“Others have written about the complicated ways that Bruce Springsteen weaves together the personal and the political and how this interweaving has developed over time. I’ll mention some of these themes but won’t spend a lot of time exploring or illustrating them:
1) First and foremost, the healing and transcendent power of love and community. This is, perhaps, one of the most central concerns of his life. His songs are full of it. The ecstatic sense of abandon, fusion and joy at his concerts feature it. Wrecking Ball is a good example of this.
2) Mutual recognition and embrace of the Other: Springsteen’s songs are full of images of people making the choice to—in the end—see their commonality rather than their difference. The Ghost of Tom Joad is full of stories like this.
3) Confronting the survivor guilt facing his generation as they became parents and achieved economic security and success. Perhaps the best line in all of Springsteen’s music about this is from Lucky Town where he complains that “it’s a sad funny ending, when you find yourself pretending, a rich man in a poor man’s shirt.”
4) The insistent search for meaning and purpose in the face of alienation, loneliness, and the mundane repetitive rhythms of everyday life, whether that be through leaving home, rock-and-roll, love, or the redemptive courage shown in a song like “Into the Fire” in The Rising.
5) Outrage at the breakdown of our society’s social safety net and promise of collective responsibility along with a call to not only restore it but relentlessly offering up example after example of small acts in which this is manifested.”
Thank you to the unknown artist!