Windows are for cheaters, chimneys for the poor
Closets are for hangers, winners use the door
- Rosalita (Come Out Tonight), The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle
For years I’ve been perplexed by this particular set of lyrics. In many ways, I still am. But listening to it the other day, I had a sudden insight into what they might mean. In this ode to fervent young love in the face of family, societal and economic hurdles, these lyrics express the narrator’s refusal to let his courtship be clandestine. His relationship is going to be out in the open, regardless of what anyone else thinks. With windows suggesting the furtive side-entrance for infidelity and closets being the hiding place of those afraid of getting caught, I’m not quite sure where chimneys and the poor fit into this picture. But then part of the joy of listening to a Bruce Springsteen song is that you never understand 100% of the song anyway. The mysteries and peculiarities of some of his iconic songs are often what bring us back, each time hoping to understand a little more.