Born to Run

The Times are Tough Now, Just Getting Tougher

Song: Cover MeAlbum: Born in the U.S.A. Year: 1984

Even though I have now studied almost two dozen of Bruce Springsteen's finest songs and also a one off of Lucky Town, I still find B slightly mysterious at times. In this jaunty tune, for example, I am not sure if Bruce wants a lover to watch his back during dangerous times, or if he just wants to be physically sprawled upon. Is it an anthem for street toughs, or a sex thing? I want to look it up but I'm on my work computer and I don't want to get fired for being an internet pervert. Although what would I even google? "Crush-play?" "Spread eagle + power bottom?"

Rating: 6 lovers who will come on in out of 10.

This makes me feel: like taking care of business! (In my imagination that means some sort of '70s montage where I'm busting into nightclubs and stealing money back from sleazy venue owners. You know: the sort of business I enjoy doing.)

Fun Bruce fact: He originally wrote this song for Donna Summers. WHAT?! Another fun fact: here is the DANCE REMIX. I don't even know who you ARE anymore, Bruce!

 

The Hungry and the Hunted

Song: Jungleland
Album: Born to Run
Year: 1975

I've been attempting to review this song for like four days. It is very, very long and I keep getting distracted in the middle. Millennials, right? This was recorded in the days before podcasts, but that's really what it should've been classified as. What a chatterbox. But I get why he goes on and on and on here—there's a lot going on in Jungleland.

The protagonist of this song is named The Magic Rat, so we're obviously off to a great start. He appears to be dating a girl who doesn't own shoes. The police—oh, pardon me, the "Maximum Lawmen"—are not a fan of these guys; it sounds like they're not a fan of music either. Maybe Jungleland is some sort of Mennonite community? Anyways, some of the kids in town have a battle of the bands and then Magic Rat seems to wind up dead. The official report is that his "own dreams gun[ned] him down," but I suspect the police may be covering something up. I hope the Jungleland judicial system implements some sort of investigative task force.

I can't remember if I've asked this before, but has Bruce Springsteen ever written a musical? I get the impression that he really wants to. I'm envisioning a lot of sleeveless plaid shirts and a lot of very athletic leaping. Ideally a chorus of steelworkers, too.

Oh man, just did the very minimum amount of research (thanks Wikipedia! No, I'm still not giving you any money!) and apparently John Malkovich (!) used this song in his 1980 production of Balm in Gilead as a background for a "choreographed tableau of street denizens miming a tragic slice-of-life." So I guess this just confirms what we all already kind of expected: Malovich and I share a brain.

Rating: 7 out of 10 guitars being used like switchblades.

This makes me feel: exhausted and dramatic. I want to dance! I want to live! I want to drink warm beer on top of a car hood and then take a nap!

Fun Bruce fact: Apparently someone did try to make a musical of B's music in 2002 but didn't get the OK from the Springsteen camp. Probably because they didn't want any competition for the incredible Broadway show of his own that he's been working on in secret for 30 years. (Working title: Babes in Jungleland!)