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2 minutes ago, Daisey Jeep said:

everybody is deserving of empathy 

that's the beauty of Springsteen

he doesn't judge

He most certainly does.

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I guess the one thing we can all agree on is that someone in this song was married.  

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11 hours ago, The_Magic Rat said:

I was listening to this on the way to work this morning. A couple of observations.

Does anyone pick up on the subtle message of "Children be careful how you play"; Its not sung as an observation but rather imbued with a wisdom which feels as though it is guided towards young lovers (children) and how they should be careful how the interact with one another because these connections can have life long consequences, good and bad.

 

Also, this brings me to tears every time; 'your whispered secret I promised I'd never tell'

I said this someplace else, but that line kind of reminds me of a line from Meat Loaf's "Objects in the Rearview Mirror..."

There was a beauty living on the edge of town
And she always put the top up and the hammer down
And she taught me everything I'll ever know
About the mystery and the muscle of love
 
The stars would glimmer and the moon would glow
I'm in the back seat with my Julie like a Romeo
And the signs along the highway all said, Caution! Kids At Play!
 
8 hours ago, Silvia said:

Kudos to Lori Lieberman, Roberta Flack, and the Fugees -  Bruce is killing me softly with this song.
 

I was thinking that somebody should add it to that " Suicide by Song" thread. :(

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17 hours ago, rosiejaneymary said:

You can accept your fuck-ups and still change.  I actually think you can’t really change unless and until you do accept them.  

Perhaps in an idealistic world, people realize they need to change, and then make an effort to actually change. But WS isn't an idealistic record. 

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17 hours ago, Captain Chaos said:

I think one of the themes is a realisation they’ve fucked up. Most of them are begging for another chance. If they get it I suspect they fuck up royally all over again. 

I think the guy in Stones is interesting. I don’t think his partner has left him. They stay together with him knowing they are broken because of his infidelity.

Sometimes staying together is sadder than not doing so.

The repetitive 'those were only the lies you've told me' at the end serve to intensify the fact that she can't trust him, and is constantly bringing it up, with reproach and disgust. At the end of Stones, during the instrumental part, she leaves.

There Goes My Miracle is just an observation of the fact she had left. He's not going to try to win her back, he understands and accepts it. I don't hear the pain like I hear it in Back In Your Arms, for example. Interesting is, that with 'look what you've done' lines he assigns the guilt to her in what I'm hearing is an accusation for not staying with him, despite his lying. 

Hello Sunshine, he is a bar, addressing a random girl, talking about himself, trying to hook up with her, afraid of being alone. When Bruce stops to sing at the end of the song, this girl stands up and leaves as well.

MM is the song about the other woman, the one who caused the Stone's lady to walk out on him. And I don't think she is dead. 

I just wrote a Springsteen soap opera... :D

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29 minutes ago, Bosstralian said:

The more I hear this, the more I link it to the Thunder Rd protagonist and Mary.

Bruce may well have not intended any connection from any of these songs to earlier ones. If he is aware of anything we do here in terms of analysing and connecting, he might be laughing his ass off.

Funny enough MM was one that had to grow on me. I do love it now though.  

I agree w/TR Mary... 

and yes!

 If he’s aware either he thinks ‘yikes, these people need a life’ or ‘wow...these guys are good!’ 

He already knows a lot of us are a tad crazy!  :lol:

34 minutes ago, Bosstralian said:

Bruce has lost friends and loved ones to age. His 'ongoing conversation with his audience' might include writing a song to say goodbye to one of the central characters in that conversation, with deliberate allusions for us to pick up on.

This I love.  Not the thought of saying goodbye to my beloved TR Mary, but the idea. 

36 minutes ago, Bosstralian said:

Or he intended none of that, and is laughing in his tequila somewhere at the bulldust we are collectively producing here.

If that’s the case... great! He’s certainly provided us with endless entertainment.  Bruce, if you’re aware, and are laughing at us... thanks for everything.  We love you.  Keep laughing... 

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5 hours ago, Silvia said:

Perhaps in an idealistic world, people realize they need to change, and then make an effort to actually change. But WS isn't an idealistic record. 

See, I actually think it is.  It’s also filled with mistakes, remorse, and regret.  But I also hear a lot of idealism, optimism and taking responsibility in there as well.  

But again, I love everyone’s interpretations.  Even though I don’t agree, your comment made me really think and examine.  

Good soap opera BTW!  As you can guess I’d change some of the plot lines, but well done! 

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27 minutes ago, rosiejaneymary said:

See, I actually think it is.  It’s also filled with mistakes, remorse, and regret.  But I also hear a lot of idealism, optimism and taking responsibility in there as well.  

But again, I love everyone’s interpretations.  Even though I don’t agree, your comment made me really think and examine.  

Good soap opera BTW!  As you can guess I’d change some of the plot lines, but well done! 

I hope Bruce will remain true to himself, and will never explain exactly what his songs are about. He knows how to leave just a little bit of mystery, to fuel our minds...

No right or wrong,  I'm glad we share the love for this album. 

 

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28 minutes ago, Silvia said:

I hope Bruce will remain true to himself, and will never explain exactly what his songs are about. He knows how to leave just a little bit of mystery, to fuel our minds...

No right or wrong,  I'm glad we share the love for this album. 

 

Amen!  I feel the same way.  

While I think very often general themes are absolutely what they are (BITUSA for example);  as far as the details and what they mean or represent... a lot of different influences, feelings, observations, world events, hopes, dreams, disappointments, what you’ve learned along the way etc... goes into what he writes; and a lot of those same things go into our personal interpretations.  

Except all of those things, while may certainly have more similarities than differences, are different for each of us, so how in the would could we all interpret things the exact same way? 

Also, even if he writes those details with a specific purpose (My City of Ruins, Streets of Philadelphia,  Wrecking Ball for example) we all can transfer those songs as inspiration for other personal (or otherwise) situations.  

Then there’s the whole literal vs metaphoric.  

Bottom line is I too am glad we can share our love for not only this album, but the others as well, and endlessly discuss ‘Bruce minutia’ (as Mr RJM calls it!) with one another!!  

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On 6/19/2019 at 11:13 PM, Eileen said:

The death knell. After the other things mentioned - that's always looming.

I woke up at 5 am this morning and thought..oh she's right, for whom the bell tolls

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Just now, westcoastgirl said:

I woke up at 5 am this morning and thought..oh she's right, for whom the bell tolls

I was thinking about that line as I was listening earlier.  I think it can go either way.  

As it’s after the ‘bills and kids’ bit it absolutely could mean for whom the bell tolls, OR it could reference getting up to go to work (I get up every morning to the sound of the bell) to pay those bills.  I’m still not sure.  

BTW... thank you! That’s the thing I’d thought of, wanted to discuss, but had forgotten... you helped me remember!  It takes a village :D

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I'm up to this song just now.

After bills and kids, kids and bills - the ringing of the bell. The church bell would toll when someone died, to let the villagers know.

I think, now, that Mary climbed in … and Mary died. That's why it's the last song.

That's ok though - it's part of life.

Who am I kidding? Sob sob.

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I always thought Mary climbed in, after all after being told you ain't a beauty, but you're alright, what's not to like??

Just listened to the songs back to back and thought about all the miles in between...

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34 minutes ago, Eileen said:

After bills and kids, kids and bills - the ringing of the bell. The church bell would toll when someone died, to let the villagers know.

I think, now, that Mary climbed in … and Mary died. That's why it's the last song.

That's ok though - it's part of life.

Who am I kidding? Sob sob.

I know... makes total sense.  And he’s spoken about the church bells to signal weddings and funerals.  Still...  one minute I hear it as a reference to the church bell, the next I think he’s reminiscing about work and bills and kids.  Maybe it’s both.  Double meaning for the bell.  

Yes, many tears have been shed over the decades for and about TR Mary... 

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21 minutes ago, Ann Jones said:

 

I always thought Mary climbed in, after all after being told you ain't a beauty, but you're alright, what's not to like??

 

Well... Like any self respecting Jersey girl, I think she probably flipped him the bird before climbing in.  

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16 hours ago, Silvia said:

Interesting is, that with 'look what you've done' lines he assigns the guilt to her in what I'm hearing is an accusation for not staying with him, despite his lying. 

I took it as he was talking to himself in that line.

16 hours ago, Silvia said:

MM is the song about the other woman, the one who caused the Stone's lady to walk out on him. And I don't think she is dead. 

Yep, I thought the same.

I'm thinking that I need to sit down with a piece of paper and map out this story. :lol:

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7 hours ago, misty rain said:

I took it as he was talking to himself in that line.. 

I thought that too but mebbies it's what she said to him on numerous occasions? Both would work.

I don't think he blames anybody on this album, mebbies not even himself. It happened and he's come to terms with it. He's still hopeful, though. I like that.

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The only person who knows the real meaning of this song is Bruce, but he will probably never tell us. When asked about certain lyrics meaning this or that he will most likely say something along the lines of “the listener will decide what it means and whatever they believe will be the right meaning”. 

Reminds me of the original BBC Whistle Test special in 1984 when he was asked why he didn’t like doing music videos. He said the listener should be allowed to use their own imagination as to what the song is about and not have a story forced upon them by a video.

I get that feeling now with Moonlight Motel. It could be interpreted in a number of different ways, and that is precisely what he wants to happen. 

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2 minutes ago, doesthisbusstop said:

He said the listener should be allowed to use their own imagination as to what the song is about and not have a story forced upon them by a video.

Well he certainly changed his tune, didn't he?

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15 minutes ago, Paolo's Circus Story said:

"You can hide 'neath your covers
And study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers
Throw roses in the rain
"

------

"Last night I dreamed of you, my lover
And the wind blew through the window and blew off the covers
Of my lonely bed, I woke to something you said
That it's better to have loved, yeah it's better to have loved
"

Absolutely heartbreaking, the new one.

 

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My take:

It is about lost love and lost youth.  As someone in my 50's, I recall the days nearly 40 years ago, when getting a motel for some "alone time" wasn't that hard.  It was a simpler time.  No credit card, just cash and the knowing look from the clerk as your girlfriend waited in the car.

It strikes me the character is driving back to the old motel in fall... he's not old but he's no longer young either.  The "secret" might have been an unplanned pregnancy and the lyrics are opaque as to what happened with that.

He's got a family now and a normal life (and, based on his "lonely bed", likely divorced) and has nostalgia about a carefree time in his life and the girl he lost, reasons unknown.  She tells him it was better to have loved (and, implicitly, lost) but he doesn't have a response to that.  

His return to the remains of the motel and pouring out a shot can either be an attempt at closure (whoever she was, she has moved on) or a sad memorial of what might have been.

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