Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Springsteen Lyrics of the Week - Racing in the Street
"Some guys they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up
And go racin' in the street"
- Racing in the Street, Darkness on the Edge of Town
In my time as a Springsteen fan, I've digested a lot of opinions from other music experts on his work. Two works I would recommend are Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy, and the second DVD of Bruce Springsteen Road Trip. One song that is frequently analyzed in both books is the above-quoted "Racing in the Street". This song has never been a particular favorite of mine, but the spotlighted lines are some of Bruce's best.
This verse describes what people may do in terrible situations. There are many courses of action one can take when the world is piling garbarge on their life, but Bruce only describes two here. One is just internalizing the sadness, giving up and letting it destroy the soul. The other option is to go "racing in the street"; to throw yourself into the woefulness of it all with a "devil-may-care" attitude and embrace the misery. Curiously, the option of fighting back and making a change is missing here, but I've chosen to interpret that these circumstances are not of one's own doing, but rather of outside forces that one cannot control.
Funnily enough, it wasn't any major tragedy in my life that inspired this post; it was disgust with the management of a professional sports team I follow. Years of fandom has grinded at my soul, but I am not a participant in the team's decision-making process at all; there is nothing I can do to rectify the situation. So, rather than letting the losses kill me piece-by-piece, I'm just going to buckle up and try to enjoy the ride.