This spring, a visit from The Boss is in order in Baltimore.
Tag: bruce springsteen
New Jersey, our state
All our best is addressed to you!
New Jersey, our state
We’ll keep abreast of the times with you!
Once again we’re here to tell
The many ways that we excel
In New Jersey the state that is great, great, great
In New Jersey, the Garden State.
This is not the state song of New Jersey and I can find no record of it anywhere except my head, where it was downloaded long ago by some elementary school teacher and still comes up on the jukebox rather often.
If New Jersey were actually an armpit, the town where I grew up would appear as a mole just below the axillary hinge, 55 miles south of Manhattan, a mile from the shore. Though we of Parkway Exit 105 breathed fresh salt air rather than the refinery stink the state was infamous for, we looked around our ranch-house mansions of glory and saw what Springsteen saw. It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap, we gotta get out while we’re young. Tramps like us, baby we were born to run.
Maybe that should have been the state song.
I haven’t lived in New Jersey since I was 17. While I was holed up in Rhode Island, Texas, and New York City, my sister moved away, our grandparents and parents died, and the house on Dwight Drive where my father carved MARION & NANCY 1960 into the wet cement was sold to people I never met. When I visit, I stay down the street at my best friend Sandye’s mother’s house, which feels both weird and lucky. No matter what the weather I pay my respects to the boardwalk in Asbury Park, which greets me like a sweet old relative who has no idea who I am.
It is too late to fall in love with the place I grew up. So of course I have.
According to the Washington Post, O’Malley sent highlighted sections of a Rolling Stone Bruce Springsteen interview around the Maryland State House as an email memo yesterday. WP went on to point out that O’Malley is known to quote Boss lyrics in his political speeches. That rules! Springsteen has loads of quotable lines. Now, I’m not sure what the governor has been using, but I’d like to suggest these adapted lyrics from “Born to Run”:
“Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend
I want to guard your dreams and [windfarms]”
or these from “Badlands”:
“I don’t give a damn
For the same old played out scenes
I don’t give a damn
For just the in betweens
Honey, I want the heart, I want the soul
I want [the presidency in 2016]”
You think he’s ever considered quoting Springsteen’s meandering, political between-song banter?
By the way, in case you were wondering, one of the highlighted portions in the memo was this insightful, political statement from Springsteen:
“Lately, it seems as if the polarization of the country has gotten so extreme that people want to force you into either being a phony ‘patriot’ or an ‘apologist.’ Nuanced political dialogue or creative expression seems like it’s been hamstrung by the decay of political speech and it’s infantilized our national discourse.”