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Weirdest Springsteen songs?


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1 hour ago, Paolo's Circus Story said:

The fact that it was part inspired by the sight of Mad Dog Vini Lopez beating up someone for using his parking space says all you need to know about the song.

As far as anyone going into it chronologically after hearing "Born in the U.S.A.", I do expect they'll have heard the Manfred Mann one previously. 

"On Devils & Dust, there’s a song about the man in the hotel room with the hooker. My artistic side said, “That is so brave.” Then, just thinking right from the heart, I was like, “What are you writing about that shit for? Are you fucking crazy?”" - Patti Scialfa

Ive seen an interview that must have came from 

She's a good sport is our Patti

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12 hours ago, Paolo's Circus Story said:

"On Devils & Dust, there’s a song about the man in the hotel room with the hooker. My artistic side said, “That is so brave.” Then, just thinking right from the heart, I was like, “What are you writing about that shit for? Are you fucking crazy?”" - Patti Scialfa

I find that quote rather sad. To me it proves that being a genuine artist is a lonely life. His own wife, despite being in the artistic business herself, doesn't get his art. I imagine there's must be an enourmous pressure to someone like Bruce to fall into the trap of reducing  himself to merly being an entertainer liked by everybody and offending nobody.

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On 2/12/2020 at 11:25 AM, Promise61 said:

Lift Me Up is downright strange.

Wasn't 'Lift Me Up' from a film soundtrack?  or am I thinking of something else.  If so, it really needs to be considered in its context.

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5 hours ago, Rizla said:

Wasn't 'Lift Me Up' from a film soundtrack?  or am I thinking of something else.  If so, it really needs to be considered in its context.

Aye. Some film or other. Didn't seem to make any sense in the context if the film, either. Then again, nor did the Harry Potter song in the Blinded BTL film.

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2 hours ago, TheBoss said:

I find that quote rather sad. To me it proves that being a genuine artist is a lonely life. His own wife, despite being in the artistic business herself, doesn't get his art. I imagine there's must be an enourmous pressure to someone like Bruce to fall into the trap of reducing  himself to merly being an entertainer liked by everybody and offending nobody.

I agree. I thought Paolo was joking. She really said this? 

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15 hours ago, CrushOnOutlawPete said:

Oh, and regarding "I'm on Fire" -- yeah, I don't like that song at all. I don't know that it's "weird", per se, since unfortunately, the problematic elements therein are not exactly uncommon to other pop music or, realistically, even to Bruce's work. But I do find that song quite off-putting and am not a fan at all.

It's not weird.
And the "problematic elements" which I assume you refer to are merely a matter of dated style and colloquialisms.  People shouldn't take phrases like "daddy" and little girl" literally, they were simply figures of speech which are no longer in fashion.

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5 minutes ago, Promise61 said:

Aye. Some film or other. Didn't seem to make any sense in the context if the film, either. Then again, nor did the Harry Potter song in the Blinded BTL film.

Ah right, I've never seen the film.
As for the Harry Potter one, that would speak more to the parents watching, IMO.  I agree it was incongruous in the BBTL film.

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5 hours ago, Rizla said:

It's not weird.
And the "problematic elements" which I assume you refer to are merely a matter of dated style and colloquialisms.  People shouldn't take phrases like "daddy" and little girl" literally, they were simply figures of speech which are no longer in fashion.

Fair points.

 But don't use phrases like 'bad desire' when addressing a 'little girl'.

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14 hours ago, Daisey Jeep said:

I love Queen of the supermarket 

I love how he took the time to notice a check out chickie

Weird and good are not mutually exclusive. I love some really weird songs. Warren Zevon’s Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner is a fantastic song and about as weird as it gets.

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38 minutes ago, Promise61 said:

Fair points.

 But don't use phrases like 'bad desire' when addressing a 'little girl'.

I don’t particularly like the song, but those lyrics don’t help it in any way. A grown man referring to a grown woman as a little girl is weird, even if it was more acceptable at a certain time. 

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1 hour ago, Rizla said:

It's not weird.
And the "problematic elements" which I assume you refer to are merely a matter of dated style and colloquialisms.  People shouldn't take phrases like "daddy" and little girl" literally, they were simply figures of speech which are no longer in fashion.

Thank you.  Agree 100%.  

According to the vid... The “bad desire” was she was obviously married and wanted him. He was conflicted.  And avoids temptation as the vid indicates.  Also... she’s no “little girl.”  They are the same age.  

You may not like the expression, but there’s nothing sinister about it.   

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29 minutes ago, rosiejaneymary said:

Thank you.  Agree 100%.  

According to the vid... The “bad desire” was she was obviously married and wanted him. He was conflicted.  And avoids temptation as the vid indicates.  Also... she’s no “little girl.”  They are the same age.  

You may not like the expression, but there’s nothing sinister about it.   

A talking point at the time was that they deliberately chose that scenario for the video to take the emphasis away from the ambiguity of the lyric.  Sort of setting the record straight.

Trouble is, if you've not seen the video...………..

;)

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46 minutes ago, Promise61 said:

A talking point at the time was that they deliberately chose that scenario for the video to take the emphasis away from the ambiguity of the lyric.  Sort of setting the record straight.

Trouble is, if you've not seen the video...………..

;)

At the time nobody batted an eyelid at the use of "little girl" etc.  It was a conventional phrase in songs and had been for a very long time. 
But if you mean "bad desire", then I never thought it ambiguous.  'Bad' is a commonly used intensifier, as in "I want it badly" and it's still in common use today.  In fact "bad" has been used to mean the opposite in recent times. :D

I STILL can't get over how some people seem to WANT to find unsavoury meanings in old pop lyrics.  It's all so innocent compared with some of the stuff that gets recorded nowadays.

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And just for the record, here is one of the definitions of "daddy" from the Oxford English Dictionary, with some examples.

 

U.S. (in early use chiefly in African-American usage). A woman's male lover; a husband. Frequently as a form of address.

1912   L. W. Gilbert (sheet music) (title)    Here comes my daddy now.

1919   P. Bradford I'm Crazy 'bout your Lovin' (sheet music) 2   I've got a lovin daddy Who cert'nly can love sweet.

1926   L. Hughes Weary Blues 27   Kiss me..daddy.

1970   H. Waugh Finish me Off (1971) 133   He wasn't pimping for her... He's my daddy and he plays it for five other girls.

1999   J. Ridley Everybody smokes in Hell 129   I'm touching myself, Daddy. Are you touching yourself?

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8 minutes ago, Rizla said:

At the time nobody batted an eyelid at the use of "little girl" etc.  It was a conventional phrase in songs and had been for a very long time. 
But if you mean "bad desire", then I never thought it ambiguous.  'Bad' is a commonly used intensifier, as in "I want it badly" and it's still in common use today.  In fact "bad" has been used to mean the opposite in recent times. :D

I STILL can't get over how some people seem to WANT to find unsavoury meanings in old pop lyrics.  It's all so innocent compared with some of the stuff that gets recorded nowadays.

The funny thing is, no males that I know, or have ever known, have ever used the expression 'little girl' when referring to their partner and/or the object of their lust.  

"I had the night of my life the other night with this little girl I met down the Pixie" is as creepy as it is ridiculous.

;) 

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3 minutes ago, Promise61 said:

The funny thing is, no males that I know, or have ever known, have ever used the expression 'little girl' when referring to their partner and/or the object of their lust.  

"I had the night of my life the other night with this little girl I met down the Pixie" is as creepy as it is ridiculous.

;) 

No, I've never heard it in the UK but I don't know about the USA.  However it's a convention in popular music. 
It's an affectionate diminutive with a hint of protectiveness, and it's exactly the same as expressions like the  French "ma petite", which literally means "my little girl".  I daresay the equivalent is found other languages too. 

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11 hours ago, Rizla said:

Wasn't 'Lift Me Up' from a film soundtrack?  or am I thinking of something else.  If so, it really needs to be considered in its context.

I beleave its used in the closing screens on the movie - which ive never seen

From the linnear note Bruce wrote for the essentials collection - which i copied from Eddi's site rather than rummage through moving boxes to find 

Director John Sayles called and said he was looking for a song to end his film "Limbo." The picture ends with a small plane approaching an island his main characters were stranded on. I tried to pick up the hum of the plane's engine and write something ethereal using the falsetto voice I'd developed in the '90s.

 

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13 hours ago, timeisillusion said:

I'm going to put in a vote for The Way.

Starts out as a fairly standard if slightly possessive love song, but after the last 2 verses I'm left with an uneasy feeling that maybe he's kidnapped her... :wacko:

Oh that's a very legit pick. That song is definitely weirdly possessive, but I kind of love it for that..? I feel like it's intentionally written to be dark. I don't know.

10 hours ago, TheBoss said:

I find that quote rather sad. To me it proves that being a genuine artist is a lonely life. His own wife, despite being in the artistic business herself, doesn't get his art. I imagine there's must be an enourmous pressure to someone like Bruce to fall into the trap of reducing  himself to merly being an entertainer liked by everybody and offending nobody.

Oh I didn't read that much into it at all. I mean, she even said the artist in her got it and respected it. I just took the remark as joking on a pretty simple level.

7 hours ago, Promise61 said:

Aye. Some film or other. Didn't seem to make any sense in the context if the film, either. Then again, nor did the Harry Potter song in the Blinded BTL film.

I've not seen the movie, but if it didn't fit well, I imagine it's just because the song had been leaked recently, so they may as well get it out there and profit off of it, and because it was intended for some movie to begin with, so it's a straightforward thing to draw on if they wanna pad out the soundtrack with a new song. I bet if it weren't written for a movie, and especially if it hadn't leaked a couple months back anyway, they wouldn't have included it.

7 hours ago, Rizla said:

It's not weird.
And the "problematic elements" which I assume you refer to are merely a matter of dated style and colloquialisms.  People shouldn't take phrases like "daddy" and little girl" literally, they were simply figures of speech which are no longer in fashion.

That is fair! I admit that prior to this thread, I hadn't even considered "bad desire" in the sense of, I don't know, "I got a bad craving for sushi tonight" or "I want you so badly." Coming right after "daddy" and "little girl", it.... always was a rather hard lyric for me to write off, since I didn't really get what else he was going for. But yeah, considering other uses of "bad", that makes sense. I think "bad desire", and maybe mixing it up with "Fire" (having not listened to either one in a long time), a song I'd much more confidently criticize, is what compelled me to call it "problematic", but I'd maybe walk back on that now (not on "Fire", though!); however, I'd still say that to me, to my ear personally, it isn't enjoyable to listen to.

 

Regardless, I already mostly dislike that song for musical reasons, anyway. :P I just don't enjoy it and think it's rather boring.

 

I usually am willing and able to write off "Daddy" (I mean, that word's become even MORE sexualized in recent years, if anything, lol) and "little girl" as things that sound weird to me but that I can't say I personally mind. Like "Seaside Bar Song" is still a great song and I'm not really taken out of it by the "daddy". I'm a little taken out of "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" when I hear "soft, sweet, little girl's tongue", but I again recognize it as a phrase that was jsut more common in songs >46 years ago. Etc. Same for "I Wanna Marry You". Rosie, of course, being a far better song than IWMY. So in those instances I'm able to focus on the rest of the song. The 1-2-3 punch of "bad desire" AND "daddy" AND "little girl" in short succession make me more averse to "I'm On Fire" -- but -- you're right to say that that doesn't make the song in itself bad, and it's a song I'd already not care for anyway.

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