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On 6/20/2019 at 1:28 AM, Rizla said:

I don't get any hint of remorse or regret in Moonlight Motel, so I think they were happy without any major troubles along the way.

I agree with this.

Looking back with a smile of contentment.  Don't we all?

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The ringing of the bell thing, I see as work and family  commitments that come along with bills and kids.  Clocking in, clocking out.  School run, football practice, etc., etc.. 

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Wait. What if he's not alone in the car at all?

I dunno. I just finished listening to the album and as the song ended, it hit me that he pours a shot for him and one for her as well. The only shot that gets poured out on the ground, the only shot that's mentioned as a tribute to something or someone passed, is the shot for the Moonlight Motel.

What about her shot? I may be wrong, I probably am, but it hit me like a ton of bricks and for the moment it just feels right.

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No. He's alone. I've just listened again and he's clearly risen from his lonely bed and driven to the motel.

It was a nice thought for a moment. I suppose he downed both of their shots.

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7 minutes ago, Jerseyfornia said:

Wait. What if he's not alone in the car at all?

I dunno. I just finished listening to the album and as the song ended, it hit me that he pours a shot for him and one for her as well. The only shot that gets poured out on the ground, the only shot that's mentioned as a tribute to something or someone passed, is the shot for the Moonlight Motel.

What about her shot? I may be wrong, I probably am, but it hit me like a ton of bricks and for the moment it just feels right.

I wondered about that as well. On first listen I thought it was her shot which got poured away, but he definitely pours 3, so I can only assume he drank 2. Nice thought though that Mary isn't dead!

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On 6/21/2019 at 9:23 AM, rosiejaneymary said:

 

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... 

Yes!  Because your smile Bruce brings the mornin’ light to our eyes, lifts away the blues when we rise!  :D 

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I'm not sure she is dead, but she is definitely absent. From the car, and from his life.

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16 minutes ago, berlintramp said:

I'm not sure she is dead, but she is definitely absent. From the car, and from his life.

Agreed. I don’t think I can make any other conclusions than that. Dead can’t be ruled out but is a lot less certain imo.

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No, I think she's dead.  The song illustrates that even when people are soulmates and remain true through all the bumps in the road of ordinary lives, it can never be literally "happy ever after".  But this is as good as it gets, and the survivor is grateful to have had that and to be able to remember with a smile after the tears.

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It's about life in general, too. You can go back, physically, to a place - or in your mind. It's not the same though and often leaves you feeling very, very sad.

He'd have known what happened to his 'lover' - they didn't marry.  She died and this is him returning to pay a last tribute to the place … and to her.

So … she didn't climb in. I think I'm done see-sawing. :D

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12 minutes ago, Eileen said:

It's about life in general, too. You can go back, physically, to a place - or in your mind. It's not the same though and often leaves you feeling very, very sad.

He'd have known what happened to his 'lover' - they didn't marry.  She died and this is him returning to pay a last tribute to the place … and to her.

So … she didn't climb in. I think I'm done see-sawing. :D

This is just how I see it. Lovely song.

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MM is my best friend's favorite song on the album.  I keep trying to engage her in this lyric interpretation fixation of mine.  She said, "I really am not interested in the literal meaning of the words, I only care about the way the song makes me feel...and that is filled with a deep longing for something that might have been." 

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6 minutes ago, westcoastgirl said:

and that is filled with a deep longing for something that might have been." 

But it might have ended very differently to how one thinks. Real life has a habit of spoiling certain things - he's still got those memories that weren't tarnished. He's fortunate and knows it.

Unanswered Prayers - Garth Brooks … for instance.

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6 minutes ago, Eileen said:

But it might have ended very differently to how one thinks. Real life has a habit of spoiling certain things - he's still got those memories that weren't tarnished. He's fortunate and knows it.

Unanswered Prayers - Garth Brooks … for instance.

Better to have loved.....

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3 hours ago, westcoastgirl said:

Better to have loved.....

The way he sings that, I get the feeling that he's trying to convince himself of it, but doesn't really believe it.

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7 minutes ago, misty rain said:

The way he sings that, I get the feeling that he's trying to convince himself of it, but doesn't really believe it.

I take it as he’s remembering what she said and is agreeing with her, as much as he’s ‘talking to’ her.  

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So after 5 pages of discussion my original premise may be wrong ..... Although not completely implausible as we each bring our own lifes experience to the song ....But as Westcoastgirls friend said .... Its about how it makes us feel ....

And this one definitely made me feel.

Pardon me .... I need a shot of Sherry Darling or Jole Blon or something to cheer me up :unsure:

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What I love about Springsteen is that he never gets maudlin.  He does not shy away from sentimentality, emotion after a few drinks, but avoids self-pity.  In my hearing "she" is still alive (hence the drink for her and pouring out one for the motel) but he's is at a place in his life where he misses his youth and the things that went with it.

FWIW, I view WS as a compilation of stories and not a narrative in a single story.  It was like Bruce went out to parts of the forgotten West and did sketches with a songbook rather than a pad and ink.  

That does not preclude the album having a sequence... the easygoing (and in my hearing, young hitchhiker) in the opening track is a fantastic beginning and bookended with Moonlight Motel in orchestral restraint, but the album is replete with regret which seems to grow with each passing song.

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Kate's just been and the album was playing - of course it was, it's never off - and she finds it so boring. She just can't see anything good about it. She feels that way about D&D, Nebraska, most of GOTJ.

She might change her mind when she's my age. :)

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8 hours ago, Jerseyfornia said:

He's alone.

Seeing as we all seem to be of the mind that this the sequel to "Thunder Road", I think "Moonlight Motel" is a bit inspiring when taking into account the "I just can't face myself alone again" lyric in the former.

All this time I've thought those words were just something he was saying without being genuine to get her into the car, and now I think about it with the context of "Moonlight Motel" in mind, there's an argument to be made that he was in fact being serious and needed that companionship in his life. Now he is alone again, something forty years earlier he couldn't face the thought of, but he's making the most of it because it's better to have loved and he can go on by himself. 

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9 minutes ago, Eileen said:

Kate's just been and the album was playing - of course it was, it's never off - and she finds it so boring. She just can't see anything good about it. She feels that way about D&D, Nebraska, most of GOTJ.

She might change her mind when she's my age. :)

The Symphonic crescendos definitely make it less boring for me .... They draw me in.

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53 minutes ago, Paolo's Circus Story said:

Seeing as we all seem to be of the mind that this the sequel to "Thunder Road"

 

Not for me, it isn't.

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I just think its an amazing song, after all these years he comes up with a gem like this :)

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