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Bruce Springsteen — The River
Album: The River
Avg rating:
7.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 998









Released: 1980
Length: 4:53
Plays (last 30 days): 1
I come from down in the valley
Where mister when you're young
They bring you up to do like your daddy done
Me and Mary we met in high school
When she was just seventeen
We'd drive out of this valley down to where the fields were green

We'd go down to the river
And into the river we'd dive
Oh down to the river we'd ride

Then I got Mary pregnant
And man that was all she wrote
And for my nineteenth birthday
I got a union card and a wedding coat
We went down to the courthouse
And the judge put it all to rest
No wedding day smiles, no walk down the aisle
No flowers no, wedding dress

That night we went down to the river
And into the river we'd dive
Oh down to the river we'd ride

I got a job working construction for the Johnstown Company
But lately there ain't been much work on account of the economy
Now all them things that seemed so important
Well mister they vanished right into the air
Now I just act like I don't remember
Mary acts like she don't care

But I remember us riding in my brother's car
Her body tanned and wet down at the reservoir
At night on them banks I'd lie awake
And pull her close just to feel each breath she'd take
Now those memories come back to haunt me
They haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don't come true
Or is it something worse

That sends me down to the river
Though I know the river is dry
That sends me down to the river tonight

Down to the river
My baby and I
Oh down to the river we ride
Comments (132)add comment
love anything by the boss
 thewiseking wrote:
"like yer Daddy done", Um, I distinctly do not recall the suburban Jersey kids speaking in this manner. At this point, The Boss was inhabiting some sort of persona
 

I remember hearing that this tune was partially inspired by some Hank Williams tune about "going down to the river"; so I guess he was in some sort of persona.
The Boss!
8 - Most Excellent  to me   TY Bruce AND  RP
My second favorite album of his after "Nebraska."  So good.
 thewiseking wrote:
"like yer Daddy done", Um, I distinctly do not recall the suburban Jersey kids speaking in this manner. At this point, The Boss was inhabiting some sort of persona
 
It's a song about his sister, and his worry about her future. (She turns out fine in real life.)

I can't sing along to that break, "But I remember us driving..." without getting all choked up. The disappointment and betrayed optimism are so perfectly conveyed. It's a horrible, depressing future - and there's still the idea that there were good times that ultimately are only memories. There is no path ahead that seems as good, but he's unable to leave the path.

They bring you up to do / like your daddy done.

He revisits that in "My Hometown."

Last night me and Kate we laid in bed
Talking about getting out
Packing up our bags maybe heading south
I'm thirty five we got a boy of our own now
Last night I sat him up behind the wheel and said son take a good look around
This is your hometown
{#Sleep}
8 - Most Excellent  to me
so much talent
in one man
so lucky we are
"like yer Daddy done", Um, I distinctly do not recall the suburban Jersey kids speaking in this manner. At this point, The Boss was inhabiting some sort of persona
Perfect
Godlike!
 h8rhater wrote:
There doesn't need to be a "best", IMO.
 
Relax, Sparky.
 RadioDoc wrote:

I don't get why many here cannot see either the historical perspective nor the cultural relevance of much of what is played here, but instead dissect each song in the vacuum of their own minds.

 
Vacuum indeed.
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Great song, but not his best album, IMO.

 
There doesn't need to be a "best", IMO.
Great song, but not his best album, IMO.
'Born to Run' worked somewhat anyway ~
Springsteen wrote this about his older sister who got pregnant and married by 18. The real-life inspiration has a happier outcome: Over 40 years later, she and her husband are still married, happily, with multiple grandkids.
 steeler wrote:
tapatia wrote:
Here's the thing: while the themes and stories of his songs may not be relevant to YOUR life, they resonate powerfully with the lives of a large part of America, especially in the areas where manufacturing jobs and farming constituted the livelihoods of the majority of the population. The hardships and heartbreaks of which he sings are representative of the experiences of thousands of working-class Americans who lost jobs, homes, families, and farms as manufacturing and production shipped overseas in favor of cheaper labor and lower operating costs. THAT'S why he's so popular and why so many people "swallow" his music - and why he has such a devoted following. He sings of things and real events that truly matter and that are near to the hearts and pains of many. What's your quarrel with that?
He sings of dreams pursued and lost, and sometimes recovered. He sings of redemption. I like those themes.

 
{#Yes}

good words 
Was in a Saratoga bar and a stranger called this song 'pathetic Jersey drivel', and I was all like - "DUDE ! - Are you from Joizee? - I'M FROM JOIZEE !!"
8 - Most Excellent  to me
 steeler wrote:
Is a dream a lie if it don't come true or is it something worse?

That line — alone — is worth the price of admission here.  Stops me dead in my tracks each and every time. Afraid to know the answer; afraid not to know.

Bard. Indeed.

 
this is a haunting line and knocks me into questions about life every time.   some people are born to write our stories.
 RadioDoc wrote:

Taken in the context of when it was popular—during the failure of Rust Belt industry and the subsequent loss of thousands of good-paying jobs—it's a brilliant snapshot of what many teenagers faced as a future at the time. I don't get why many here cannot see either the historical perspective nor the cultural relevance of much of what is played here, but instead dissect each song in the vacuum of their own minds.
 
Excellent comment. To the same point from a different direction, I've always said that the worst thing to happen to Rock and Roll was that it got a history. When in reality RnR is at it's best when it's a reflection of the time in which it was written. This concept that a great rock song should be timeless is nonsense. RnR is written in the moment about the moment so when listening to older RnR one most consider the culture from which came.
 RadioDoc wrote:

Taken in the context of when it was popular—during the failure of Rust Belt industry and the subsequent loss of thousands of good-paying jobs—it's a brilliant snapshot of what many teenagers faced as a future at the time.

I don't get why many here cannot see either the historical perspective nor the cultural relevance of much of what is played here, but instead dissect each song in the vacuum of their own minds.
 

RadioDoc, I don't appreciate Springsteen's art - just a matter of taste. But I am very interested in your comment. Thank you for posting it.
 RadioDoc wrote:
Taken in the context of when it was popular—during the failure of Rust Belt industry and the subsequent loss of thousands of good-paying jobs—it's a brilliant snapshot of what many teenagers faced as a future at the time. I don't get why many here cannot see either the historical perspective nor the cultural relevance of much of what is played here, but instead dissect each song in the vacuum of their own minds.
 
{#Clap} Brilliant Comment!

ug!
um, what??
Not a great fan of BS, but this is one of the great contemporary songs, man he NAILED this one.
 steeler wrote:
Is a dream a lie if it don't come true or is it something worse?

That line — alone — is worth the price of admission here.  Stops me dead in my tracks each and every time. Afraid to know the answer; afraid not to know.

Bard. Indeed.
 
Thanks stiller, for bringing that line to my attention. Stunning. One of the, if not THE, best songs by Mr. Springsteen.

A GEM!

GHOST OF TOM JOAD IS ALSO PRICELESS
Is a dream a lie if it don't come true or is it something worse?

That line — alone — is worth the price of admission here.  Stops me dead in my tracks each and every time. Afraid to know the answer; afraid not to know.

Bard. Indeed.
 dburges wrote:
Awesome tune for wedding receptions.
 


One of the few Springsteen songs I absolutely love.
 gjeeg wrote:
Just the pure unvarnished no bullshit take on life.
Stripped bare.
Place Bruce up there with Langston Hughes.

 
I was gonna write a smart-assed note about the parallels between our present economic situation and the one described in this song (no work, hopelessness, disappearing dreams). But then I saw this comment.

No matter how bad it gets, we still have worthy art and artists who try to make a difference. Good on you, gjeeg, for pointing this out. {#Clap}
Just the pure unvarnished no bullshit take on life.
Stripped bare.
Place Bruce up there with Langston Hughes.

one of the few.. who inspired me to buy my first acoustic guitar with eric clapton. he is not an ordinary singer, he is a bard, a poet..
RadioDoc wrote:

Taken in the context of when it was popular—during the failure of Rust Belt industry and the subsequent loss of thousands of good-paying jobs—it's a brilliant snapshot of what many teenagers faced as a future at the time. I don't get why many here cannot see either the historical perspective nor the cultural relevance of much of what is played here, but instead dissect each song in the vacuum of their own minds.

Point well taken!  From historical perspective, we are in an extreme economic swing and you might say political vacuum.  I keep waiting for radio to acknowledge it's vacuum (keeping fingers crossed... never know, I might get lucky...).  Fortunately I still have a job and a very short commute so more time for RP.  As things are going, looks like at least an upcoming change in the political playing field.  Let's hope the economy and maybe someday, the future of radio will follow suit.  I'm better on the likes of RP.  Keep those fingers crossed and do your best to make it turn out right.  
Cheers!

RadioDoc wrote:

Taken in the context of when it was popular—during the failure of Rust Belt industry and the subsequent loss of thousands of good-paying jobs—it's a brilliant snapshot of what many teenagers faced as a future at the time. I don't get why many here cannot see either the historical perspective nor the cultural relevance of much of what is played here, but instead dissect each song in the vacuum of their own minds.

Love the phrase "vacuum of their own minds".  Vacuums suck, don't they?

Wow, Cohen then this. I'll just nick off and shoot meself now.

(guffaw)

I respect the Bruce, but his music just doesn't speak to me personally. Is all.


 dburges wrote:
Awesome tune for wedding receptions.
 
Awesome tune anytime.

Springsteen's 9th.
Awesome tune for wedding receptions.
rcurrier wrote:
I'd bet you're not much into the blues either. Bruce always tried to write about life, or at least a certain type of life. Life is often depressing. Sometimes it's worthwhile to examine why and what it means in the larger context. But don't worry, you'll find out eventually...
Taken in the context of when it was popular--during the failure of Rust Belt industry and the subsequent loss of thousands of good-paying jobs--it's a brilliant snapshot of what many teenagers faced as a future at the time. I don't get why many here cannot see either the historical perspective nor the cultural relevance of much of what is played here, but instead dissect each song in the vacuum of their own minds.
can you say bittersweet? But I remember us riding in my brother's car Her body tan and wet down at the reservoir At night on them banks I'd lie awake And pull her close just to feel each breath she'd take Now those memories come back to haunt me they haunt me like a curse Is a dream a lie if it don't come true Or is it something worse love this song!
Nobody captured the hopes/dreams/worries/feelings of being a teenager than Bruce did in his early years. Even though I now have kids that are in their teens, the Boss' old stuff still gets to me.
Great segue from Leonard Cohen's By The Rivers Dark.
Wow, this is just brutal.
Mozart wrote:
The Drivel And can Barack deliver? Or is he too damn blithe? Can Barack tell The big lie? crikey.com.au
Hm. This ain't half bad.
Mozart wrote:
The Drivel I come from UC Berkeley And mister when you're young They bring you up to do Just like you've always done Me and many of us Backed Obama Your typical West Coast leftie We went to all his rallies Came up with all the green Barack said he could deliver The question is did Barack lie? Thus McCain became the regnant And Hillary spoke by rote And round about last Friday Obama lost the Bluedog vote Spoke to us in San Francisco Fox made what he said a test Those rednecks like guns that's how they get their fun religion all the rest That's why they're so bitter That's why I gotta lie We gotta keep up the pretence My SF buddies and I These hicks got all these jobs working For bloated companies Only thing that keeps them going Is government subsidies Now all those things seemed So permanent Mister they vanished right into the air Hil'ry acts like she don't remember McCain acts like he don't care But I remember that once, this country made cars Highways and cities, dams and reservoirs The guys in the banks would lie awake Thinkin of all the money they'd make Now those memories come back to haunt me They haunt me like a curse Is Bear Stearns just an outlier Or is it something worse And can Barack deliver? Or is he too damn blithe? Can Barack tell The big lie? crikey.com.au
:rolleyes:
The Drivel I come from UC Berkeley And mister when you're young They bring you up to do Just like you've always done Me and many of us Backed Obama Your typical West Coast leftie We went to all his rallies Came up with all the green Barack said he could deliver The question is did Barack lie? Thus McCain became the regnant And Hillary spoke by rote And round about last Friday Obama lost the Bluedog vote Spoke to us in San Francisco Fox made what he said a test Those rednecks like guns that's how they get their fun religion all the rest That's why they're so bitter That's why I gotta lie We gotta keep up the pretence My SF buddies and I These hicks got all these jobs working For bloated companies Only thing that keeps them going Is government subsidies Now all those things seemed So permanent Mister they vanished right into the air Hil'ry acts like she don't remember McCain acts like he don't care But I remember that once, this country made cars Highways and cities, dams and reservoirs The guys in the banks would lie awake Thinkin of all the money they'd make Now those memories come back to haunt me They haunt me like a curse Is Bear Stearns just an outlier Or is it something worse And can Barack deliver? Or is he too damn blithe? Can Barack tell The big lie? crikey.com.au
Just saw Bruce/E Street 2 nights ago in Vancouver. This song (a nice stripped down version) was one of the many highlights. The old guy can still rock!
Bruce is a GOD!! This song does a lot when one is one the edge of no where.
eastcoast wrote:
What was the point of this song? it just seems endlessly depressing from the vocals to the music.
I'd bet you're not much into the blues either. Bruce always tried to write about life, or at least a certain type of life. Life is often depressing. Sometimes it's worthwhile to examine why and what it means in the larger context. But don't worry, you'll find out eventually...
I like the version from his live version better
Lest we forget, he was once a force. One of his best.
eastcoast wrote:
What was the point of this song? it just seems endlessly depressing from the vocals to the music.
Um, yeah. Exactly. c.
Some people are just so critical; it's a brilliant song. Could not be improved!
prickelpit96 wrote:
He's never been any kind of boss... :naughty:
Yeah, it's just one tired old cliche after another = meaningless.
He's never been any kind of boss... :naughty:
Thanks Bruce, a classic!
I never realized how crappy his voice sounds in this. He struggles to find some of the notes. Still, quite nice.
Brilliant Tortured Anthemic At this period in his career, Bruce was the Boss.
OK,I gave it a Ten,looking in to what you guys think of him,I might as well put all of his vinyl's,in Mint C.out there for sale!
steeler wrote:
Then again, he rates Credence's Bad Moon Rising a 10. Lot of deep and original thought in that one!
Touche. I actually do like this song a lot, but I agree with others that it is so cliched that it sounds like a parody of all things Bruce.
I never hated Bruce..just never understood the frothing at the mouth and blind loyalty his fans had for his music. The critics, especially Dave Marsh, were the worst at this
tapatia wrote:
Here's the thing: while the themes and stories of his songs may not be relevant to YOUR life, they resonate powerfully with the lives of a large part of America, especially in the areas where manufacturing jobs and farming constituted the livelihoods of the majority of the population. The hardships and heartbreaks of which he sings are representative of the experiences of thousands of working-class Americans who lost jobs, homes, families, and farms as manufacturing and production shipped overseas in favor of cheaper labor and lower operating costs. THAT'S why he's so popular and why so many people "swallow" his music - and why he has such a devoted following. He sings of things and real events that truly matter and that are near to the hearts and pains of many. What's your quarrel with that?
:clap: He sings of dreams pursued and lost, and sometimes recovered. He sings of redemption. I like those themes.
pretty shighty for an 8
What was the point of this song? it just seems endlessly depressing from the vocals to the music.
Cruzan wrote:
...but his music really is not very listenable or musical in my humble opinion. .... as music to me he sounds worse than a bad high school garage band.
Lot's of good garage bands there in your part of Tejas?
As a ten hour per day-six days a week RP listener and promoter (I have turned at least 30 people onto RP) I have noticed more and more Brrrruuuuce being played. I know he is "born in the usa" and speaks for the blue collar and all that but his music really is not very listenable or musical in my humble opinion. I always saw RP as one of the very few places where music is played on it's own merits no matter what genre it is. I cal live with one Bruce "song" per day but here lately it seems like there are more and more being played here. That sure is a lot of howling and groaning to listen to. Bill picks the same tracks off the same obscure albuns that I do. I kind of freaks me out. also I find great new music here and I go buy it. The Bruce thing........ I just don't get it. If you strip away all the hype and bs, and just listen to that as music to me he sounds worse than a bad high school garage band.
Odyzzeuz wrote:
Self parody. Let's see. If Bruce were to have a girlfriend, I'll bet her name would be... Mary. And I'm guessing she'd be, let's say, 16, no, wait, 17. Yeah. That's right. It's high school. That's right. And they meet and... he gets her pregnant! Of course!!! And then, let's see... To support her and the baby he has to get a job... at the 7-11! No. Wait. That's not quite right. That would actually be vaguely interesting. Working construction!!!! Slap that forehead! But work hasn't been that great lately because... all together now! ... because of the economy!!! At least he'll have those glory days from high school baseball to fall back on. (snicker). Cliche after cliche after cliche. Americana at its worst. Hilarious. What really cracks me up is how people are still swallowing this.
Here's the thing: while the themes and stories of his songs may not be relevant to YOUR life, they resonate powerfully with the lives of a large part of America, especially in the areas where manufacturing jobs and farming constituted the livelihoods of the majority of the population. The hardships and heartbreaks of which he sings are representative of the experiences of thousands of working-class Americans who lost jobs, homes, families, and farms as manufacturing and production shipped overseas in favor of cheaper labor and lower operating costs. THAT'S why he's so popular and why so many people "swallow" his music - and why he has such a devoted following. He sings of things and real events that truly matter and that are near to the hearts and pains of many. What's your quarrel with that?
This is a heartbreaking song . . . o/a/o the brokenness and emotion so strong in the vocals, the authentic feeling overcoming the few tonal problems . . . The lyrics, prosaic and nonrhyming to the point of amazing, do just what Bruce wants them to do--hit the hearer between the eyes. This is a case of form truly following content . . . The glove so perfectly fits the hand. I will bet that the listeners who pan this song are all can't-turn-off-political-critiqueing high-T types. They miss out on most of what I think makes life worthwhile, even if I agree with their politics. Being constantly in the analytical side of your brain hurts nobody more than you. I have never heard any other rocker try to fill Springsteen's niche. The only reason--the only time--one would need to try is when Bruce ceases to create and perform.
Odyzzeuz wrote:
His career hasn't produced a single fresh thought.
Who knew this was a requirement?
MtnGoat wrote:
If you think Bruce and his work is cliche, you've lived a sheltered life.
Not too familiar with Bruce, but judging from this song, his work doesn't quite reach the high quality of "cliched."
Hannio wrote:
Had to laugh at this. I think you're pretty much spot on.
Then again, he rates Credence's Bad Moon Rising a 10. Lot of deep and original thought in that one!
milehighYinzer wrote:
I grew up with this song and Bruce. He was the musical spokesperson for the blue collar Western Pennsylvanians in the 80s.
:yes: Saw him several times there during that period.
Odyzzeuz wrote:
Let's see. If Bruce were to have a girlfriend, I'll bet her name would be... Mary. And I'm guessing she'd be, let's say, 16, no, wait, 17. Yeah. That's right. It's high school. That's right. And they meet and... he gets her pregnant! Of course!!! And then, let's see... To support her and the baby he has to get a job... at the 7-11! No. Wait. That's not quite right. That would actually be vaguely interesting. Working construction!!!! Slap that forehead! But work hasn't been that great lately because... all together now! ... because of the economy!!! At least he'll have those glory days from high school baseball to fall back on. (snicker).
Had to laugh at this. I think you're pretty much spot on.
If you think Bruce and his work is cliche, you've lived a sheltered life.
jakeinprogress wrote:
I guess I am completely failing in my attempt to fathom what your standard or scale of comparison is. I have no idea what would constitute a "fresh thought" in your universe. I simply disagree with you on the merits. More importantly, why is that the basis of comparison? Has he ever postured otherwise? I think he's always seen himself as following in a lineage and, what's more, that's all he's ever wanted to do. Say what you will about the "huge arena" portion of his career, but I don't think he ever sought to be compared with David Byrne or whoever else has bestowed tons of "fresh thought" on the world (mind you, I like David Byrne). Springsteen is an inheritor of a classic American music tradition and a damn fine one at that.
I could not agree more. If you do not care for his music, fine. But what I really do not get at all are these attacks on his sincerity and integrity. Utter nonsense.
Springsteen is an inheritor of a classic American music tradition and a damn fine one at that.
Spot on. That's what he is and We shall overcome is a natural progression. Hats off to The Boss
Agreed. This is beautiful. Some I have no ear for at all. spindrift wrote:
He's not all good, but man when he hits it he hits it.
I thought I heard that beautiful harmonica intro. This is just a great song. It's probably hard to not look at it through the fog of hype that followed a few years later but it's just wonderfully pure. If you can't see past the Born in the USA/songs about cars stereotypes that surround Springsteen, it's a damned shame.
I grew up with this song and Bruce. He was the musical spokesperson for the blue collar Western Pennsylvanians in the 80s.
He's not all good, but man when he hits it he hits it.
Odyzzeuz wrote:
Self parody. But his lyrics and his licks, examined in the light of the following day, are utterly hackneyed. His career hasn't produced a single fresh thought.
I guess I am completely failing in my attempt to fathom what your standard or scale of comparison is. I have no idea what would constitute a "fresh thought" in your universe. I simply disagree with you on the merits. More importantly, why is that the basis of comparison? Has he ever postured otherwise? I think he's always seen himself as following in a lineage and, what's more, that's all he's ever wanted to do. Say what you will about the "huge arena" portion of his career, but I don't think he ever sought to be compared with David Byrne or whoever else has bestowed tons of "fresh thought" on the world (mind you, I like David Byrne). Springsteen is an inheritor of a classic American music tradition and a damn fine one at that.
Xeric wrote:
Have you listened--listened--to Nebraska or The Ghost of Tom Jode? I'd probably not claim that they burst with "fresh thought," either--but hey, man, there's nothing new under the sun. Genius is in making the same ol' same 'ol fresh, intense, and moving. If Springsteen doesn't do that for you, I'm sorry. He sure does for me.
He does it for me too - in spades. I'm planning on compiling a CD of "river" songs. Springsteen will definitely be there.
Odyzzeuz wrote:
Self parody. Let's see. If Bruce were to have a girlfriend, I'll bet her name would be... Mary. And I'm guessing she'd be, let's say, 16, no, wait, 17. Yeah. That's right. It's high school. That's right. And they meet and... he gets her pregnant! Of course!!! And then, let's see... To support her and the baby he has to get a job... at the 7-11! No. Wait. That's not quite right. That would actually be vaguely interesting. Working construction!!!! Slap that forehead! But work hasn't been that great lately because... all together now! ... because of the economy!!! At least he'll have those glory days from high school baseball to fall back on. (snicker). Cliche after cliche after cliche. Americana at its worst. Hilarious. What really cracks me up is how people are still swallowing this. It's because Bruce is overwhelming in concert, no doubt. Blows the house down with sheer willpower. But his lyrics and his licks, examined in the light of the following day, are utterly hackneyed. His career hasn't produced a single fresh thought.
Have you listened--listened--to Nebraska or The Ghost of Tom Jode? I'd probably not claim that they burst with "fresh thought," either--but hey, man, there's nothing new under the sun. Genius is in making the same ol' same 'ol fresh, intense, and moving. If Springsteen doesn't do that for you, I'm sorry. He sure does for me.
gjeeg wrote:
To the cynics and complainers: go write a better song. Bruce is a force of nature in all his unglamorous noncelebrity....
I guess to the complainers his songs are not "high art" enough or smth? Great song frorm Bruce in his prime.
this song can not end soon enough. please make it stop. he's not my boss
...is this your favorite Bruce song? Discover the New Bruce Springsteen book, For You Bursting with amazing stories the editors are looking for written contributions documenting fans experiences with Bruce Springsteen and his music. Also original photography from the early 1970s to the present. Visit: www.foryoubruce.com gjeeg wrote:
To the cynics and complainers: go write a better song. Bruce is a force of nature in all his unglamorous noncelebrity. Who said it? "With every pop star, fans try to dress like and emulate their lifestyle, taste and image. With Bruce it is the opposite, he seeks only to be like his fans, because he knows that's all he ever was." An everyman son of a prison guard working class hero.
(click here)
Odyzzeuz wrote:
Cliche after cliche after cliche. Americana at its worst.
You've expressed my thoughts about Bruce exactly, and better than I've seen before. This song is just so... narrow. The only line that has any resonance to me is "Is a dream a lie if it don't come true?". The rest is just blue-collar Mannerism.
To the cynics and complainers: go write a better song. Bruce is a force of nature in all his unglamorous noncelebrity. Who said it? "With every pop star, fans try to dress like and emulate their lifestyle, taste and image. With Bruce it is the opposite, he seeks only to be like his fans, because he knows that's all he ever was." An everyman son of a prison guard working class hero.
Odyzzeuz wrote:
"Self parody. . . a single fresh thought."
Harsh, but to a large degree true. However, I still think that this particular cut stands the test of time.
Self parody. Let's see. If Bruce were to have a girlfriend, I'll bet her name would be... Mary. And I'm guessing she'd be, let's say, 16, no, wait, 17. Yeah. That's right. It's high school. That's right. And they meet and... he gets her pregnant! Of course!!! And then, let's see... To support her and the baby he has to get a job... at the 7-11! No. Wait. That's not quite right. That would actually be vaguely interesting. Working construction!!!! Slap that forehead! But work hasn't been that great lately because... all together now! ... because of the economy!!! At least he'll have those glory days from high school baseball to fall back on. (snicker). Cliche after cliche after cliche. Americana at its worst. Hilarious. What really cracks me up is how people are still swallowing this. It's because Bruce is overwhelming in concert, no doubt. Blows the house down with sheer willpower. But his lyrics and his licks, examined in the light of the following day, are utterly hackneyed. His career hasn't produced a single fresh thought.
It's all downhill from here, Bruce.
kazuma wrote:
Truly chilling, as real as it gets, and just maybe the best thing he's ever done.
Always a fan of this period of his career, a lot of good BS tracks!!
Truly chilling, as real as it gets, and just maybe the best thing he's ever done.
Zarba wrote:
I finally got to see Bruce in Memphis on The River Tour, and he killed. 4+ hours of total immersion in the grace of rock and roll. A triumphant exhibition by an artist at the peak of his cult popularity, before Born in the USA made him a stadium show. I've measured every show since then against the mark Bruce laid down. Very few have met it, and none have surpassed it.
I was badgered into seeing him on the tour immediately prior to the River, and it was overwhelmingly amazing. Flabbergasting. So, the next time he came through town and did the River tour, it was great to see my old friend. And, dude, it was The River! Bruce will always be Boss, although I don't care much for the last decade of his work.
Dylan-like in its ability to portray true emotions and touch the human spirit.
Nice following Neil Young.
vandal wrote:
First let me give one caveat: I'm not a huge Springsteen fan, but I can relate to this cut. This is truly one of the high points in Springsteen's repertoire.
I so agree, I am no Springsteen fan either, but this early stuff was good songwriting and singing. Now though....I can't stand to hear him. Can we hear something else from his collection?
First let me give one caveat: I'm not a huge Springsteen fan, but I can relate to this cut. I went to school with the kids in this song. My older brother lived this song. As I listen to this, I reflect on the differences between my brother and I today and I can feel his anger, resentment, and self pity in every word. This piece is dead-on. This is truly one of the high points in Springsteen's repertoire.
This song is used sparingly but very effectively in Stephen Frears' movie of Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, which also contains an appearance by the Boss himself. That movie has some great incidental music all through: check out the lovely background of Dylan's Most of the Time and the timeless plug for The Beta Band's Dry the Rain.
I generally don't like Springsteen's music (because I find the "music" part a bit boring) but this is one big exception, it just conveys that sense of human tragedy so well, it's really a masterpiece IMO.
I remember, being in Mississippi as a displaced Yankee off at college, that I walked into town to pick up this album the day it was released, or at least the day it finally got to Oxford, MS... A stunning record through and through. This song hits all the Springsteen touchstones and rings true to them all. I finally got to see Bruce in Memphis on The River Tour, and he killed. 4+ hours of total immersion in the grace of rock and roll. A triumphant exhibition by an artist at the peak of his cult popularity, before Born in the USA made him a stadium show. I've measured every show since then against the mark Bruce laid down. Very few have met it, and none have surpassed it.
Who would you say is a Springsteen class writer who at this time is in his 20's?
weirdturnedpro wrote:
Well, I married my girl way too young, had kids, and got that job. Divorce, sweltering nights in blacktopped east coast dirty cities, hitting the beach once in a while to get away ... guess a dream is a lie if it don't come true. The song says everything, and it rings right thru.
Agreed. It is a desperate cry from a dry riverbed. A wrenching experience. If you have ever experienced anything like it -- or feared that you would -- this song stops you dead in your tracks.
It's been a while since this has been heard on RP. Too long. But thanks for dusting it off, Bill.
Been too long since I heard this, and Point Blank as well.
An awesome song, and a completely mesmerising moment when he performs it live.
beelzebubba wrote:
Several of my friends are Springsteen fans, and they have always said to me, "oh, you have to listen to the lyrics -- you would really appreciate him then..." Yeah, well, that's swell and everything, but as long as the music sucks, I can't even approach the point of listening to the lyrics.
The music sucks?! You've come up with some incredibly moronic statements on your posts. Do you just like to get people riled up? Why is it you listen to this station?
...One of my favourites of all time...cracking.... and I don't 'do' lyrics normally...... Patton'?...Everyone grows up...eventually.... X
me no likey. it's not worthy of a 1, because the writing is awesome. sadly, tho, i'm not a fan of bruce's vocal style. that's life.
Well, I married my girl way too young, had kids, and got that job. Divorce, sweltering nights in blacktopped east coast dirty cities, hitting the beach once in a while to get away ... guess a dream is a lie if it don't come true. The song says everything, and it rings right thru.
A great Spingsteen track. I was in Pittsburgh yesterday, and the radio had been randomly tuned to some corporate rock station... and they played some awful cover of this song by some random "new rock" band. I haven't been angry about music like that in a while... *sigh*; --d
Radio Paradise is about variety - for me at least.... and this is a different texture and mood than other things played on here...that's a good thing....RP expands what I would normally be playing...... that's why we eat sushi - right?
Powerful, vivid songwriting. Bill, \"Atlantic City,\" \"Highway Patrolman\", heck, the whole NEBRASKA album is needed here in Paradise!!!
Several of my friends are Springsteen fans, and they have always said to me, \"oh, you have to listen to the lyrics -- you would really appreciate him then...\" Yeah, well, that\'s swell and everything, but as long as the music sucks, I can\'t even approach the point of listening to the lyrics.