Archive for February 2nd, 2009

Springsteen: ‘Let’s Go Get It’

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Springsteen nailed it.

And I’m not talking about the Superbowl halftime show — though he certainly nailed that also.

Here’s what Springsteen told the New York Times, for an article that ran yesterday:

“A lot of the core of our songs is the American idea: What is it? What does it mean? ‘Promised Land,’ ‘Badlands,’ I’ve seen people singing those songs back to me all over the world. I’d seen that country on a grass-roots level through the ’80s, since I was a teenager. And I met people who were always working toward the country being that kind of place. But on a national level it always seemed very far away.

“And so on election night it showed its face, for maybe, probably, one of the first times in my adult life,” he said. “I sat there on the couch, and my jaw dropped, and I went, ‘Oh my God, it exists.’ Not just dreaming it. It exists, it’s there, and if this much of it is there, the rest of it’s there. Let’s go get that. Let’s go get it. Just that is enough to keep you going for the rest of your life. All the songs you wrote are a little truer today than they were a month or two ago.”

Really, it didn’t seem possible, did it? That seven years after 9/11, we could elect a half-black man with Muslim relatives; less than two years after Saddam Hussein was executed, we could elect a man with the same middle name; a progressive, who believes in honoring organized labor and elevating science and safeguarding civil liberties and promoting the rights of women and minorities and engaging, actively, with the world.

And, yet, we did.

That fact alone, Springsteen is saying, tells us something about ourselves that we thought was true — that we thought was possible — but, in our heart of hearts, we weren’t totally sure.

Springsteen is saying — god damn; who the hell knew? — these things turn out to be true:

Now there’s a fire down below, but it’s coming up here …

Someday girl I don’t know when, we’re gonna get to that place where we really want to go, and we’ll walk in the sun …

Leave behind your sorrows, let this day be the last. Tomorrow there’ll be sunshine, and all this darkness past …

And for every, hung up person, in the whole wide universe. We gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing …

Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe …

Gonna be a twister to blow, everything down, that ain’t got the faith to stand it’s ground …

There’s treasure for the taking for any hard working man, who will make his home in the American land …

I believe in the hope and I pray, that someday it may raise me, above these badlands …

What Springsteen is saying is: This election has given something to the world that can never be taken away. Because if these things are true, then there’s so much more that’s possible.

The rest of the dream is there, too.

Just that is enough to keep you going for the rest of your life.