Racing in the street

The title of this blog is taken from a Bruce Springsteen song which is, I believe, based on a film of the same name starring Robert Mitchum. It’s probably glaringly obvious that I’m a bit of a Springsteen fan.

Lately I’ve been listening to Darkness on the Edge of Town a lot, along with the outtakes from this album, which now feature on a double album, The Promise. One of the best known songs from Darkness is Racing in the Street.

Sometimes you can listen to a song hundreds of times and still not hear what others do.

One of my mates recently spoke to me about Darkness, and his awe that a young, 20-something Springsteen understood middle age so well when writing the songs. That’s very true. For a young writer to create such believable characters requires a lot of empathy and wisdom.

My mate also suggested we need to have some of the lyrics from Racing in the Street printed on our after-dark cycling jerseys, namely:

“Some guys they just give up living, start dying little by little, piece by piece,
“Some guys come from work and wash up and go racing on the street…”

Spot on.

There’s a powerful, sad story in Racing. Mr Springsteen and the E-Street Band do a particularly evocative version of it in the clip below. Respect.

2 thoughts on “Racing in the street”

  1. Your friend is right – Springsteen captured the disappointment of middle age and, well, life beyond high school in so many of his songs.

    I remember crying when I first heard ‘Downbound Train’ on my cassette player in high school….

  2. G’day Kath – yep, that was the album that introduced me to the Boss. Two big albums that year, Born in the USA and Prince’s Purple Rain!

    Hope the new gig is going well.


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