“Down here it’s just winners and losers,
and don’t get caught on the wrong side of that line”
Recorded in Springsteen’s bedroom, ‘Atlantic City’ speaks of a couple’s trip to the New Jersey city known for entertainment and gambling. But beneath the surface of this song is something sinister. The “chicken man” mentioned in the opening lines refers to a mafia boss who, as the song says, blew up. (A bomb was planted at his house). It appears the protagonist of ‘Atlantic City’ gets tangled with the wrong people. Regardless of what is at work here, Springsteen created a song that nearly everyone can relate to. A man is doing what he can to make a living and survive. He just better stay on the right side of that line.