It’s no secret to the people who know me that I’m a big Bruce Springsteen fan. I’ve seen him in concert quite a few times, though not as many as some people who literally follow him all over the world. The strange thing about Springsteen is that there is no middle ground in terms of liking his music. You either do or don’t. That’s probably true of many artists but I think the divide is greater here. People either get him or don’t understand what the fuss is about.
I happen to love his music but what I really love are his lyrics. We all understand that songs are simply poetry mixed with music and, for me, Bruce’s words have always cut to the soul. They’re sometimes raw; sometimes profound and sometimes even whimsical. You may not always agree with the message but it does makes you think about what generated the message and if there was something in it that you missed or haven’t thought of before.
I don’t usually post much on Sundays, mainly because there are other things going on and time is at a premium, unless of course there are a couple of feet of snow on the ground with single digit temps. Then I have the whole day to converse with you. But I digress.
So I was thinking today that I’d like to start this weekly post of Springsteen lyrics and the best day to do it would be Sunday. I know, you find Sunday to be a curious day to publish rock and roll lyrics. But I think it’s the perfect day. Why? Well, some years ago I spoke with a guy who had attended a Springsteen concert the night before I did. Now, no two concerts are ever the same, even on back to back, to back nights. Even when they last three and a half to four hours. But some songs are classics and are played to the crowd a certain way. As an example, when he plays Born To Run, the lights are turned up so you can see the entire stadium or arena. You can feel the energy and, as this guy said to me, it felt like a religious experience. I laughed when he said it but he wasn’t wrong.
So Sunday is the perfect day to post about Bruce, because in some ways, it’s like going to Church, or at least the church of Springsteen.
Now, I don’t plan on posting lyrics to an entire song, just a few lines that mean something, bring out his poetic side, or express the way he plays with words. So we’ll start with something simple. These few lines are from a song from one of his earlier albums, Darkness on the Edge of Town. The song is Badlands, and for his fans, it’s a classic.
poor man wanna be rich
rich man wanna be king
and the king ain’t satisfied
till he rules everything.
We all know of people like this and my guess is they’re not very likable. But the words are simple and the message is clear.
Welcome to Springsteen Sunday.