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

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 -

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