Song of the Day #2,567: ‘ Nebraska’ – Bruce Springsteen

nebraska_bruceMy fourth favorite album of 1982 is Bruce Springsteen’s spare, unflinching acoustic record, Nebraska.

Springsteen originally recorded this batch of songs as demos on a 4-track recorder as a template for later E Street Band renditions. But Springsteen and his producers ultimately decided that the demo recordings captured the spirit of the record better and released them as the official album.

Fans of the Boss have long hoped for a release of what they’ve dubbed Electric Nebraska but those dreams have (so far) gone unfulfilled.

I can’t recall exactly when I discovered Nebraska. Certainly not in 1982. Two years later, Springsteen would hit the stratosphere with the release of the very different Born in the U.S.A., and that was the first time I remember being aware of him as an artist.

But I found Nebraska many years after that, perhaps in my senior year of high school or first year of college. Its downbeat (depressing, even) tone and themes were a perfect fit for my melancholy music loving soul.

I saw her standin’ on her front lawn just twirlin’ her baton
Me and her went for a ride sir and ten innocent people died

From the town of Lincoln Nebraska with a sawed-off .410 on my lap
Through to the badlands of Wyoming I killed everything in my path

I can’t say that I’m sorry for the things that we done
At least for a little while sir me and her we had us some fun

The jury brought in a guilty verdict and the judge he sentenced me to death
Midnight in a prison storeroom with leather straps across my chest

Sheriff when the man pulls that switch sir and snaps my poor neck back
You make sure my pretty baby is sittin’ right there on my lap

They declared me unfit to live said into that great void my soul’d be hurled
They wanted to know why I did what I did
Well sir I guess there’s just a meanness in this world

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One thought on “Song of the Day #2,567: ‘ Nebraska’ – Bruce Springsteen

  1. Dana says:

    This album came out in the infancy of mtv, and, as a fervent viewer at that time, I remember all too well the video to “Atlantic City.” That was my introduction to the album, but it was years later before I heard any other track. TBH, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard the album in its entirety, even though I know it is regarded as one of Bruce’s best. I guess when I am in the mood to hear Bruce, I like something a bit less melancholy, at least musically.

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