Tom-Joad

Women, let me hear you

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While @newcastle roy's worked over songtitle list is amusing, upon reflection, it does have certain misogynist tendencies :o. And I don't just mean dancing in the kitchen :P

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1 hour ago, berlintramp said:

While @newcastle roy's worked over songtitle list is amusing, upon reflection, it does have certain misogynist tendencies :o. And I don't just mean dancing in the kitchen :P

Hey ! I resemble that remark. 

Maybe it has something to do with my ex dumping me :o Dunno why I'm a proper catch me like :rolleyes:

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3 hours ago, newcastle roy said:

Hey ! I resemble that remark. 

Maybe it has something to do with my ex dumping me :o Dunno why I'm a proper catch me like :rolleyes:

im sorry Roy :(

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5 hours ago, berlintramp said:

While @newcastle roy's worked over songtitle list is amusing, upon reflection, it does have certain misogynist tendencies :o. And I don't just mean dancing in the kitchen :P

I am fortunate enough to have a kitchen that's big enough to dance in. All the best parties happen in the kitchen! 

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Someone's in the kitchen blowin' Dinah like their born.

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2 hours ago, janeymarywendy said:

 All the best parties happen in the kitchen! 

And the bathroom.  Just ask Bruce and John Prine.  

I love bathrooms much more than kitchens.  

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I remember Bruce saying (half jokingly) that the job of a songwriter/artist is to make other people pay attention to his obsessions. 

Now, I’m not a woman, but I guess fans (of every gender) listen to Bruce for his artistic point of view more than having their own point of view represented. 

 

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I read this thread a few days ago (when it was only one page) and the question had me thinking so many thoughts over these days that I figured I'd respond.

One thing I was going to post was very similar to this. Thank you, Ann, for posting it:
 

While we women may not be able to identify AS the narrators of many of these songs, how many straight men can feel like he's talking TO them directly. There are little magic parts that he does live that are particularly intimate. I was listening to his version of Up on the Roof and there's a part where he says-sings very low "just me and you" that is incredibly evocative and personal. I can't imagine being a straight man and thrilling to that aside.

But, as a woman, I surely can.

I was especially struck by this post:


As a woman of a certain age (61) I remember reading a Nancy Drew book at the age of 4 (I was a precocious reader), and while I didn't understand a lot of it, I very much liked stories which included female protagonists. They were not the norm as I was growing up and I, too, developed the trick to which berlintramp  refers. I didn't even do it consciously, just imposed myself into the role of the protagonist empathically, which is probably a factor in my not adopting many of the "feminine" characteristics/goals of my generation. 

I would say that in addition to being sung to by Bruce, I identified with the narrator of his songs. At one point, The Promised Land was personally anthemic lyrically. And when he sang, "Mister, I ain't a boy, no I'm a man," sometimes I sang "woman" in place of "man" (and no, it doesn't scan). I came to accept that, for me, when he sings "man", he means the universal person deserving to be treated as an adult.

Which then moved me into a whole different mental issue--what does it mean to become a woman--we so often hear, "Be a man," but never "Be a woman." "Man up" but never "Woman up." Maybe Megan Rapinoe will change all that :)

But that's a digression I will cease.

As a woman, I can appreciate Bruce's songs both "AS" and "TO"--he speaks for and to me.


 

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On 7/26/2019 at 5:27 PM, newcastle roy said:

He's The One

 

 

 

Long time lurker  and just starting to post a bit.  This subject was of interest to me because for many years I danced in my kitchen, bathroom etc lip synching He's the One and friends and family thought I was totally weird.  But in my mind it worked..:)

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I'm just seeing this thread. I think that those above who have said the songs are about the human condition are correct.

I also think that as women we are use to reading books, watching movies, and listening to music written, directed, and performed by men so we have grown up reading, viewing, and listening to a man's perspective. I don't even think about it. There are very few books that I have struggled with written by men that are too "masculine" and that I just can't relate to at all. Especially with the written word I think a lot more women read both genders than men read books, especially fiction, by women.

Anyway, I have never seen this as an issue. I do think music like heavy metal appeals more to males than females.

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I've recently gotten big into Bruce (and I'm a woman), so this is something I've been thinking about. I don't honestly think he's that good at setting out to write from a specifically female perspective, but I also don't think that matters too much. He's never going to write "Angel from Montgomery," but he's written plenty of songs that I can connect with as much as I connect with "Angel from Montgomery."

It's partly that, as others have said, I can identify with the characters regardless of gender. It's partly that identifying with the characters is not the only way to read a story. I don't identify with anyone in Nebraska, really, and yet it's my favorite of his albums. But it's mainly that for me to feel like an outsider, like I've been locked out of the boys' club, I would have to feel like Springsteen and his characters genuinely belong in the boys' club and feel at home there and take their presence there for granted. And I don't get that sense at all. There's so much questioning and uncertainty going on about what it is to be a man, so many characters who are ambiguously gendered, so much attention called to performative masculinity (learn to walk like the heroes we thought we had to be), that it kind of feels like we're all outsiders when it comes to gender. It's like Springsteen is reporting on what it's like to be expected to be a man, for the benefit of anyone who might want to know about it.

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On 7/26/2019 at 11:17 PM, rosiejaneymary said:

 I feel his stories not from a gender perspective, but from a human perspective.  

 I couldn't agree more! For me, things such as gender and ethnicity are irrelevant in Bruce's music 'cause that's not what his songs are ultimately about. 

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I don't think the gender makes any difference when it comes to connecting with his music.

We are all just riders on Sunset...

 

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1 hour ago, Silvia said:

I don't think the gender makes any difference when it comes to connecting with his music.

We are all just riders on Sunset...

We all believe in The Promised Land.

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On second thought, there are a few songs which make me face the full force of my maternal instincts. Jesus, The Wish, American Skin, Black Cowboys, Brothers Under The Bridge...

I don't know for example how The Wish affects the male listeners. Do you think about your Mother or your children?

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2 hours ago, Silvia said:

I don't know for example how The Wish affects the male listeners. Do you think about your Mother or your children?

Neither. I think of Bruce and his mother. I don't hold that song in high regard at all. On the other hand I think the songs about his father - Adam raised A Cain, Independence Day, My father's House - are really great. It feels like they are written in blood. The Wish sounds like something he wrote because he thought he should write a positive song about his mother. Not because he had an inner need but out of courtesy. 

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4 hours ago, TheBoss said:

Neither. I think of Bruce and his mother. I don't hold that song in high regard at all. On the other hand I think the songs about his father - Adam raised A Cain, Independence Day, My father's House - are really great. It feels like they are written in blood. The Wish sounds like something he wrote because he thought he should write a positive song about his mother. Not because he had an inner need but out of courtesy. 

i play the wish on Christmas day and feel happy 

i play Adam raised a Cain every day and feel a dictionary of emotions 

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20 hours ago, TheBoss said:

Neither. I think of Bruce and his mother. I don't hold that song in high regard at all. On the other hand I think the songs about his father - Adam raised A Cain, Independence Day, My father's House - are really great. It feels like they are written in blood. The Wish sounds like something he wrote because he thought he should write a positive song about his mother. Not because he had an inner need but out of courtesy. 

I agree with you that the songs about his Father are better. They are a product of a very complicated relationship, and the more troubled the relationship is, the more sublime the piece of art unfolds. I don't believe in happy people creating great art, I might be wrong, but this is how I intimately feel.

The Wish isn't a masterpiece.  But it's still a lovely reminder how every little detail of my daily life makes an impact, creates a memory. How something as trivial as the click-clacking of my shoes is something they might remember and cherish when they are older...

It's just me, being sensitive! :)

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1 hour ago, Silvia said:

The Wish isn't a masterpiece

Maybe not, but I love the song to bits.  It’s absolutely one of my most favorites.  So many lovely details.  Great imagery.  And a wonderful, loving, heartfelt (IMO) tribute to his mom.   

I especially love the B’way version on the piano with the extra chorus at the end, and emphasis on ‘I’m older, but you’ll know me in a glance.’  

The songs about his father might have another element of emotion in there, but for me, that doesn’t make The Wish ‘less than’ as far as greatness goes.   Just one woman’s opinion. 

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21 hours ago, TheBoss said:

Neither. I think of Bruce and his mother. I don't hold that song in high regard at all. On the other hand I think the songs about his father - Adam raised A Cain, Independence Day, My father's House - are really great. It feels like they are written in blood. The Wish sounds like something he wrote because he thought he should write a positive song about his mother. Not because he had an inner need but out of courtesy. 

I think many people have an inner need to write songs about those who were a window out of darkness. They are written in a different kind of blood. 

The ones about his father are blood spilt. The Wish is about receiving a necessary donation that allows you to live.

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4 hours ago, Skin2Skin said:

I think many people have an inner need to write songs about those who were a window out of darkness. They are written in a different kind of blood. 

The ones about his father are blood spilt. The Wish is about receiving a necessary donation that allows you to live.

The only "happy" or "uplifting" song by Springsteen I can think of that resonates with me is Out in the Street. I toatally love that one. Most of the others ring false in my ears. Like he's desperately trying to convince himself that he's happy. I think Bruce is someone that pretty always has trouble on his mind. The darker stuff comes naturally to him. Even when he sets out to write a hit single he comes up with a song about a man that walks out on his wife and kids or someone who's nothing but tired and bored with himself. About his mother: there's no doubt she was the better of the two parents. Still, Bruce points out in his biography, when it came down to it she put her husband before her children. Doesn't sound like the perfect mother to me, to say the least.

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On 7/26/2019 at 4:13 PM, -Sussudio- said:

In my short life I have wondered many times how women relate to songs sung by men from a male perspective. For example, when listening to Thunder Road do the women relate to the narrator as I do?

I knew this woman who took offense to Bruce's line in it, "You ain't a beauty, but hey, you're alright." She said "Only a man could write something like that and think it's good. Women want to be told they're beautiful, they want to be worshipped."

 

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5 minutes ago, soulcrusader78 said:

I knew this woman who took offense to Bruce's line in it, "You ain't a beauty, but hey, you're alright." She said "Only a man could write something like that and think it's good. Women want to be told they're beautiful, they want to be worshipped."

 

one less person in the quee for tickets then :lol:

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23 minutes ago, Daisey Jeep said:

one less person in the quee for tickets then :lol:

I think she would have loved him live. We saw part of a Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls set (opening up for Social Distortion) early this decade (2012 or 2013) and she loved him/them. I think live she would have loved Bruce with the E Street Band...

ah to each their own. That was my sole attempt at trying to "convert" somebody...

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1 hour ago, soulcrusader78 said:

I think she would have loved him live. We saw part of a Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls set (opening up for Social Distortion) early this decade (2012 or 2013) and she loved him/them. I think live she would have loved Bruce with the E Street Band...

ah to each their own. That was my sole attempt at trying to "convert" somebody...

oh that's so sad 

i know non Bruce fans who love thunder road

that sort of line would not offend the average kiwi girl - well not our generation

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