Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" (1978)

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There’s rage, desperation, and resignation, all of which are distilled into this fine, fine, ending to Darkness On The Edge Of Town. When Bruce leans into this last verse with neck veins a-poppin’, he passionately wraps those emotions up with a golden thread of hope.

Tonight I’ll be on that hill ’cause I can’t stop
I’ll be on that hill with everything I got
Lives on the line where dreams are found and lost
I’ll be there on time and I’ll pay the cost

It took me a long time to “get” this song, mainly because my 17 year old self had yet to encounter many impediments (if any!) to “success” in life, however you’d like to define it. Years later, it’s easy to see why Springsteen chose the title track as closer, as it deftly restates the theme that has its arms around all of the characters of Darkness.

This Paramount version really blew me away. It’s easy to see — even in a empty theatre — how much this music means to these guys…and how much it means to us as well.

Up next: The Ties That Bind

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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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