The Price You Pay

You make up your mind, you choose the chance you take
You ride to where the highway ends and the desert breaks
Out on to an open road you ride until the day
You learn to sleep at night with the price you pay
Now with their hands held high, they reached out for the open skies
And in one last breath they built the roads they'd ride to their death
Driving on through the night, unable to break away
From the restless pull of the price you pay
Oh, the price you pay, oh, the price youpay
Now you can't walk away from the price you pay

Now they'd come so far and they'd waited so long
Just to end up caught in a dream where everything goes wrong
Where the dark of night holds back the light of day
And you've gotta stand and fight for the price you pay


Little girl down on the strand
With that pretty little baby in your hands
Do you remember the story of the promised land
How he crossed the desert sands
And could not enter the chosen land
On the banks of the river he stayed
To face the price you pay
So let the games start, you better run you little wild heart
You can run through all the nights and all the days
But just across the county line,
a stranger passing through put up a sign
That counts the men fallen away to the price you pay
And girl before the end of the day,
I'm gonna tear it down and throw it away


Alt. unreleased verse as sung live:

Now some say forget the past, and some say don't look back
But for every breath you take well buddy you leave a track
And though it don't seem fair, for every smile that plays
A tear must fall somewhere



Live history

"The Price You Pay" has been performed live a total of 76 times.
First known performance:
1980-10-31, Los Angeles, CA
The River Tour
Last known performance:
2016-07-28, Oslo, Norway
The River Tour 2016

Release history

Total releases: 3
Bruce Springsteen, The River, album, 1980-10-17
Bruce Springsteen, The Album Collection Vol. 1 1973-1984, rerelease, 2014-11-17
Bruce Springsteen, The Ties that Bind: The River Collection, rerelease, 2015-12-04