Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Lonesome Day” (2002)

I can’t honestly remember if I had expectations of Bruce’s reactions to the events of September 11, 2001. While many Americans views had hardened into position, mine had yet to take shape. It turned out that Mr. Springsteen had a hopeful outlook, though he did look at the issues from more than one side.

“Lonesome Day” brings up a lot of the issues that had me wondering what to think of the whole situation. Early on in the post-9/11 world, there was a high level of camaraderie and spirit. People were amazingly respectful of those wearing the uniform, police and fire in particular. I had never experienced such a thing. Like a lot of my neighbors, I’d begun to display an American flag on my house. I wanted to show solidarity with those who had lost loved ones. Sadly, those good and cohesive feelings began to vaporise. Pickup trucks began to drive the streets, the Stars & Stripes mounted in the truck bed augmented with signs indicating that it was time to teach “The Towel-heads” a lesson.

I took the flag off the side of my house.

House is on fire, Viper’s in the grass
A little revenge and this too shall pass

At the shows I’ve been to since then, the raised hands during the “It’s alright…” parts of this song felt particularly good, as if the healing had begun. So many years later, I’m not sure that that’s the case. We still haven’t healed. Maybe we never will. But the question remains…who is the enemy now?

Up next: Into The Fire

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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.