Song of the Day

The Promise

Johnny works in a factory and Billy works downtown
Terry works in a rock and roll band
Lookin’ for that million-dollar sound
I got a little job down in Darlington
But some nights I don’t go
Some nights I go to the drive-in, or some nights I stay home
I followed that dream just like those guys do up on the screen
And I drove a Challenger down Route 9 through the dead ends and all the bad scenes
And when the promise was broken, I cashed in a few of my dreams

Well now I built that Challenger by myself
But I needed money and so I sold it
I lived a secret I should’a kept to myself
But I got drunk one night and I told it
All my life I fought this fight
The fight that no man can ever win
Every day it just gets harder to live
This dream I’m believing in
Thunder Road, oh baby you were so right
Thunder Road there’s something dyin’ on the highway tonight

I won big once and I hit the coast
But somehow I paid the big cost
Inside I felt like I was carryin’ the broken spirits
Of all the other ones who lost
When the promise is broken you go on living
But it steals something from down in your soul
Like when the truth is spoken and it don’t make no difference
Something in your heart goes cold
I followed that dream through the southwestern flats
That dead ends in two-bit bars
And when the promise was broken I was far away from home
Sleepin’ in the back seat of a borrowed car
Thunder Road, for the lost lovers and all the fixed games
Thunder Road, for the tires rushing by in the rain
Thunder Road, Billy and me we’d always say
Thunder Road, we were gonna take it all and throw it all away

“And meet me tonight in Atlantic City” (Trump Version)

Gabrielle Bluestone is brilliant!  An editor at Vice News and and an attorney, Bluestone also appears to be a Bruce Springsteen fan.  Here is her unique twitter-take on a Springteen classic:

Read the rest here.

*The Rising* at Fifteen

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In honor of the 15th anniversary of the The Rising, I listened to Bruce Springsteen’s 9-11 album several times on my recent drive from Mechanicsburg to Princeton and back.

I have written about The Rising several times here at the blog.  Here are some of those pieces:

Rise Up: Springsteen in Pittsburgh” (September 13, 2016)

Why September 11 is About Vocation” (September 10, 2011 and September 11, 2014)

Bruce Springsteen’s Spiritual Vision for America” (March 6, 2012)

Many of themes I wrote about–vocation, calling, courage, faith, hope, community, loss and tragedy–continued to resonate with me as a drove down the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

“May your strength give us strength

May your faith give us faith

May your hope give us hope.

May your love give us love.”

Over at Salon, David Masciotra reflects on the 15th anniversary.

Here is a taste:

“The Rising” demonstrated that Springsteen, already an uncontested legend, and his band, already one of the best in rock history, were not merely a classic rock expression of nostalgia. They could adapt to a rapidly changing world and musical landscape, even in the worst of circumstances and with the most brutal of muses, and provide music that sounded and felt built for the present.

Springsteen has often explained that he aspires to write songs with “blues verses and gospel choruses.” “The Rising” maximized that formula. “Lonesome Day” — one of Springsteen’s best songs — rocks with abandon, even while integrating country elements into its introduction and musical break, to describe a scene of devastation. “House is one fire / Viper’s in the grass . . . ” Springsteen sings. The chorus offers a secular prayer of revivification: “It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright, yeah!”

The simplicity of Springsteen’s faith claim that somehow, even if it is hard to imagine, everything will turn out alright is another force allowing the record to transcend its historical inspiration. “The Rising,” an anthem of life, death and love giving an awe-filled depiction of how firefighters moved through what Springsteen calls “secular stations of the cross,” soon became the campaign theme for Barack Obama’s campaign. “My City of Ruins,” making great use of music similar to Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready,” describes communal destruction and individual despair before a chorus of “Come on, rise up!” Its message of social uplift caused it to resonate in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and Christchurch, New Zealand, after the city suffered an earthquake in 2011.

Before playing “My City of Ruins” at a benefit for 9/11 survivors and family members in Red Bank, New Jersey, Springsteen said, “This is a song I originally wrote for Asbury Park. You write songs, and you hope that they end up where people need them. So, this is a gift from Asbury Park to New York City.”

The man in the parking lot was right. It seems that people will always need the songs of “The Rising.” When a friend takes her last breath, when a spouse slips away, when a natural disaster leaves a city in ruins, or when the victory of an unqualified, bigoted demagogue turns a national election into a lonesome day, Springsteen’s exploration of human tragedy and triumph — from the funeral of a lover to the house party of a friend — will inspire those in need to drop the needle and pray.

After Springsteen sings “I drop the needle and pray,” near the end of “Mary’s Place,” the Alliance Singers, a New Jersey gospel choir formed in the wake of 9/11 and personally recruited by Springsteen for “The Rising,” shout with church fervor and ecstasy, “Turn it up!”

That’s as good advice as any.

Read the entire piece here.

When Is Springsteen Coming to Broadway?

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Michael Riedel reports at the New York Post:

Bruce Springsteen fans eagerly await ticket information for his gig this fall at Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theatre. I know, because not a day goes by when I don’t hear from them.

Sources say that Jujamcyn Theaters, which owns the Kerr, is getting a little nervous: The company passed on some plays to make room for the Boss and would like to get things rolling. But Springsteen, 67, seems to be in no rush to make his Broadway debut. He’s putting together his act and will make an official announcement when he’s good and ready.

“It’s not like he needs to crank up the publicity,” one source says. “I think tickets will sell out in about 30 seconds.”

As The Post reported in June, Springsteen plans to perform five shows a week for eight weeks. He wants to appear in a cozy setting — the Kerr has just 975 seats — as opposed to the huge arenas he sells out all over the world.

His show, sources say, will reflect the intimacy of the Kerr. He’ll be reading from “Born To Run,” his best-selling memoir, and picking up his guitar from time to time to illustrate a point or a moment from his life with one of his songs. (Sounds like an evening at the 92nd Street Y to me.)

Read the entire piece here.