My father said "Son, we're lucky in this town,
It's a beautiful place to be born.
It just wraps its arms around you,
Nobody crowds you and nobody goes it alone"
- "Long Walk Home", Magic
There's nothing that takes me back to my care-free childhood than long summer days spent exploring for adventure in the suburbs. When hitting those teenage years, though, those small towns become even smaller, and I yearned for more. It's the sentiment perfectly captured on "Thunder Road": "It's town full of losers, and I'm pulling out of here to win."
However, in "Long Walk Home", written over 30 years since "Thunder Road", Bruce is now softened to his hard stance on those small New Jersey communities, talking about how they accept you and will make you stronger. I can't quite decide if Bruce is speaking as the father or the son in this song, but I feel either interpretation could work. While I wouldn't throw the same accolades on my hometown as Bruce does in this song, my angst-driven feelings on it have softened throughout the years. I don't feel it's arms around me, but it isn't a town full of losers, either. Perhaps in another 30 years, I'll have come around to Springsteen's point-of-view. So, please make sure to e-mail me on July 8th, 2044, just to see where I'm at.