Born to Run has a bleak narrative trajectory. It begins in a town full of losers and ends in Jungleland where the heroes wind up "wounded, not even dead."
“Meeting Across the River” – a song you will never hear requested at a bar – is the album's lynchpin. It is the subtle prelude that sets the scene for the 9 1/2 minute, operatic conclusion in “Jungleland”.
I chose the video above not just because I was at the MetLife leg of the Wrecking Ball tour but because it perfectly preserves that segue between the two final tracks of Born to Run.
“And the word's been passed this is our last chance”
At every turn, Bruce makes it crystal clear where this story ends.
Even while being the “smallest” song on the album, “Meeting Across the River” heightens everything around it, serving as the turning point where petty hijinks evolve to hard crime and youthful malaise evolves to Greek tragedy. The song is a masterful ballet of trumpet, piano, bass and vocals with each of the four instruments working together to create a vivid cityscape.