Tuesday Tunes: The Boss and The River

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Bruce Springsteen is another lyrical genius. When I heard Jungleland live in Austin, Texas around 1998 – which was probably the best concert I have ever seen – it gave me chills. It still does to this day. But the Springsteen song whose lyrics have really captured my heart is this one.

For this Tunes Tuesday, I give you The River:

The River

I come from down in the valley where mister when you’re young
They bring you up to do like your daddy done
Me and Mary we met in high school when she was just seventeen
We’d ride out of that valley down to where the fields were green

We’d go down to the river
And into the river we’d dive
Oh down to the river we’d ride

Then I got Mary pregnant and man that was all she wrote
And for my nineteen birthday I got a union card and a wedding coat
We went down to the courthouse and the judge put it all to rest
No wedding day smiles no walk down the aisle
No flowers no wedding dress
That night we went down to the river
And into the river we’d dive
On down to the river we did ride

I got a job working construction for the Johnstown company
But lately there ain’t been much work on account of the economy
Now all them things that seemed so important
Well mister they vanished right into the air
Now I just act like I don’t remember, Mary acts like she don’t care
But I remember us riding in my brothers car
Her body tan and wet down at the reservoir
At night on them banks I’d lie awake
And pull her close just to feel each breath she’d take
Now those memories come back to haunt me, they haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true
Or is it something worse that sends me
Down to the river though I know the river is dry
Down to the river, my baby and I
Oh down to the river we ride

What do you think? Doesn’t this song paint a picture? Have you ever seen Bruce live? What is your favorite song from the Boss? What is the best concert you have ever been to? What made that show special?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.


Filed under Culture, Music

33 responses to “Tuesday Tunes: The Boss and The River

  1. I saw Bruce about 10 years ago and it was one of the best concerts I have ever attended. So much energy and you can just tell he is enjoying himself as much as the audience. Great song!

  2. Barneysday

    Saw Bruce live in ’88 with the E Street band and Clarence. Best show I’ve ever seen by far. High energy, great rapport with the crowd.

  3. Love it – music on the brain {i posted music today also…isn’t it just perfectly universal!?} I have to admit I’ve never seen Bruce live…sigh…but I can only imagine how amazing! I’d have to say most memorable concert was seeing Sting when I was in college….my roommates and I took shifts waiting in line all night, and I ended up getting the 11pm-3am shift and I will never forget huddling in my sleeping bag, freezing my you know what off while I guarded our spot in line. Sitting there that nigh in an open air ‘bowl’ listening to him…with all my roommates erased that cold night..all worth it!

  4. Dear News,
    I have NEVER seen the Bossman.
    But I did do this post about him:

    Cuz I just love him to death!!!!
    Love, Lis

  5. Perfect photo to illustrate the song!

  6. Well, Ms. Jennifer, it is eerie how much we are on the same page. I was wondering who you would highlight this week and not only did you pick one of my favorite artists, you picked one of my favorite songs. I think this song needs to be played for every senior HS class at the start of the year. We saw him in Charlotte eight years ago. Awesome. I am glad we got see him while Clarence was alive. I cannot wait to see what song/ performer next week brings. Best regards.

  7. Very compelling storytelling.

  8. Sorry: not my cuppa. But I loved your photo!

  9. Ah B-r-r-u-u-c-c-e-!! In 1972 in the only movie theater in Geneva NY, Bruce playing to 200 college students. I fell in love and haven’t fallen out of it since..

  10. Love Bruce Springsteen. 🙂

  11. amb

    Yay for Tune Tuesdays!! 🙂

  12. Love The Boss, but was not fortunate enough to see him in concert. When I read the words, it didn’t seem familiar – until I pressed ‘play’. I always just listened to the tune, more than the words. Thanks for posting the words. It has more meaning, now. 🙂

    • That is so great!! That is just what I am trying to do with this series. There are so many well-written songs and frequently we never realize the beauty of the words, even if we could sing them by heart. Thanks so much for reading – and listening! 🙂

  13. Pingback: Tunes Tuesday: You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one | newsofthetimes

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