Traditional - Amen

First performance: 13/05/1977


Bruce performed the song once at full and once as a snippet:
The 36th Annual Grammy Awards. A Curtis Mayfield medley with various artists and Bruce presenting Curtis with a special "Legend" Grammy award. With Steve Cropper, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Vernon Reid, Steve Winwood, Tony! Toni! Toné!, Narada Michael Walden, Don Was, and others. Bruce sings lead on "Gypsy Woman" and takes the first line of "People Get Ready". Mayfield and The Impressions (including Jerry Butler) are onstage for "Amen".
  • Snippet
1977-05-13 Monmouth Arts Center, Red Bank, NJ (Early) 
late: Second of two separate admission shows. Independent recollections from those present indicate that Springsteen was on stage for the entirety of the show. The gig was originally scheduled as a standard Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes gig. However Southside became ill and couldn't perform so Steven Van Zandt came to the rescue by organizing The Asbury Park All-Star Revue - a combination of The Asbury Jukes, The E Street Band, Ronnie Spector and Springsteen. Van Zandt was the lead vocalist (with Bruce on guitar/background vocals) on most of the tracks above; Bruce took lead, just like he did at the early show, vocals on "The Fever" (backed by the Asbury Jukes), "Thunder Road" (backed by the E Street Band), and "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher" (backed by The E Street Band), and shared lead vocals with Steven Van Zandt on "Having A Party" (which this time includes "Amen" in the introduction) and with Ronnie Spector on "You Mean So Much To Me" (backed by the Asbury Jukes).


"Amen" is a traditional gospel song that was popularized by The Impressions with their 1964 version.  It was recorded earlier, in June 1948, and released in January 1949 by the "Wings Over Jordan Choir". The song was arranged by Jester Hairston, for the Sidney Poitier film Lilies of the Field (1963), which popularized the song. Curtis Mayfield said "I'd gone to see 'Lilies of The Field,' and the song in it, 'Amen,' was very inspiring for me as was the movie . . . Of course, I'd decided to do a version of it. We put it together in the studio starting off with a musical 'swing low sweet chariot', and then we fell into that particular song with somewhat of a marching rhythm." The song was the first Impressions' hit that Mayfield did not write. Mayfield inserted the title of the song "Keep on Pushing", which was recorded by the Impressions, in-between the lyrics of the song.

Bruce on the artist


Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen
Sing it over
Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen
See the little baby
Wrapped in a manger on Christmas morning
Singing in a temple
Talking with the elders
Tomorrow there's wisdom
Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen
Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen
Down at the Jordan
John was baptizing and saving all sinners
See him at the seaside
Talking with the fisherman
And made them disciples
Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen
Keep on pushin' now
Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen
Hallelujah now
Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen