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36 minutes ago, janeymarywendy said:

Aww, jokes (or my idea of a joke!) are never that funny when you have to explain them :lol: Side 4 of the album hasn't got any songs on it ... just a shadowy pic of Bruce.

Ahhhh...... I get it. If there had been a side of Western Stars without music that would have been my favorite. Though maybe not if it was a picture of Bruce playing country dress up.

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Great thread this and interesting discussions. Janey is probably my favourite song from the album together with Song for Orphans. It is the reason why I always go back to storyteller Bruce - especiall

https://www.npr.org/2020/10/22/925358745/what-bruce-springsteen-lost-and-found   Why did you record in the way that you did? In the studio where you're sitting now, I gather? We have th

People are being very over the top about a bloody song. Chill out 

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11 minutes ago, JRL84 said:

I think a lot of assumptions can be made from the lyrics but depending on how one looks at the song I think one could just as easily make a case that Janey is bad news and these men are her victims...

**This is not my personal view at all but just pointing out how you could form your own story based on the lyrics if you wanted to.

She could be leading all of these men on and playing them.  This poor old doctor thought he had a chance but Janey was just using him.

She's also got a priest she's leading on and trying to tempt him to do things against his faith. Bad Janey!

The Cop really cares about her and she's got him worried about her, so this poor officer is so concerned he goes out of his way to drive around the block every night to check on her.  He must really care about her to do that and be worried about her and rightfully so because she's likely filled his head with stories about all of these other guys who are after her... Sure Janey... keep painting yourself as a victim to get attention.

And then this poor narrator is falling for all of it as well. She holds him close and tells him about the cop that's scaring her... Riiiight.  Janey is using all of them and filling their heads full of lies and is loving all of the attention she's getting from it.

The men are all suckers in this song...

In other words she fills their heads with pretty lies and dreams that can never come true?

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9 minutes ago, stillilllife said:

In other words she fills their heads with pretty lies and dreams that can never come true?

It's very possible that could be what's happening!

In fact, Janey is the only character in the song that we know for certain is not trustworthy.

She has multiple relationships going at the same time so she's almost certainly being dishonest with these men to some extent.

Why should we believe anything Janey has told the narrator? 

I don't trust her.

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42 minutes ago, JRL84 said:

It's very possible that could be what's happening!

In fact, Janey is the only character in the song that we know for certain is not trustworthy.

She has multiple relationships going at the same time so she's almost certainly being dishonest with these men to some extent.

Why should we believe anything Janey has told the narrator? 

I don't trust her.

Well, the narrator certainly seems to be very aware of what she’s doing.

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52 minutes ago, JRL84 said:

It's very possible that could be what's happening!

In fact, Janey is the only character in the song that we know for certain is not trustworthy.

She has multiple relationships going at the same time so she's almost certainly being dishonest with these men to some extent.

Why should we believe anything Janey has told the narrator? 

I don't trust her.

I'm not sure the lyrics support the idea of multiple simultaneous relationships.

Janey turns the doctor down very clearly. It looks like she does make the priest an offer he should refuse but he can't 'perform'. She hides from the cop who scares her whilst she's with the narrator but we can't say for sure that she wants to be with the narrator - only that he wants to be with her.

That's just analysis of the lyrics.

 

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2 hours ago, JRL84 said:

2. I like the fact that the lyrics aren't PC. It's refreshing to have some dark and realistic lyrics.  The world isn't all rainbows and sunshine and these lyrics tell a potentially dark and twisted story.  

I respect your point of view but, personally, I find very little realism in these lyrics. Quite the opposite. As I said before, I see in this song a young artist learning his craft through trial and error. And as in many a song from that period, he was simply "trying too hard" to look rebelliously smart. I'm not saying that questionable doctors, less than chaste priests, or abusive cops don't exists. They have probably been more of a reality than one could have imagined before everything was filmed by phones. But is a character that has to do with three of these degenerates at once (plus a deleted car-smashing mechanic) realistic, or even plausible? The answer is clearly no, IMHO. And this is the limit of the song. Asking about Janey's agency, whether she is a victim of a 24/7 Murder Inc. or a predator magnet herself, is also pointless to me. If we go to the core, the song is not even about Janey. It's about Bruce repeating the same twisted opposition three times. In each verse what society takes as a high respectable figure (doctor, priest, cop) is turned into a degenerate; and in the following chorus the outcast/outlaw/(and probably) unemployed (being it a shooter or/and a junkie) is promoted to the role of "good guy". It might work on screen for b-movies, but it's far from realistic. And frankly, it's quite forced as a narrative device. It took Bruce some ten more years - and the guidance of Landau - to learn how to properly portray realistic characters in his songs.   

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28 minutes ago, Frank said:

I respect your point of view but, personally, I find very little realism in these lyrics. Quite the opposite. As I said before, I see in this song a young artist learning his craft through trial and error. And as in many a song from that period, he was simply "trying too hard" to look rebelliously smart. I'm not saying that questionable doctors, less than chaste priests, or abusive cops don't exists. They have probably been more of a reality than one could have imagined before everything was filmed by phones. But is a character that has do with three of these degenerates at once (plus a deleted car-smashing mechanic) realistic, or even plausible? The answer is clearly no, IMHO. And this is the limit of the song. Asking about Janey's agency, or whether she is a victim of a 24/7 Murder Inc., or a predator magnet herself, is also pointless to me. If we go to the core, the song is not even about Janey. It's about Bruce repeating the same twisted opposition three times. In each verse what society takes as a high respectable figure (doctor, priest, cop) is turned into a degenerate; and in the following chorus the outcast/outlaw/(and probably) unemployed (being it a shooter or/and a junkie) is promoted to the role of "good guy". It might work on screen for b-movies, but it's far from realistic. And frankly, it's quite forced as a narrative device. It took Bruce some ten more years - and the guidance of Landau - to learn how to properly portray realistic characters in his songs.   

Fair enough, but these might be just the type men she'd be attracted to.  I think Bruce specifically chose the three professions for a reason.  They are in prominent high important roles within the community. She's looking for someone with power who can make her feel safe.  

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29 minutes ago, Frank said:

I respect your point of view but, personally, I find very little realism in these lyrics. Quite the opposite. As I said before, I see in this song a young artist learning his craft through trial and error. And as in many a song from that period, he was simply "trying too hard" to look rebelliously smart. I'm not saying that questionable doctors, less than chaste priests, or abusive cops don't exists. They have probably been more of a reality than one could have imagined before everything was filmed by phones. But is a character that has do with three of these degenerates at once (plus a deleted car-smashing mechanic) realistic, or even plausible? The answer is clearly no, IMHO. And this is the limit of the song. Asking about Janey's agency, or whether she is a victim of a 24/7 Murder Inc., or a predator magnet herself, is also pointless to me. If we go to the core, the song is not even about Janey. It's about Bruce repeating the same twisted opposition three times. In each verse what society takes as a high respectable figure (doctor, priest, cop) is turned into a degenerate; and in the following chorus the outcast/outlaw/(and probably) unemployed (being it a shooter or/and a junkie) is promoted to the role of "good guy". It might work on screen for b-movies, but it's far from realistic. And frankly, it's quite forced as a narrative device. It took Bruce some ten more years - and the guidance of Landau - to learn how to properly portray realistic characters in his songs.   

And his songs became more predictable and less theatrical (less wild, one might say) at that point. I prefer the older style. There are a lot a of artists out there that can write a political song, or a relationship song as well as Springsteen. There are not many that can tell a story in a song like he can though. 8 pages of analysis with entirely different interpretations are not going to emerge trying to analyze If I Should Fall Behind, regardless of how good a song it is.

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54 minutes ago, JoleBlonAlba said:

I'm not sure the lyrics support the idea of multiple simultaneous relationships.

Janey turns the doctor down very clearly. It looks like she does make the priest an offer he should refuse but he can't 'perform'. She hides from the cop who scares her whilst she's with the narrator but we can't say for sure that she wants to be with the narrator - only that he wants to be with her.

That's just analysis of the lyrics.

 

I think at a minimum they suggest she has a current relationship with the Cop and the narrator in some fassion.  At worst, they might all still be involved or recently ended. 

On the one hand she turns the Doctor down like dope implying they're finished. On the other hand, "Janey's got a doctor" and "Janey's got a priest" "Janey's got a cop" imply she's still got them in her web!

That the narrator is inside her house while the cop is driving around checking on her and she's holding him close makes me suspect she's more than friends with the narrator. 

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4 minutes ago, JRL84 said:

I think at a minimum they suggest she has a current relationship with the Cop and the narrator in some fassion.  At worst, they might all still be involved or recently ended. 

That the narrator is inside her house while the cop is driving around checking on her and she's holding him close makes me suspect she's more than friends with the narrator. 

I think she’s manipulating them all. I think they all think they “know her style” but she only gives them as much as she chooses while keeping the rest away from them. Same character that grew up into Secret Garden perhaps.

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1 minute ago, Jertucky said:

I think she’s manipulating them all. I think they all think they “know her style” but she only gives them as much as she chooses while keeping the rest away from them. Same character that grew up into Secret Garden perhaps.

Yes!  This wasn't my original interpretation but just kind of fleshing it out more and more I think it's quite plausible that she is manipulating them all. 

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59 minutes ago, Jertucky said:

And his songs became more predictable and less theatrical (less wild, one might say) at that point. I prefer the older style. There are a lot a of artists out there that can write a political song, or a relationship song as well as Springsteen. There are not many that can tell a story in a song like he can though. 8 pages of analysis with entirely different interpretations are not going to emerge trying to analyze If I Should Fall Behind, regardless of how good a song it is.

To be fair, what we were talking about was portraying credible 'realism' in his songs. And in this respect, Janey needs a shooter (and the Prodigal Son material) can hardly be linked to his Columbia released stuff. With the possible exception of Jimmy the Saint, the gloomy and supposedly real characters of the Prodigal Son era were gone by the time Greetings hit the record stores. And in the first three albums they are replaced by much more fantasy-like characters. So, I would not take Janey needs a shooter as an example the Springsteen before Nebraska. It would be an example of the Springsteen before The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, at best.

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I think they're all dolls in her dollhouse...

"You're a big girl now but you still wanna play
(Girl we're living)
You dress them up the way you want to
(Girl we're living)
You make them do just what you want them to do
(Girl we're living)
Once I thought we had a love that was true
(Girl we're living, living, living, living)
But I'm just another doll in your dollhouse to you
We're living in a dollhouse"

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4 minutes ago, Frank said:

To be fair, what we were talking about was portraying credible 'realism' in his songs. And in this respect, the Janey needs a shooter (and Prodigal Son material) can hardly be linked to his Columbia released stuff. With the possible exception of Jimmy the Saint, the gloomy and supposedly real characters of the Prodigal Son era were gone by the time Greetings hit the record stores. And in the first three albums they were replaced by much more fantasy-like characters. So, I would not take Janey needs a shooter as an example the Springsteen before Nebraska. It would be an example of the Springsteen before The Wild, the innocent & the E Street Shuffle, at best.

Hmmmmm....... I’ve never really listened to his pre-Greetings stuff. I’m sure I’ve heard some of it but not enough for it to be ingrained.

As far as the realism of Janey, I do have a friend who had a bad relationship with her doctor that drove her to a job at a seminary where she then engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a priest. I’m not sure about any interactions with a cop. I’ll have to ask her about that when I see her.

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30 minutes ago, JRL84 said:

Fair enough, but these might be just the type men she'd be attracted to.  I think Bruce specifically chose the three professions for a reason.  They are in prominent high important roles within the community. She's looking for someone with power who can make her feel safe.  

Well, I see your point, but my whole reply was about Janey not being "realistic" character, and the narrative device (twisted opposition good vs. bad) being quite forced, IMHO. It can well be as you said, but I'm not keen on speculating such a touchy issue.  

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Just now, Frank said:

Well, I see your point, but my whole reply was about Janey not being "realistic" character, and the narrative device (twisted opposition good vs. bad) being quite forced, IMHO. It can well be as you said, but I'm not keen on speculating such a touchy issue.  

Why wouldn’t you speculate on it? Isn’t that the fun of it? These aren’t real people after all.

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5 hours ago, JoleBlonAlba said:

I've never heard the Warren Zevon song but this one has been off-putting so I probably won't seek it out for that reason. 

I recommend the Zevon song, it has only the title in common. In fact I would rather he had done the Zevon song instead. 

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3 minutes ago, Jertucky said:

Hmmmmm....... I’ve never really listened to his pre-Greetings stuff. I’m sure I’ve heard some of it but not enough for it to be ingrained.

As far as the realism of Janey, I do have a friend who had a bad relationship with her doctor that drove her to a job at a seminary where she then engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a priest. I’m not sure about any interactions with a cop. I’ll have to ask her about that when I see her.

If she does, feel free to give her my number. I'll be her shooter (whatever that might mean).

Now, I'm planning to buy a new car. Does she date mechanics? ;) 

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Just now, Jertucky said:

Why wouldn’t you speculate on it? Isn’t that the fun of it? These aren’t real people after all.

Right, it's just a song not a non fiction novel or historical event. 

Janey as a character might be a little over the top but it might be really to drive a point home while still being rock n' roll.  

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Just now, phantomengineer said:

I recommend the Zevon song, it has only the title in common. In fact I would rather he had done the Zevon song instead. 

To each their own but I couldn't disagree more.  

This is one of my favorite Bruce songs in a decades.  To me it's easily the best song on the album and it's really not even close. 

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