Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lyrics Spotlight: "Human Touch"

"Oh girl that feeling of safety that you prize
Well it comes at a hard hard price
You can't shut off the risk and the pain
Without losing the love that remains" - "Human Touch", Human Touch

A few weeks back I reviewed Mick Foley's debut into the literary world Tietam Brown.  Coincidentally later that day he guest was the guest DJ on E Street Radio.  His theme for that episode were the lyrics I chose this week's analysis.  He really analyzed the song and broke it down.  I've never been a big fan of "Human Touch" (the song and the album, I don't hate it but it just cant compare to E Street material or his incredible folk albums).  But after hearing Foley delve deep into the lyrics, and reading them over, and listening to the song on repeat, I've gained a new appreciation.

This might be Springsteen's best work lyrically.  I've written in the past about Springsteen's lyrics struggles with doubt and mistrust, but I don't think any song displays it so much as "Human Touch" in particular these lyrics.  This just a sample of the lyrics, but really I could have gone with just about any from this under-appreciated song.  Gone is the Springsteen of old with his wild youth filled lyrics like "Tonight we'll be free, all the promises will be broken."  He can't write a song like that anymore, because his view of the world has changed.  But, as Foley said in his show, Bruce couldn't write a song like "Human Touch" when he first debuted either, because he hadn't experienced the pain and sacrifice of losing love yet.