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Question about Song Lyrics


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I think under Abram's Bridge means the protagonist is homeless. Then he is  defiantly on  the hill overlooking the whole town with his meager possessions (and his demons) to meet / confront his ex one more time before he leaves town. Though it is very doubtful she will turn up.

He has gone from the geographical and material low of living under a bridge to a geographical high of that hill. He is looking down on the lights of the town but is still in darkness himself.

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I always hear it as different places on the edges of the town...I think it is a very visual song.....for me it conjures up a small town where everyone knows your business....not the big city.

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He is on the hill looking one more last time at the little town (or village) which only brought him misery, before leaving forever.

It is sometimes said he goes to the (top of) the hill to commit suicide. He will pay the cost -pay with his life. He will be there on time-for his appointment with Death.

He has an appointment with the Devil and he will pay the cost with his soul?

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This is how I see it.

The whole Darkness album is about the same guy, the street racer. This song begins "Well they're still racing out at the trestles" and the narrator is refering to street racing when "I'll be on that hill with everything I got" etc. That spot out 'neath Abram's Bridge is probably the meeting point for the street racers. The hill is on the edge of town. It's dark there and Abram's Bridge  and the trestles are located on that hill.

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I don't think it's a coincidence that Darkness was the last song recorded for the album, and the last song on the album. To me, if you exclude his dad, he's putting a character into a grown up world for the first time ("I lost my money/lost my wife"), a world that his characters would inhabit on his next album.

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Two different places for me, if only for the fact that one location feels a low place while the other feels high. I mean, sure, you could have a bridge over a road near the top of a hill in the real world, but the fact that Bruce specifies being under a bridge for the first location and then on top of the hill for the second makes it feel like two different places to me

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On 5/15/2020 at 11:45 AM, Bruce SpringSpring said:

anyone have any thoughts?

the Bridge starts in the Darkness at the edge of own, and ends in the Promised land; the hero wants us, who thinks we are satisfied to live with a fair view of life and the prospect of consumption, to go with him over this Bridge. He can not pass over by himself, he can only pass with us; hence he can be easily found under  the towering, hope giving Bridge. We think this Town is all bright and sun lit, but the the poet knows, that it is surrounded by Darkness. This Darkness is the Towns own Darkness. Its a Darkness of folks born into a good life, and folks getting it anyway, anyhow. The poet points to this Darkness so that we shall see it, and wish go over the Bridge. But we do see, do not go. So, the poet has to, in front of us all sinners who try to maintain the style of the Town, go up to that Hill, carrying the burden of the cross of our sins, to make us see this devastating Darkness on the edge of Town.

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On 5/15/2020 at 5:16 PM, Lampi said:

He is on the hill looking one more last time at the little town (or village) which only brought him misery, before leaving forever.

It is sometimes said he goes to the (top of) the hill to commit suicide. He will pay the cost -pay with his life. He will be there on time-for his appointment with Death.

He has an appointment with the Devil and he will pay the cost with his soul?

I thought the final verse is VAGUELY reminiscent of the life and crucifixion of Jesus Christ (including the hill)

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7 hours ago, badlands78 said:

I thought the final verse is VAGUELY reminiscent of the life and crucifixion of Jesus Christ (including the hill)

Thats interesting, from memory I think Bruce even suggests a connection to DOTET during the 'story behind the song' for Jesus Was An Only Son on the Storytellers video

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10 hours ago, Bosstralian said:

Thats interesting, from memory I think Bruce even suggests a connection to DOTET during the 'story behind the song' for Jesus Was An Only Son on the Storytellers video

I didn’t remember that from Storytellers but I’ll have to check it out!  ... if I can find my dvd

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On 5/21/2020 at 3:24 AM, Bosstralian said:

Thats interesting, from memory I think Bruce even suggests a connection to DOTET during the 'story behind the song' for Jesus Was An Only Son on the Storytellers video

He's saying "it's his darkness on the edge of town". I think what Bruce is refering to is simply the part "Tonight I'll be on that hill 'cause I can't stop, I'll be on that hill with everything I got, With lives on the line where dreams are found and lost, I'll be there on time and I'll pay the cost,." The connection is that by knowingly walking into a trap and letting them crucify him Jesus paid the cost for claiming to be the son of God. That doesn't change the fact that the song is about a street racer.

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On 5/23/2020 at 10:54 PM, TheBoss said:

He's saying "it's his darkness on the edge of town". I think what Bruce is refering to is simply the part "Tonight I'll be on that hill 'cause I can't stop, I'll be on that hill with everything I got, With lives on the line where dreams are found and lost, I'll be there on time and I'll pay the cost,." The connection is that by knowingly walking into a trap and letting them crucify him Jesus paid the cost for claiming to be the son of God. That doesn't change the fact that the song is about a street racer.

Well, perhaps its possible also to understand this song as a story about the dilemma of having a uncompromising urge to fully express ones personality, i. e to live a authentic life?

Our hero lives in a town. Of all the people living in this town, he distinguish three different kinds: a) those who are still racing out at the Trestles, b) the ones that by now have left this racing life for a life in Fairview, but only to find that they are struggling with a life they hardly can afford, c) the very few ones, that live a good life, given to them by birth or taken anyway, anyhow.

Now every man and women has an urge to explore their human capabilities. But they are usually afraid to face it because it will lead them into the darkness of a very unsure path. Hence: some will keep it buried inside them selves, safe from the alienated world and work and life they find that they have to endure. This urge then, is the one and only dream that they do not follow. And so they find, that this dream hunts them as a reminder of what they have had to give up, that is: the price they had to pay. In the end, this urge, or dream, offers two possibilities: a) you cut it loose, and accept your alienated life as a necessity (and choose one of the ready-made and alienating forms of life: street racing or a life in Fairview; the alternative c) above is for all of them out of reach, if ever wanted), or b) you can let it drag you down in the darkness on the edge of town, to be able there to search for an un-alienated life (i. e. to pay the price for wanting to realize your dream); darkness, because you do not know what this life or this realized dream looks like; edge of town, because it can not be found or created in the pre-fabricated, alienated life or work of the town.

This path b) is no doubt the path of our hero. He sacrifices everything for his goal. He tell us, that he has lost his money and his wife, but that them things do not seem to matter much to him. The word ”seem” is important. By it the hero is telling us, that by pursuing his quest, he has to sacrifice all that he also wants. His cost, the price he has to pay, is not small: friends, family, lovers, money and so on.

Of course, for most inhabitants, and they do not even exist for our hero, alternative b) is not an option. They all do have someone they care about and are responsibly for, friends, a wife, children, and they do have to adapt to one or more of the ready-made styles of life and work in town (bus-driver, factory worker and so on). And for them alternative a) is a provocation. To go racing in the street is to choose the loneliness of competition (they do not have to listen to the hero of Racing in the Street to know this, they experience the need for solidarity each working day), and they have once and for all accepted the need for the solidarity, that is a condition for the survival of a family and for friends.

But the hero do not want the ready-made, alienated life. He wants the thing that he know he has the capability for, the things (?) that can only be found in the darkness on the edge of town. He is without doubt true to his quest, for his dream of an authentic life. But the dilemma is, that he tries to create an non-alienated life by alienating himself from all and everything that is connected to the life of the town. And since any thing or living being has existence only as far as it has relations to other things or other people, the ultimate loneliness, that is the core of the darkness on the edge of town, threatens to dissolve the hero, hurl him into that terrifying void, that other heroes, in a future, has the urge to speak about.

But then, of course, for the Hero, who is blind for the real life of ordinary people, all the people in this town is alienated and lonely. Here is, as far as he can see, no couple that drive out of the alienated valley down to the free flowing river. No, only for the coming hero, the hero that will be, will the relations to other people be as important as the quest, the dream of an authentic life. He will learn, and hence be this other, new hero, for whom  an authentic life, whatever this can mean, is possible only in the community with other people. If you are blind for this fact, then somewhere, sometimes, perhaps in a small village way out west, you will be be aware of this fact, and in the community of the people in this village, you will see you loss, and this loss is the loss of your selves, for only wanting things, that can be found in the darkness on the edge of town. The truth of Darkness on the Edge of Town is Nebraska.

So what Mr. Springsteen, who really did pay the cost for wanting things that only can be found in the darkness on the edge of town, really found in the darkness on the edge of town, was, just what we all have to find in The Darkness on the Edge of Town: that two hearts are better than one.

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