long

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!)