Sparks Fly on E Street

Gimme Five: Bruce Springsteen road songs, including ‘Thunder Road,’ ‘Racing in the Street,’ ‘Born to Run,’ others

Gimme Five: Bruce Springsteen road songs, including ‘Thunder Road,’ ‘Racing in the Street,’ ‘Born to Run,’ others

He uses these metaphors as a foundation for deeply revealing character studies.

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “All I’m Thinkin’ About” (2005)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “All I’m Thinkin’ About” (2005)

It’s not often that I think of Bruce Springsteen songs in the same context as the Viet Nam era and the American culture of that time, but “All I’m Thinkin’ About” has always reminded me of Canned Heat’s “Heading Up The Country.”

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “The Hitter” (2005)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “The Hitter” (2005)

Over time, I realized I’d missed the true heart of this song.

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Leah” (2005)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Leah” (2005)

When I began to revisit Devils & Dust, I was brought back to the evening of the first listening session.

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Live at Mohegan Sun Arena (2014)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Live at Mohegan Sun Arena (2014)

Emotions were running high in anticipation of this last pair of 2014 E Street shows. Tickets for the tiny Mohegan Sun Arena were a tough get. We felt lucky to be in the building.

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Jesus Was An Only Son” (2005)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Jesus Was An Only Son” (2005)

No parent wants to outlive their children.

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Silver Palomino” (2005)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Silver Palomino” (2005)

The idea of the human spirit is one of those charged concepts, with it meaning different things to different people.

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Maria’s Bed” (2005)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Maria’s Bed” (2005)

I kind of love everything about this track. The fact that the guy’s got this one bit of redemption to hang his hat on

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Black Cowboys” (2005)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Black Cowboys” (2005)

I’ve got to admit that I can’t really imagine living in the circumstances portrayed in “Black Cowboys.” While I’ve known people who’ve had to deal with such things (including my own sister), the idea of living with the constant pressure of stray bullets and wasted lives?

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Long Time Comin” (2005)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Long Time Comin” (2005)

At first listen, this sounded like the Devils & Dust odd man out. The chorus is definitely something of an outlier with its sing-song, uplifting notes. I suppose you could say that the underlying story is uplifting as well, certainly when compared with the rest of the album.