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Song of the Day: Bruce Springsteen – “The Rising”


As we all creep back into reality after a long 4th of July weekend I thought it would be worthwhile to pick a song from an artist who can energize any crowd anywhere – Bruce Springsteen.  Growing up in New York I was literally bombarded with Springsteen’s music.   I must admit that I resisted at first but the more I listened and actually paid attention to the songs, the bigger fan I became.  Resistance, as they say, was futile.  To call Bruce a songwriter is way too limiting.  He is an artist, musician, poet, preacher, social advocate and entertainer par excellence all wrapped in one.  Like very few songwriters, his voice has captured multiple generations of fans and captivated countless millions of peoples all around the world.   And, his influence just continues to grow.

If you haven’t seen Bruce play live you are missing something special.  I once watched him play for 4 hours and 50 minutes.  By the end of the concert I was physically and emotionally exhausted (in a good way).  The “high” afterwards lasted for days.  He has slowed down a bit as he’s aged, but still outperforms most bands half his age every night.  I also enjoy the camaraderie and interplay he has on stage with his band whose numbers sadly seem to be declining every year lately (Clarence Clemons R.I.P).  The E Street Band was definitely  “lightning caught in a bottle” and its likes will probably not be see again.

After 9/11 that infamous day in our nation’s history, everyone was numb struck and waiting for someone to put our feelings into words.  While their were many talented artists who released touching and inspirational songs, Bruce’s album The Rising captured that moment in time perfectly.  I’ve been told that after the tragedy he literally went into seclusion and feverishly worked on completing the album.   The result speaks for itself.

I’ve chosen the title song from the album – “The Rising,” and have linked to a live version of the song where you can actually experience the special vibe he creates with an audience (even in another country).  I am also including the lyrics which are quite powerful especially given the context in which they were written:

Can’t see nothin’ in front of me
Can’t see nothin’ coming up behind
I make my way through this darkness
I can’t feel nothing but this chain that binds me
Lost track of how far I’ve gone
How far I’ve gone, how high I’ve climbed
On my back’s a sixty pound stone
On my shoulder a half mile of line

Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight

Left the house this morning
Bells ringing filled the air
Wearin’ the cross of my calling
On wheels of fire I come rollin’ down here

Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight

Li,li, li,li,li,li, li,li,li

There’s spirits above and behind me
Faces gone black, eyes burnin’ bright
May their precious blood bind me
Lord, as I stand before your fiery light

Li,li, li,li,li,li, li,li,li

I see you Mary in the garden
In the garden of a thousand sighs
There’s holy pictures of our children
Dancin’ in a sky filled with light
May I feel your arms around me
May I feel your blood mix with mine
A dream of life comes to me
Like a catfish dancin’ on the end of my line

Sky of blackness and sorrow (a dream of life)
Sky of love, sky of tears (a dream of life)
Sky of glory and sadness (a dream of life)
Sky of mercy, sky of fear (a dream of life)
Sky of memory and shadow (a dream of life)
Your burnin’ wind fills my arms tonight
Sky of longing and emptiness (a dream of life)
Sky of fullness, sky of blessed life

Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight

Li,li, li,li,li,li, li,li,li

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