m] love with all the [G#/E] madness in my [E] soul [E9]
[A] Someday girl I [G#/E] don't know when
we're gonna [F#m] get to that place
Where we [G#/E] really want to go and we'll walk in the [C#m]
But till then [A] tramps like us
Baby we were Born To [E] Run [Esus4/E - A - B]
E / Esus4 / E / A / B (repeat to end)

I think I got most of the chord changes right.

The G#/E is the hardest chord to learn to grab and grab quickly. I almost always cheat and play the B string open and it sounds just fine. I just can't get there quickly enough.

You can also use an alternate for B barre that I listed at the top. Sounds fine and the open strings add a nice touch.

Also, while the F#m is played on the second fret, the F and Fsus4 are played up on the 8th fret with the (F# on 9th). That allows for the run down at the end of the break.

Finally, in other versions I've seen as well as in the YouTube video, there is no Esus4 in the opening/main riff. For solo guitar or one guitar, I think the sus4 really adds to the feel of the groove.

Hope you enjoy.


Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582

Great job, I used to know and play this song a long time ago, I was trying to figure out again by ear (without having the music available) about two weeks ago and couldn't quite get it.

I would agree the E/G# chord is the most difficult, what I do is hold an entire barre at the 2nd fret (prepares you for the following F#m chord). So for me I play it:

E/G# (hold full barre over all 6 strings with index finger)


This makes it super easy to change to the F#m chord and then back to the E/G#. To me it sounds better too. I mute the high E with my pinky.

Thanks again, I have been thinking about introducing this song to my band, I just needed to remember how it went. :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264

Nice job - couple of little suggestions.

1 - If you're having trouble with the G#/E chord, use C#m instead....the difference is negligible. You've still got the G# and E notes there anyway, let the bassman play the E in the bass!

2 - On this line.....

Cause [A]`tramps like us, baby we were born to [E]run Esus4/E/A/B

try adding a Bsus4 in between the A and the B like so....

Cause [A]`tramps like us, baby we were born to [E]run Esus4/E/A/Bsus4/B

:D :D :D


"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)