Bruce Springsteen rolled out this tune while playing in Kalamazoo on September 24, 1996; he would play it again in Ann Arbor two days later.
As much as Michiganders love getting riled up over hometown mentions in song lyrics, our enthusiasm is not always well-received. Case in point: “Highway Patrolman”, a somber Bruce Springsteen tune that includes several references to Michigan. As legend has it, Springsteen got so fed up with Michigan crowds ruining the song’s mood by hootin’ and hollerin’ every time he got to the Michigan lyrics, he penned a new tune specifically for his Michigan concerts. a recording, a raunchy, feel-good song, gave Michiganders ample opportunity to whoop it up without killing the mood.
Well my mother rolled over and died in Michigan
My dog got hit by a truck and I cried in Michigan
I got drunk and puked up my guts in Michigan
But I’m alright, I’m alright, I’m alright, I’m alright
And man I’m riding here tonight in Michigan
I ran a race and came in dead last in Michigan
Yeah, I shot myself in the ass in Michigan
I was lookin’ for someplace to feel free
But they busted me for just being me
But alright, it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
And baby I’m riding high tonight in Michigan
I ran into a little bad luck in Michigan
I met a woman ???
Baby I’m running late but you got here one hell of a state
Listen to a recording of the performance at Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo.
Source : Bruce Springsteen Lyrics
Also see Emily Bingham and Lou Blouin, More Michigan B-Sides, Found Michigan, June 13, 2013.