Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, "The Promised Land" (1978)

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To bear down and face life’s issues, to yearn for something better, that theme is the glue that holds Darkness On The Edge Of Town together. Here Bruce presents that feeling in the form of a man working through his life, hoping against hope that the dreams that do present themselves are the good ones. Kicking off with Springsteen’s iconic harmonica lines, and driven home by one of my favorite Big Man solos, this is a song that a friend of mine refers to as “God’s Favorite Song.”

When played live, “The Promised Land” brings out the communal nature of the E Street world. We might not agree on all topics and surely we differ on what a “Promised Land” might be, but when these lines are sung — and we all sing “Blow away” in unison — our differences disappear, if only for a few minutes.

Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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