I ‘should’ do Springsteen, but I don’t really do Springsteen. I really like some of his later stuff and I think ‘Nebraska’ sits up there with the best of them. I admire him politically and for the way he sings about and for those that don’t get sung about.
I kept overhearing this as I spoke with someone off a ward a few days back. A couple of days ago I had my first appraisal: I seem to ‘fit’, apparently. I feel I fit as well.
In the appraisal, this song came back: maybe what I am experiencing right now are some ‘glory days’.
I didn’t use to ‘get’ Bruce Springsteen. To me he used to seem like unoriginal redneck American music. And then, as I got older I began to listen and realise how wrong I was; really tight musicianship and a variety of approaches. More than that, he was (and is) a teller of stories about people left out searching for some kind of future or destiny. Many only find a partial redemption but there is always a longing for more.
I unearthed a set of his first 7 albums, brand new and sealed in a local charity shop for just £10. I have been hooked and I wasn’t expecting to be.
At the moment I am finding this track utterly compelling; it moves me, lifts me and causes me to drive faster. I think it is one of the finest songs ever written.
The Welcome Wagon ‘Deep were his wounds and red’
Bruce Springsteen ‘Reason to Believe’
The Prodigy ‘Invaders must die’
…all played next to each other on random shuffle. So, so wrong and yet at the same time so right. My whole life randomised and put back together in dissonant sections and yet seeming to ‘work’.
At the weekend, our group of churches (in Methodism we call it ‘a circuit’) were looking at Genesis 17:1-8 and the story of Abram/Abraham. As I get older I find his story incredibly life affirming. His story is riddled with inconsistencies- you get everything ‘warts and all’ (I am sorry- I am not a great writer- I use cliches).
His story is a long way from the hagiographies of my early Christian experience: come to God, be saved, onwards and upwards and get rid of all worldly things. Being weak, I learned to pretend/cover up my inconsistencies and dissonances. I suspect others did too: that bit is holy and that is not- therefore I will hide it: lets sing another bouncy song about God making me h-a-p-p-y. Eventually the screaming inside got too much and I stopped pretending….but traces are still there.
I’m grateful to Abram/Abraham for waking me up to reality and not some imagined holiness. I’m grateful to my ipod too for hiding nothing and putting the dissonant together: sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but that I guess is the story of my life…