Friday, September 7, 2012

tonight we'll be free, all promises will be broken

It's often said that Bruce Springsteen's music is the voice of a generation. 

Just not mine. 

I don't have much in common with a working-class Jersey boy who came of age during the '60s and '70s, but his music resonates with me like nothing else ever has. 

My parents, my dad especially, have been Springsteen fans for my entire life. I grew up hearing his music, but it didn't strike a chord with me until I was in college. Perhaps it was living away from home and dealing with the added stress that homesickness can bring that made me crave something familiar. 

Or maybe I was just tired of constantly listening to Broadway musicals. (RENT, I'm looking at you.) Whatever the reason, from the moment I popped his Greatest Hits into my clunky portable CD player, I was hooked. 

When I look back on my memories of college, graduation, my wedding, and the myriad of other events that have comprised my life in the past six years; each of those memories is forever tied with a Springsteen song or album. Hearing these songs instantly takes me back to these times and places, for better or worse, and sings the story of my twenties. 


+I listened to "Streets of Philadelphia" on constant repeat the winter semester of my freshman year when I was crippled by depression. 
I was bruised and battered
I couldn't tell what I felt
I was unrecognizable to myself

+ During the 2008 presidential race when this political science major was up to her eyeballs in analyzing voter returns and picking apart campaigns, "Livin' in the Future" was almost constantly stuck in my head. 
Woke up election day
Skies gunpowder and shades of gray
Beneath the dirty sun
I whistled my time away

+ I remember listening to "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street" over and over  on my iPod my senior year of college as I rushed frazzled from classes to work to  internship to rehearsals.
She found out how to cope
She rides to heaven on a gyroscope
The Daily News asks her for the dope
She says, "Man, the dope's that there's still hope

+ On the day of my graduation, "Thunder Road" rang in my ears.
They scream your name at night in the street
Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet

+ And on the day when I walked down the aisle to marry my best friend, the words of "I Wanna Marry You" never felt more true.
They say in the end true love prevails
But in the end true love can't be no fairy tale
To say I'll make your dreams come true would be wrong
But maybe darlin', I could help them along


In 2009, Kyle and I were able to see Springsteen play with the E-Street Band in Detroit. (This was also what would be Clarence Clemons' last tour.) Honestly, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Tonight, we'll be rocking out at Wrigley Field in Chicago; joined this time by our families. I couldn't be any more excited. 

Wrigley, Springsteen, and Lake Michigan breezes--I don't know if life could really get much better. 

I'll leave you with my favorite song of all time, "For You," from the Boss' first album, Greetings from Asbury Park. It gives me chills everytime, and I hope you'll love it too. 

How about you? Is there a band or musician that has carried you through life?

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