Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Countin’ On A Miracle” (2002)

On The Rising, Bruce came at the topic of loss from many angles. Here we have a person who’s lost a loved one and is forced to deal with the consequence of a life totally transformed. It’s a phenomenon that while universal, is obviously different for every person. This is captured with the lyric “Now all I have is this,” followed by an inventory of the memories that remain — Your kiss…Your heart…Your strength…Your Love.

This strikes me as an example of how Springsteen’s writing has changed over the years. Though he will still spin out a tangled line of verse, he has gone from the verbosity of the early years to something like this — a complex thought expressed in simple words.

As usual, it takes the E Street Band live to push the song to its full power. For contrast I’ve included an embed of the country blues version that was included with The Essential Bruce Springsteen. I’d completely forgotten that this was played at the end of The Rising shows.

Up next: Empty Sky

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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.