Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, "For You" (1973)

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Relationships heading toward their end can often impart a kind of repelling force between the couple involved. In “For You,” a relationship has run off the rails and there’s no small amount of soul searching. Is this different from any of the other countless breakup songs we’re already heard? If the themes are boiled down to that level of simplicity, then maybe the answer is “no,” but this is early Springsteen we’re talking about here.

To be honest, I never really picked up on the supposed suicide theme of this song. Sure, I knew there were problems, but it was the imagery of the attraction that really got to me: “and it’s not that nursery mouth I came back for/It’s not the way you’re stretched out on the floor.” Even with all of the dark moments, the song feels like something of a triumph, with Bruce’s voice becoming more and more urgent, driven by the band and the centrifugal energy of the relationship. And yet, if you get to hear his solo version, “For You” seems like both a lament and a love song.


Next up: Spirit In The Night.

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