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1 minute ago, paulelisabeth said:

Anybody want to try to interpret the meaning of this dong for me?

Do you want the dictionary definition of 'dong' or the slang one?

:rolleyes: :ph34r:

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7 minutes ago, paulelisabeth said:

Song for the Orphans......Anybody want to try to interpret the meaning of this song for me?

Anyway, back to the question.

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I love Song To Orphans since I first heard the live version from 1972 on the All Those Years bootleg in the summer of 1988, but I don't think it has a particular meaning. Just Bruce playing with words, like most pre-Greetings songs. Only where most -not all- songs from this era [which are not on Greetings] sound as pathetic, overblown very bad Dylan imitations, this songs somehow succeeds.

This all not really an answer to the question in the OP. Probably there is no answer, no meaning, just a beautiful song.

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On 9/10/2020 at 9:20 PM, paulelisabeth said:

Song for the Orphans......Anybody want to try to interpret the meaning of this song for me?

from E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band by Clinton Heylin:

He was already looking to place some distance between his own trashcan characters and those of New York's downtown song-poets (Lou Reed). Penning yet more new songs to spring on the attendees at Max's (Kansas City), specifically "Henry Boy" and "Song To Orphans", he was starting think he might another crack at the album Appel thought he'd completed. "Song To Orphans" was another long, wordy song, with a great lil' chorus that kept the whole thing together: "So break me now big mama, as Old Faithful breaks the day/ Believe me, my good Linda, let the aurora shine the way". The Orphans - who perhaps doubled as "The Chosen" - would only appear in the final verse, having been "abandoned on silver mountains/ Or junked in celestial alleyways".

At this point, Springsteen cut a studio version of one song - possibly this very track - which "came out like nine minutes something. We had a steel player on it and we had Clarence, who played a great solo." He told (critic Paul) Nelson he "fought like a mother" to get this on the record, but there simply wasn't room. "Song To Orphans" was never going to cozy up to your average AM listener. But as Springsteen informed Nelson, the transition into street band, minus choir had begun.

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  • 2 months later...

I found my way to this site and am have been listening for song for orphans and trying to find the meaning. Based on what I have read it is a cautionary tale of how disaffected people often seek to find meaning by following leaders who arent what they purport to be. Putting blind faith in poets or authoritarians or legends like Billy the Kidd......its mostly all bullshit and a dead end. Those seeking to enrich themselves or gain a following often tap into this dissaffection for ego gratification. He aludes to the Axis and the Confederacy of examples where sons look for fathers but the fathers are all gone, a reference to the steep toll that blindly following any ideology can exact.  Orphans is a metaphor for people who are rudderless as many were in 1971 when the song was written. We lost faith in our leaders, the Vietnam war was at that point largely a lost cause and we felt our government had led us astray. He was just urging people not to allow the absence of personal convictions and the desire to believe in something to cause them to trade in disaffection for blind faith.  Thats my spin

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