Song Nostalgia: My life according to Springsteen

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“Now get yourself a song to sing and sing it ’til you’re done.  Yeah, sing it hard and sing it well!”   -Death to my Hometown (Bruce)

I grew up on Bruce Springsteen. Like really truly grew up listening to him.  The soundtrack to my life most certainly can be summed up with a loooong Springsteen “greatest hits” album.  Music, to me, represents not only head bopping tunes but memories.  Feelings, thoughts, even smells of times past.

I was thinking about this when we took Zachary to his first concert this week. Of course, it was Bruuuuuuce!

I think I could write a memoir using his songs, as like I said, I grew up on Springsteen, and continue to do so.  And so will my son.

Hungry Heart

“Everybody needs a place to rest, everybody wants to have a home. Don’t make no difference what nobody says.  Ain’t nobody like to be alone.”

This is the earliest Bruce song that I can remember knowing.  It is also the first “real song” I ever knew all of the lyrics to.  My family and I used to spend a week each summer at our time share in Disney World.  We used to drive.  My mom was not fond of flying.  This provided many opportunities to listen for my parents to flood my brain with Bruce songs. I had a penchant for singing “Hungry Heart,” which is very amusing.  Picture a five year old singing “got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack.”  Yup.  Very funny.

Little Jess

Thunder Road

“You ain’t a beauty but hey you’re alright.  And that’s alright with me.”

On the aforementioned car trips (and many other times as well) I could hear my mom singing along to this song; her absolute all-time favorite. I still get chills when I hear that piano intro.  Classic.  I can still hear my mom singing…oh wait, that was like yesterday 😉  Seriously.  Bruce concerts are family tradition, as is telling my mom when Thunder Road comes on, “it’s your soooooong!”

My Mom and Zach

Born in the USA

My dad had a huuuuuuge record collection. Of every album I remember, the one that sticks out in my head the most is Born in the USA.  I distinctly remember listening to this with my Dad, especially the fact that it evoked discussions of wars, politics and the like. I would ask my dad about what it mean to “go and kill the yellow man.”  It was during these years that the ideas of “patriotism” and political empowerment first became prevalent in my life.  I felt like I had just introduced to whole world, where there were so many things that I was able to formulate an opinion on.  And still do.

 Secret Garden

“She’ll let you in her heart, If you got a hammer and a vise.  But into her secret garden, don’t think twice”

This song reminds me of college, and primarily my college boyfriend. It was the first time I truly let someone into my heart.  That’s it.

Streets of Philadelphia

“I saw my reflection in a window.  I didn’t know my own face.”

This was a song that was in the movie Philadelphia.  That movie came out when I was in middle school and awareness of the AIDS epidemic was at its peak.  I don’t often remember movies that I’ve seen, something I get made fun a lot, but images from this movie still run through my brain.  A truly memorable and touching story.  I remember I went to the AIDS walk that year and raised money for the cause.

Should I fall Behind

“There neath the oaks bough soon we will be wed.  Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees, Ill wait for you, and should I fall behind, wait for me.”

My husband and I danced to this song at our wedding.  Obviously meaningful 😉

Rocky Ground

“Tend to your flock or they will stray.”

The album that this song is on, Wrecking Ball, came out during my pregnancy.  It was my anthem. I LOOOOVE that album.  I would walk A LOT while I was pregnant and my favorite route was across the Ben Franklin bridge into New Jersey and back.  I looooved the scenery and the feeling.  Anyway, I would put Rocky Ground on repeat, daydreaming about what my beautiful baby boy would look like while melting into Michelle Moore’s hypnotizing repetition of “we’ve been traveling over rocky ground.”  I did that walk, and sang that song on repeat while walking, the day Zach was born.

Wrecking Ball

When Zachary was first born, I used to sing to him A LOT (mainly to get him to sleep). Now a days I primarily stick to “hush little baby,” “rock-a-bye baby” or something of the like.  But back then (you know, before I was a “seasoned mom” ahem five months later. hahahha TOTAL JOKE) I was REALLY into Bruce’s album “Wrecking Ball.”  My interest had been carried over through my pregnancy (see previous song) and I actually went to the Springsteen show at the Wachovia Center the week before I gave birth.  We sat in a club box with a bathroom. Obviously necessary at the time.  So wait, would this be considered Zach’s first Bruce show or last week’s?”  ANNNNNYWAY, I used to sing Zachary the whole album thorough.  I eventually discovered the chorus to Wrecking Ball HAD to be his favorite (either that or he was so damn tired by the time I got to that song. ha).  So I remember singing this song to him in the dark, at first with the lyrics on my iPad.  Whaaat?!  Gotta know the lyrics 😉

I look forward to building future memories like this to Bruce songs and maybe even one day Zach screaming to me “that’s youuuuuuur song!’ at a Bruce show.  “My song” is No Surrender (“There’s a war outside still ranging, you say it ain’t ours anymore to win.”).  Anyway, thanks for listening.   I realize that was a SUPER long and nostalgic post.  Tell me though, are there song/artists that you feel are like “the sound track to your life?”