Welcome to my asylum for ideas and thoughts on movies, politics, culture, and all things Bruce Springsteen.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Running for our lives out on them ...

This morning as I ate breakfast and read the headlines of Bush justifying the Iraq War (I think we should from now on entitle it the Bush War) I counterbalanced the mood by throwing in Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run. One of the greatest albums of all time, this one will rock you to your foundations. It's a lesson in the history of rock music up to 1975, with influences of Philly soul, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Elvis, and Robert Johnson, but the best parts are pure Bruce. Lyrically, the album creates an atmosphere of lost souls all looking to find their identities, standing up to the powers that be, and trying to connect with that someone who understands and accepts them for who they are. Not even forty minutes in length and a mere eight songs, Born To Run unlocks that rebel teenage rat in all of us. We struggle to find love and acceptance in our teenage years and then spend the rest of our lives exacting revenge on others when we don't find it. Every song paints a perfect picture of emotion (longing, love, or lust - sorry for all of the alliteration) and Bruce truly demonstrates his genius of creating stories in the limited amount of space in each four minute rock song. The song that connects the most on a personal level is the last song of Side One, Backstreets. The story is of a young man who trusted and loved his best friend during the years of their lives that they grew up, learned about falling in love, and looked to those that were "cool" for inspiration, attention, and acceptance. The young man learns the lessons of life as all of us who have grown up have, and he learns that often those who claim to be our friends cut us the deepest. For the young man of this song, the events he sings about happened years ago, yet he only is the man he is due to those painful memories of betrayal and loss. This man is a strong man though he can never forget the pain from those who hurt him. Maybe his strength comes from not letting those wounds kill him. The last verse of the song drives home the author's point of how one's hopes and dreams only come from within though we spend our lives looking to everyone but ourselves for those hopes:

Laying here in the dark
you're like an angel on my chest
Just another tramp of hearts
crying tears of faithlessness.
Remember all the movies, Terry
we'd go see?
Trying to learn how walk like the heroes
we thought we had to be.
And after all this time
to find we're just like all the rest,
stranded in the park
and forced to confess
to hiding on the backstreets.
Where we swore forever friends
on the backstreets until the end.

Play this one, and play it loud. Thanks, Boss.