Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Galveston Bay” (1995)

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Here’s a powerful bit of storytelling, about the intersection of lives that have seen tragedy and, depending on the decisions they make, might see more. On a direct level, “Galveston Bay” is about the collision of interests in the Gulf of Mexico, with refugees coming from Viet Nam being seen as encroaching on local interests. The deeper story is one of struggle and trying to do the “right” thing while making a life.

Conflicts like these seem to have a kind of infinite regression quality. A young country (because honestly, that’s what we are) is started by refugees escaping the demands of an empire. As we’ve grown to be an empire (some would say the empire), we have pockets of conflict with new sets of refugees. How we deal with these situations says a lot about our interests and who we are as a people. Right or wrong, we sometimes make decisions not based on the complexity of the situation, but instead to placate one political group or other.

I don’t have any answers. But sometimes it seems like we forget that everybody, just like Le Bing Son and Billy Sutter, has a family to tend to.

Up next: My Best Was Never Good Enough

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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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