Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, "Stolen Car" (1980)

Share this:

There are tons of love songs out there. Maybe even more tunes about breakups and their aftermath. The best of them, like a great poem, can take a long-view snapshot of a person’s timeline and distill it down to its essence. Here we have a couple looking back at what was and how it all came apart. But more than that they despair not only for the relationship that was, but also for the passage of time. Who hasn’t felt that weight?

The ballad that is “Stolen Car” is given a darker twist, with the protagonist thinking of these issues even as he admits that his own solitary life has taken an even worse turn. No explanation is given for why he drives around in a stolen car each night, mostly because that’d be unnecessary: he’s desperate and knows it, wondering if maybe he’s “gone” from this world.

And I’m driving a stolen car
On a pitch black night
And I’m telling myself I’m gonna be alright
But I ride by night and I travel in fear
That in this darkness I will disappear

With those spooky descending background vocals raining down, you can just see the look in the guy’s eyes in the rear view mirror.

Next Up: Ramrod

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00137O7CG” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00138GYXU” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0000025KI” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

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
Share this:
Close