Song of the Day #1,806: ‘Wrecking Ball’ – Bruce Springsteen

springsteen_wrecking_ballContinuing a phenomenon I first chronicled in a post on Ben Folds Five’s ‘Smoke,’ my wife has taken to a song to which I hadn’t previously paid much attention.

This time around it’s the title track of Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball. She discovered it in random rotation on her car stereo and then adopted it for her running playlist, enjoying the way its momentum urges her to keep the pace up for just a little while longer.

I’ve given the song a new listen since she discovered it and, as usual, she’s dead-on. When she likes music by artists I like, that’s usually the case (that quality doesn’t carry over to music she likes that I don’t like, however). That seems tautological, I know, but it is in fact a deceptively wise observation.

Springsteen wrote this song as a tribute to the Meadowlands and played it before the stadium was torn down to make way for its replacement. But the 63-year-old legend shifts gears midway through the song and turns it into a howl against the onslaught of time in general.

I was raised out of steel here in the swamps of Jersey, some misty years ago
Through the mud and the beer, and the blood and the cheers, I’ve seen champions come and go
So if you got the guts, mister, yeah if you’ve got the balls
If you think it’s your time, then step to the line, and bring on your wrecking ball

Bring on your wrecking ball
Bring on your wrecking ball
Come on and take your best shot, let me see what you’ve got
Bring on your wrecking ball
Bring on your wrecking ball
Bring on your wrecking ball
Come on and take your best shot, let me see what you’ve got
Bring on your wrecking ball

Now my home was here in the Meadowlands, where mosquitoes grow big as airplanes
Here where the blood is spilled, the arena’s filled, and Giants play the game
So raise up your glasses and let me hear your voices call
Come on!
Because tonight all the dead are here, so bring on your wrecking ball

Bring on your wrecking ball
Bring on your wrecking ball
Take your best shot, let me see what you’ve got
Bring on your wrecking ball

One, two, one two three four!

[trumpet solo]

Yeah we know that come tomorrow, none of this will be here
So hold tight on your anger
Hold tight on your anger
Hold tight to your anger, and don’t fall to your fear

Now when all this steel and these stories, they drift away to rust
And all our youth and beauty has been given to the dust
And your game has been decided, and we’re burning down the clock
And all our little victories and glories have turned into parking lots
When your best hopes and desires are scattered to the wind
And hard times come and hard times go
And hard times come and hard times go
Yeah, just to come again

Bring on your wrecking ball
Bring on your wrecking ball
Come on and take your best shot, let me see what you’ve got
Bring on your wrecking ball
Bring on your wrecking ball
Bring on your wrecking ball
Take your best shot, let me see what you’ve got
Bring on your wrecking ball

One, two, one two three four!

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,806: ‘Wrecking Ball’ – Bruce Springsteen

  1. Dana says:

    I could see this being a good song in which to run/work out, both for the steady beat and the symbolic challenge laid down by the Boss to “bring on your wrecking ball” against an aging body that you are trying to improve since building a new body isn’t an option (unless you are Cher or Joan Rivers).đŸ˜„

    Continuing from yesterday’s discussion, when Bruce’s “Dancing in the Dark” came on during our long drive, I opined that I thought Bruce was one of those artists who early on, like Dylan, started with lyrics, which read more like poetry or even prose, but around the time of seeking more commercial success or for whatever reason, either transitioned to writing music first or at least simultaneously with the words, as the lyrics now seem to be not only less voluminous, but fit tightly into the musical structure.

    I could be wrong, of course, but that’s my sense of it.

  2. Andrea Katz says:

    Coincedentally, I look like a wrecking ball today.

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