Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, "Highway Patrolman" (1982)

Unlike the “tough choices” that politicians claim to have to make (you know, the choices that don’t actually affect them in any direct way?), there are folks whose daily loves are shadowed by the forces that they can’t control, and the decisions that they have to make. “Highway Patrolman” has always reminded me of that fact. Here we have a man who represent the law, but feels he has to look the other way when a family member crosses the line.

The wistful chorus has him looker back at happier times…

Yea we’re laughin’ and drinkin’ nothin’ feels better than blood on blood
Takin’ turns dancin’ with Maria as the band played “Night of the Johnstown Flood”

…knowing full well that the shimmering past can turn into the ugly present in one shocking instant.

Next up: State Trooper

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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 writes several 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.