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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

#37 Cautious Man

Love takes risk. Being vulnerable and surrendering our power to another person’s hands means facing fear. Hedging our bets and counting the costs will only keep us isolated from the beauty shared love can give. A life lived with caution, each step measured, leads to an empty place, “nothing but road”. It’s not going anywhere but toward loneliness and emptiness. Love will cover any stains we bare and love’s grace will set us free from fear.

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

#36 Car Wash

The ballad of my life on my 30th's to not singing it on my 40th!

Well my name is Erin C.
I work at the temp office on State
I stumble in each morning
Some time way past eight

Well I work down at the office
A constant waste of my time
My boss don’t understand it
How it makes me cold inside
Sit at my desk staring at the screen
add up the numbers one by one
Pushing the papers all around
Until I’m all but gone

One day I’m going to write a story
About all this wasted time
Someone will notice this light inside
And say don't waste anymore life

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Monday, September 28, 2009

#35 Candy’s Room by Bruce Springsteen

You’ve got to go through the darkness to discover the light. Candy’s room is that place that holds dark secrets and the things that go bump in the night. You need to let the darkness have its way with you. You can’t wish it away with mantras or positive thinking. You can’t buy its pacification. You’ve got to face it, take it, and own the darker forces within. Only then can you conquer the fear, the pain, and the sadness.

You “got to kick at the darkness ‘til it bleeds daylight” – U2 –

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

#34 Cadillac Ranch by Bruce Springsteen

Death comes for everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. All the money, beauty, and fame in the world can’t save you. The image of a Cadillac Ranch where these fancy cars are buried with their fancy asses sticking up in the air, and their noses buried six feet underground reminds us of the futility of a live lived in pursuit of excess and riches.
Even something, or someone, as exquisite as a Cadillac is going to face its final day.

The car is going to face a time when nothing can be done to keep it running. Every human faces a time, that no matter what they’ve done to extend or improve their lives, they’re going to shut down completely and forever. Even if a Cadillac can afford a fancier resting place, it’s still long gone and buried like every other car in the junkyard.

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

#33 Brothers Under the Bridges (’83) by Bruce Springsteen

There is a place where dreams and ideals are alive - in the hearts of young boys in the midst of their search for a place to belong. It doesn’t take much to connect the lives of young boys with one another. Sports, games, adventures…these things bond them and allow them to experience love and a sense of belonging even though they may not recognize it as such. To them, it’s just good times. It seems so simple when we are young.

What we idealize in youth quickly fades to bleak realities as we grow older. Nothing can prepare us for what life will bring, what changes will come our way, the good and bad. What we may dream to become, to be a part of, may not fulfill our grown-up desires as it did in our youth. The more we chase after it, the more the shiny wrapping paper is torn away and we’re left with what is inside in all it’s imperfection and glory. Some of these dreams are taken from us and others just slowly lift away like fog at the mercy of the sun’s rays.

No matter where we go or how much we grow, one thing will always remain – that need for friendship, for a close connection – a bond that will stay with us whether we’re running barefoot around our the neighborhood of our youth or in a foreign land fighting our way home. The dream fades but it never goes away…

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Friday, September 25, 2009

#32 Brothers Under the Bridge by Bruce Springsteen

Not undermining their sense of duty or purpose, but for many soldiers sent off to fight in war, they will admit that their main goal is survival. It is to keep themselves and their brothers in arms fighting along side them alive. The bond that forms between these men and women is a strong one because they become who they live for and who they die for.

After months or maybe years of living in this survival mode, these soldiers are brought back to civilian life where they must continue on living, going back to meaningless tasks such as picking out a box of cereal. They also engage in days of celebration, some that are meant to honor their service. How far removed these clean, organized celebrations must feel from the realties they have lived through.

They go back to a “normal” existence that will never be normal again. The images they saw, the lives they watched be taken, their own brothers gone before their eyes – these ghosts will haunt their minds for the rest of their days. They will never be fully present in the moment, fully engaged in the lives of those around them. A part of them will always still be back in the canyon, back on the ridge, back with their “brothers under the bridge”.

There’s only so much one human can take…

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

#31 Bring on the Night by Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen, like in many of his songs, uses the night to set us free, free from expectations, pretense, and our own insecurities and fears. The night allows two people to meet and connect without the spotlight of the complicated past on all our misdeeds and imperfections.

Trying to maintain some semblance of our true selves while trying to find connections with others is a complicated dance. We may find within ourselves so many reasons to feel unlovable. Our past experiences may have caused us so much pain that we’re not willing to take a chance. So, to protect ourselves, we deaden the fire inside of us, not letting the reflection of our souls out to connect with another person.

We’re all looking for that place, the night, where we can be set free of the charade, where we can just find someone to unite with. We torment ourselves with all the reasons not to try, not to look for some deeper, meaningful connection. Like the freedom that the night can provide, we need to free ourselves from the shackles of our own self doubts and worries. Only then will the light within us shine outwardly so that others of like mind and like spirit can follow it down, deep down into our souls where life changing and life saving connections are formed.

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

#30 Brilliant Disguise by Bruce Springsteen

How far we’ll go
How we see
How we feel
What we believe

What were willing to give up
What we wont’ let go
Where we’ve been
Who we know

What we want to be
What we have seen
What we doubt
What we have faith in

What we need
What we refuse
What we want
What we accept as truth

What makes us unique
What we lie
What makes us the same
What we deny

Who we love
Who we hate
“All that [we] bend
All that [we] break” (U2)

What feeds us, angers us, drives us, scares us, softens us…

It’s a lifelong puzzle, an eternal ever-unfolding mystery. The more of our identity, our true selves, we expose and claim, the more we can share ourselves with another person. And the more we can let them share themselves, their true selves, with us. How can you believe in another when you even doubt yourself?

If the image we’ve come to project is nothing more than that, an image, have we lost the real us? Or is it twisting and turning underneath the layers of doubt and fear waiting to be laid bare, waiting to be freed, afraid and waiting to be loved?

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#29 Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

On the verge of my 30th birthday, I’m feeling the ticking of the clock more than ever. I know! I know! – Thirty is still young. But why do I feel so damn old? And why does Springsteen at 60 years old feel so young?

When I say I feel old, I don’t mean in any physical sense. I work out. I eat right. It is my soul that feels old. It has already started dying at a rapid pace and speeds up towards its eternal resting place every time I hear my alarm clock beckoning me to another day of mindless work. I fear a life with little meaning will slip by before I have a chance to take the wheel and steer.

It seems that if when you are young, you do not discover your talent, your calling, your passion, you lose grip on a passionate driven life. The claws of monotony and superficial expectations crawl in and take hold instead. “It’s much too late” they say. You’re old enough to finally realize there’s more to be had, but it’s too late to do anything about it. You’re on the carousel and it’s spinning way too fast to get off.

I didn’t “get out while [I’m] young”. I was born in nowhere USA and will probably stay here until my final day. In my dreams, I am a gypsy. Nothing holds me down. I travel the world with some good books, good music, and whatever I need to survive. That life has always held appeal to me. Though I do admit I’d like to do it with millions of dollars in the bank. That would be much nicer!

Springsteen is one of the lucky ones. He can do this and still have a family/home life. He broke free of his small town chains and has been on a rampage ever since. That is why at sixty years old he is still driven, still going at it like it’s his job…oh wait…it is his job!

A life lived without pursuit of a larger dream, a I life lived where art and creativity are luxuries and not a way of life is just so agonizing. It “rips the bones from your back”. It leaves you without the ability to control your destiny. It leaves you without the strength to take charge of yourself and your life. It leaves you feeling not quite human, not fully alive.

So many times I have said that I was not made for this life. I believe I was “born to run”, born to fly, born to tear through this life like a tornado in a trailer park. No one is made for this life, even those who seemingly thrive in our world. We’re all running from something and running to something else, something we dream is better. Even someone as lucky as Springsteen is running away and running towards something bigger, he just has a nicer view along the way.

Some day I’ll get to that place I really want to go…. though I still don’t even know what that looks like or where that may be….until then…I’ll just keep on running…

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Monday, September 21, 2009

#28 Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

So much can be said about this song – about the mistreatment of Vietnam Veterans, about the disproportionate number of poor kids sent off to war, about the broken lives of those who face war, about lessons unlearned over decades of time, about the elusive American dream, but I feel like I want to take it in a somewhat different direction.

Last night I went to a U2 concert, and knowing I was writing about Born in the USA today, this song stood out to me: Walk On. I am posting a link to the yrics here and dedicating it to anyone who has served a cause or have given up themselves or someone they love to a cause they deem greater than themselves. "Walk on, walk on / What you've got they can't deny it / Can't sell it, can't buy it / Walk on, walk on / Stay safe tonight / And I know it aches / And your heart it breaks / And you can only take so much / Walk on, walk on..."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

#27 Book of Dreams by Bruce Springsteen

We all have things in our past that we carry around in our pockets of shame. Whether they were the seeds we’ve sewn or the sins of someone else that left us feeling unworthy, carrying these burdens makes us feel undeserving of the beauty that comes our way.

Everyone is deserving of a second chance, a chance to be redeemed by the grace of someone else’s love. To see the universe as our dance floor places each of us under the “stars’ ancient light”, with a deserving place in the world under the mercy offered to us just for being alive.

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

#26 Bobby Jean by Bruce Springsteen

Finding someone who you can call your “soul mate” is one of the greatest experiences of life. No one wants to believe they are alone in how they feel. When you can connect with someone on almost every level of passions and thoughts, when someone lets you be who you are, and not only accepts you for who you are but loves you for it, the world can almost seem like a good place to be.

The thought of losing that person is a scary one. Even scarier is the thought “What if I never found them in the first place?” It seems finding your “soul mate” (insert your own term here) is such a chance happening.

Personally, I don’t believe there is just one person for each person on earth. That would be just a cruel tortuous joke of the fate gods. I do think, though, that there are types of people that when brought together really connect in a natural easy way that can’t be explained. There’s a rhythm to their interactions that just feels right. It just works. Then when you share the same interests and passions, there’s even a greater bond that develops.

It seems like no one else could ever take that person’s place. Of course, no person can be replaced. But it really feels like you could never connect with or love another like you love this one.

My husband is such a person to me. I’m more than grateful to have him here with me and to not be forced to tell him…. “I miss you baby, good luck goodbye”….

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Friday, September 18, 2009

#25 Blood Brothers by Bruce Springsteen

The easy way we love as children, the untarnished devotion we have for others when we are young is eroded by pressures and anxieties of life. We slowly let fade the ideals and dreams of our youth. They are dismissed as naïve and impractical as our eyes are opened wider to the surrounding reality of the world we must survive in.

“Now I don’t know how I feel…if I’ve lost or I’ve gained sight” calls into question what we should allow to shape our lives. It seems as we grow up, we grow backwards. What we call maturing is really taking us further from how God (insert your belief here) intended us to be. The purity of youth that allows us to be united with each other in the most intimate way, by our blood, slowly fades as we make our paths in the world as individuals. These vital connections are broken and sent adrift down the twilight's river of misplaced dreams.

We can only hope, with these memories living and burning in our hearts, to some day return there again, where we truly belong, reunited with our brothers in humanity…some day, somewhere long past the darkness.

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

#24 Blinded by the Light by Bruce Springsteen

We all reach a place in life, whether we’re aware of it at the time or can look back on it with clarity much later, when we are “blinded by the light”. Pressured by the inevitable outcome of growing older, we find ourselves in a place where choices have to be made, where something about ourselves and the world needs to be figured out.

Something tells us there’s more to life than what we’ve been shown and what we’ve been given. For some the need for a creative life comes at them like a “needle needs a vein” (U2). Trying to grab a hold of it is a messy, slippery process. For the most part of the process is a convoluted web threaded with confusion and experimentation.

As we “come of age”, we can sense the danger of missed opportunities on the horizon as we learn more and more about all of life’s possibilities. We follow the light even though we don’t know exactly what it is or where it’s taking us. We take chances. For some, they fall down and never get back up again, others find another way to chase the light, and for a fortunate few something brilliantly takes hold and they ride it to the grave. It’s exciting, it’s hopeful, but also confusing and lonely.

Even when we reach a better understanding of ourselves and life and choose a path to take, we realize there’s always more to figure out. The light never dies. It makes us chase it like a “runner in the night”. Never knowing which way to turn or where we’ll find ourselves when the light comes back out to play...but it’s a wild and beautiful ride. Set your eyes on the sun, and follow it down… “that’s where the fun [beauty, magic, mystery, promise, meaning, and a small taste of freedom] is”.

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

#23 Black Cowboys by Bruce Springsteen

All the lonely people…where do they all come from?

Rainey Williams was a man destined to go it alone. The streets he grew up on were set apart from the surrounding world through their poverty induced violence. His mother’s love was his saving grace as a child. But that one constant in his life, his mother, could not ultimately save him because she could not save herself.

Rainey’s mother was seemingly immovable in the face of the Mott Haven streets. He depended upon her and her persistence in showing him that he was what she lived for. But times got tougher and mama got swept away in the ghosts of her own skin. What happens to someone whose only piece of stability and reassurance is taken away, when the vision of a young heart is broken in two?

Rainey learned that the only person you can depend upon is yourself. He took what he could and headed out to live a life free from attachment, free from dependence on anyone or anything. Like the black cowboys in the movies that were idealized to him as a child, Rainey embodied that sense of self-reliance and individuality. He was going to make himself a life far from the neighborhood of his youth, and he was going to do it on his own.

He travels far from the streets where he’s come from to find himself alone in an even larger world than he could have dreamed. Alone, like the cowboys of the west, Rainey would wander the rest of his days. No one person or one thing would ever again hold his heart.

“Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys / ‘Cos they’ll never stay home and they’re always alone / Even with someone they love” – Waylon Jennings -

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

#22 Bishop Danced by Bruce Springsteen

Alice in Wonderland, a politician’s speech, mostly everything on TV, especially those things with the nerve to be called reality shows, a conversation with Sarah Palin, award shows and their red carpet extravaganza, tellatubby’s, Hail Mary’s, Chris Farley movies, this season’s “must-haves”….and Bishop Danced. What do all these things have in common? NONSENSE.

Whenever I come across something seemingly pointless, like an action packed Van Diesel summer blockbuster, I immediately become critical over its lack of substance and of the people who desperately enjoy such forms of entertainment.

Because something is nonsense, does that mean there is no purpose for it? Other than words from the mouth of Sarah Palin, I’d day there is a very distinct purpose for nonsensical things: escapism. I cringe to compare a Springsteen song to any of these other things, again my art snob voice rising, but it is just possible that in the four decades of his life as a songwriter, he has written some….nonsense! Okay, I said it….call me Judas…

Sometimes we need to just shut down the voices inside and surrender ourselves, our minds, our bodies over to another living or non-living thing. Not everything has to be so darn serious! This is something I sometimes need to remind myself. Sometimes a song is meant to move you without words. Some things are just meant to be silly or to entertain. Life is hard and there are too many difficult things to face head on. A little denial can’t hurt...can it?

If life was longer, if life was endless, there would be time for nonsense. But now as I turn 30 (whoa! not just yet), I feel like nonsense, escape, relaxation are a waste of the few precious minutes I have to enjoy life. I need to force a little more nonsense in my life…nonsense from Bruce – now there’s a good compromise!

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Monday, September 14, 2009

#21 Better Days by Bruce Springsteen

It would be very easy to let forces out of our control dictate how we live our life. There’s a million reasons to “feel sorry for [ourselves]”. This is a hard life. Better Days breathes urgency into the idea of taking the reins of your lifesled. Trying to escape the feeling of futility by waiting for something to give, something to change, will bury your soul a little piece at a time.

While there are so many things we can’t control, we can work at one thing: softening our hearts, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, because there is something not worth missing, not worth giving up. And that is having someone you “can call [your] friend”.

For those fortunate enough to have someone in their lives that can break through the eye glazing, soul sucking moments of being trapped in mundane work and meaningless pursuits, time is of the essence. Take what you have and do what you can with it. A meaningful relationship is the only thing worth working for and worth saving. It can lighten our load, carry our cross, and bury our burdens. It can keep us from falling into the deep abyss of ache without a lifeline to grab onto. When nothing else seems to matter and ashes upon ashes melt into our soul, only love will have the power to set us on fire once again.

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

#20 Because the Night by Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith

All the pains and anxieties of the day cannot reach you in the arms of someone you love. Time is suspended. Even the struggle of finding ourselves takes a back seat. The world cannot take those moments away. We walk with a limp in the oppressive light of day, weighed down with the ropes and chains of expectations and unfulfilled drams. Trust and love can free us from the burdens of the world, and give us a moment, even if just a moment, to let it all go.

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

#19 Be True by Bruce Springsteen

Because of our conditioning, sometimes we put unrealistic expectations upon ourselves and our relationships. From childhood, we are filled with images of “love” as romance, adventure and passion. Girls are rescued by princes on white horses. The man is always brave and strong. The woman is in need of his protection. Together, their love defeats wickedness and they can live “happily ever after”.

When reality does not measure up to the dramas in our heads, we think it is love that has failed us. But it is not love that has failed us; we have failed ourselves. Instead of searching for and demanding something deeper and lasting, we settle for fleeting moments of romance and outward displays of affection. Romance and affection are important in a relationship as well, but they cannot be the foundation.

When, over time, those dreams fade, the one with the idealistic, culturally formed fantasies will be left feeling empty and unloved. It is not fair to put such expectations on others or ourselves. No one can live up to the script of a fairy tale cartoon prince. No one can be the flawless beauty queen created by an artist’s sketch or digital image. Trying to live up to those ideals will always leave you feeling diminished.

Taking each other as you are and demanding something real and significant holds so much more beauty and lasting promise. Just “be true” and you’ll find someone that will take you as you are now and ever after.

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Friday, September 11, 2009

#18 Balboa Park by Bruce Springsteen

Watch the video here:

Springsteen weaves a tale of the life of a young man living on the border between Mexico and California. He is homeless, addicted, and just trying to survive. Drugs and crime, namely becoming a mule for drug transport, become his way of life.

The border patrol sweeps through, looking to round up some criminals. These drug smugglers and hustlers who are one small link in a chain of greed and crime, who are living on borrowed time, live with only the law and the long arm of death on their backs.

The “men in their Mercedes” come through for sexual favors, criminals of the worse kind, (those who have much and take from those who have little, those whose lifestyles support the system of drugs that requires people like these border boys to smuggle in drugs, packets of cocaine in their stomachs, risking an early and violent death) go home at night to their wives and children, to their mansion on the hill, while these boys sleep under the highway, alone left to die in their own blood.

The toxic fumes of greed, the fatal flower of addiction, the poison of poverty…takes someone’s precious child and invalidates his life, like the young man struck down by the border patrol, they are not seen and not honored. They are reduced to something worse than criminals. Their humanity is taken from them all because of who they are and the life they are born into.

“Where you live should not decide whether you live or whether you die” – U2

Additional Note: Today is the anniversary of 9/11. It was tragic that so many lives were taken on that day. The nation will probably set aside this date as a day of remembrance for years to come. When we stop to contemplate such tragedies, let us also remember the hundreds of thousands of lives that are lost living a life like the boys of Balboa Park. Let us remember the inequality of humanity, built of power and greed, that still permeates the world, including our own country, which stomps out the lives and voices of the poor. Let us remember this too.

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

#17 Badlands by Bruce Springsteen

I can’t tell you how good it feels to scream those words at a live Springsteen show. The way I connect with this song is so overwhelming; I feel like I don’t even know where to begin. This song is at the heart of the rest of Springsteen's music. It song leaves little to be said yet so much to be believed…

We’re all screaming out for something more…more heart, more soul…Put this song on, blast it real loud…and sing at the top of your voice, knowing everyone else around you is screaming it somewhere deep down inside, until you feel like everything wrong can be made right again…

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

#16 Backstreets by Bruce Springsteen

We are each born into a society, a culture, and a family that mold us as we live our lives. It shapes part of who we are and who we become. But each of us is also born into a “fire”, a fire of hunger and desire that throws flames at our insides as we make our way through this world.

That fire cannot be ignored. It is a fire that does not need to be tamed. It is a fire that needs to be faced and wrestled with and allowed to burn away bits and pieces of ourselves so that we can grow new skin, newer more developed parts of who we are in finding our place and purpose in the world.

It is on the backstreets this battle has to be fought. It is in the dark night of the soul where we can be “set…loose from everything”, away from the dictations of other men, away from the lies and promises of an empty, soulless world, a world where it’s a thin line between truth and lies, between love and hate, between existing and living.

It is a journey that must be made alone. We may have someone like Terry on our journey, someone to strengthen us on our ride, but in the end it is ourselves we must look in the eye. It is our questions we need to find the answers to on our own.

When we stop and take a moment, more than a moment, to wrestle this fire inside of us, only then can we get a real glimpse of who we are and what we are meant to be. Only then are we free to reach the highs and lows of a passionate life and escape the million year old chains we were born in…only on the “backstreets” of our lives.

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

#15 Back in Your Arms by Bruce Springsteen

We can’t take for granted that what we have will always be there. When it comes to love and relationships, we must work at what we have. We must constantly be supporting the foundation of our love and always working to make our connections deeper and more meaningful.

The nature of relationships is that they evolve. Each person changes and grows by themselves, and the couple changes together. What was there at the beginning hopefully still remains, but it remains along with a better understanding of one another, a familiarity that no one else shares with you.

Within that familiarity lies the danger. The danger of becoming complacent. The danger of letting time pass by while the promises we made to ourselves and each other, when our love was desperate and new, grow “empty as the howlin’ wind”, is a real threat to losing what we most cherish. Becoming consumed with life and with our own dark inner voices, we can be pulled into ourselves and neglect the person we at one time could not live without.

When life takes us to that quiet place where we have a moment to reflect on what we truly want and need, hopefully we do not find ourselves longing to be back in a place that may be too far gone.

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Monday, September 7, 2009

#14 Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen

Life is a gamble. Forces beyond our control determine which side of the line we fall on – winners or losers. Sometimes there just seems to be nothing we can do to change our fate. When we’ve done our best and it is still not good enough, life can feel like a love that has grown cold.

Sometimes we are forced to make decisions and take chances that could ruin it all, but they seem to be our only hope. When it seems there’s no other way to breathe life back into a seemingly ill-fated existence, we are led down a path we would rather not choose if we were left with a choice. But believing that the possibility still exists for redemption and for a little piece of happiness, we take the chance. We roll the dice because there’s nothing left to lose.

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

#13 American Skin (41 Shots) by Bruce Springsteen

What does it mean to be an American? There are no doubt many freedoms we experience as Americans that we receive at the cost of the spilled blood of soldiers, activists, and other fighters of freedom. ”We're baptized in these waters and in each other's blood “. We are connected to one another through this river of blood that we exchange for the promise of hope and liberty.

We are also connected through the reality of blood spilled due to the system of inequality we still live under in America. Years of racism and slavery still live within our culture through the wars fought on our own streets. Not by soldiers of freedom, but by soldiers of survival. Young men and women are forced to make decisions in order to allow themselves and their family’s to survive in the community they are born into.

For those living in the all too common ghettos of America, many do not have a choice, not a viable one. Drugs, crime, and death are their option, their only reality. Time in prison is an expected outcome for some part of their life. They are willing to do time as part of their duty to the system they live in. Sadly, this hierarchy of riches to poverty is what allows the economic system in America to thrive (or at least survive). The blood of those dying on American streets helps make America the country it is.

On the other side of the coin, police officers are put in a situation where they are forced to make decisions that mean life or death, not just for the citizens they are sworn to protect, but for themselves and their fellow officers as well. They are put at odds with their fellow human. They are put in a position where a split decision to shoot or not to shoot can mean the end of someone’s life. Faced with the communities and realities they live amongst every day, there are bound to be times when they make the wrong decisions. Innocent people will die. Blood will be shed. American blood will be spilled on American streets - The price we pay for living in our “American Skin”.

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

#12 American Land by Bruce Springsteen

(My husband and I were at this show - I think you can see the back of our heads :-) )

Many years after Born in the USA, Springsteen is still singing about the broken promises of America. The Irish music behind the lyrics lends the song to the voice of immigrants, such as the Irish, who came to an America of promise and found instead an America of racism & inequality, a place where the poor get poorer and the rich get richer.

Greed and misuse of power are rewarded. People will say hard work is rewarded. I know plenty of people working hard who will never advance in life because they are kept held down by a system that can only have one result, lives separated by class and wealth. The golden door has proved to be made of glass.

I’m currently reading Edward Bellamy’s “Looking Backward”. He wrote the story in the 1880’s and he so accurately could see where America has gone wrong in its economic/social philosophy. He knew that there was only one eventual outcome and we are living it now.

We are stuck in our options because we only see one system, one way of doing things, as the best way. Why is sharing resources, labor, etc…such a bad thing? What are people really afraid of? Our individualistic mindset is twisted. We spout off ideas of equality yet we operate under a system that makes equality impossible, in all areas of life.

The idea of America is greater than the reality.

For Complete Lyrics Visit:

Friday, September 4, 2009

#11 All the Way Home by Bruce Springsteen

Second Chances…

As we get older we learn that most of the bars holding us in are nothing but shadows. And watching Mr. Mortality prancing down our dead end street, we realize there’s no time like the present to grab a little happiness.

Maybe that happiness doesn’t look like we had hoped or planned. Maybe once we had just what we wanted and thought it’d last forever. But it faded like the passing of the sun and left us with our own “fears and failure” to face.

Instead of letting those old failures take the reins, we can give them a back seat and move on. Each experience is independent of another, unless we choose otherwise. We can learn from the past, but we don’t have to live there. What’s done is done. It’s so easy to let fear “take the wheel and steer” (Incubus). We need to acknowledge those failures and take control of the present and future as best we can.

Like the lovers in Thunder Road, we need to “show a little faith / there’s magic [beauty, hope, promise, and love to be found] in the night”, at the end of our days – there’s still something to believe in and hold on to and a lot worth living for.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

#10 All That Heaven Will Allow by Bruce Springsteen

No one knows how much time we have left in this life. Life is filled with trouble, but love makes it worthwhile. Take it while you can. Mortality is a fickle fiend…

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

#9 All or Nothin’ At All by Bruce Springsteen

Watch and Listen:

I’m reminded of a song sung by a duo from the eighties called “More Than Words”. They sang to their loved one (well I’m sure they each had their own individual lover – though it is possible they were pining after the same girl that was holding out on both of them but that’s another story) that in order to prove their love, “more than words” were needed. Sex would solidify that their relationship was real.

Springsteen twists that masculine stereotype, and without losing any credibility as a man, asks for proof love in a relationship already physically intimate.

While he seems to be asking for the same displays of affection as our 1980’s duo, he reveals in the end what he is ultimately looking for: “Shout out what you’re thinkin’ of / If what you’re thinkin’ of is love”.

I’ve never been one to buy into the whole “Men are From Mars/Women are From Venus” mythology. The more we buy into that, the more we push away from each other. We are more alike than we are different. Like women, men want intimacy, love, and reassurance of that love. What they crave is to give and to have “it all or nothin’ at all”.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

#8 All I'm Thinkin' About by Bruce Springsteen

Simple, sweet, pure pictures reflecting childlike beauty in the world seen through eyes experiencing love. When we are consumed by the existence of another, everything around us seems more beautiful, more pure. Simple things take on a new meaning. The load feels lighter. It even seems possible that miracles can happen – “the blind will see / the lame will be healed”.

Whether the loved one is a lover or a child, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable by offering our love to another and letting them love us back is one of the most fundamental yet amazing experiences to be a part of.

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