Been listening to the song from 6/8/84 today and tonight and for the first time ever (I think) I caught what are clearly massively important words that have always passed me by.
"a sawed off 4.10 on my lap"
I don't know if I've been zoning out or mishearing every time Bruce has sang those final three words, but tonight I did neither and it's changed how I perceive the song quite a bit - I expect you all know where I'm going with this.
What I've never misheard or zoned out for in the past is the lyric, "you make sure my pretty baby is sittin' right there on my lap", and I've always heard it as this unrepentant antagonist not wanting to take sole blame and damnation for his sins. Yeah, he's in love with this woman he murdered innocent people with, but he really couldn't care less about her and if he's going to get his neck snapped back she sure as hell better get hers too.
Tonight I put two and two together, though, and realised it's not this woman he wants to die with, but his 4.10, because he's insane. He's long lost all sanity and, in what's left of his mind, his true love is the shotgun he had his fun with.
Sorry if I've wasted your time/annoyed you in writing a relatively lengthy post about something you've known since 1982 (or whenever you first heard the song), I just felt ashamed of my ignorance and fascinated by my realisation, and had to quickly talk about this.