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“The best music is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with.”
- Bruce Springsteen -

Saturday, August 29, 2009

#5 Across the Border by Bruce Springsteen

True to many of Springsteen’s characters, the speaker in Across the Border is living on the line between despair and promise. He can’t stay where he is. His only choice is to move forward. He knows what the risks are but hopes for the best.

The first part of the song is a literal journey, much like the ones made by immigrants/refugees seeking a better life for themselves.

The song then flows into a personal journey away from sadness and pain “where pain and memory….have been stilled / there across the border”. He’s looking for the place where he’ll be free to love and be loved.

These external and internal journeys lead him on a spiritual journey where he recognizes that without hope what they have and what they are is not enough. He directly says “that someday we’ll drink from God’s blessed waters”. He recognizes that true freedom lies only in God’s hands. And if to find that freedom, it means death, crossing the “border”, then that is what he is willing to risk. Death will mean more freedom than life in this world ever will.

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