Bruce Springsteen

One of the greatest songs Bruce Springsteen ever wrote has been relegated to a simple prayer for 9/11. What’s really unique is that this song, My City of Ruins, was written before the events of 9/11. In fact Springsteen wrote the song looking back on his beloved city of Asbury Park, NJ. It’s the story of a once great place slowly slipping into decay as the people, and the money they had, migrates to other parts of the world. He speaks of empty churches, evoking images of rust and ruin, images of things long since past. It’s quite a change of pace from his more well known tracks such as Glory Days or Born in the USA.

Regardless of how it’s viewed now, how we’ve misinterpreted this song or labeled it as something it is not, it is ultimately a haunting tale. When The Boss sings mournfully “tell me how do I begin again?” you are forced to wonder if anything this far gone could find a new beginning. You want to have the answer to that question, to be able to give him a solution to all these troubles, but in the end you know that all you can do is clasp your hands and pray with him.

As originally recorded for the album “The Rising” this song takes on almost a sick sense of slick production and radio friendly vibe. The version below is the best one available of this song. Coming from the album “America: A Tribute to Heroes” this version is stripped down, filled out with harmonica and a gospel choir, and contains more emotion in the first fifteen seconds than all other versions of this song combined.

mp3 : Bruce Springsteen – My City of Ruins

lyrics :

there’s a blood red circle
on the cold dark ground
and the rain is falling down
the church door’s thrown open
i can hear the organ’s song
but the congregation’s gone
my city of ruins
my city of ruins

now the sweet bells of mercy
drift through the evening trees
young men on the corner
like scattered leaves
the boarded up windows, the empty streets
and my brother’s down on his knees
my city of ruins
my city of ruins

come on, rise up!
come on, rise up!
come on, rise up!
come on, rise up!
come on, rise up!
come on, rise up!
come on, rise up

now’s there’s tears on the pillow
darlin’ where we slept
and you took my heart when you left
without your sweet kiss
my soul is lost, my friend
tell me how do i begin again?
my city’s in ruins
my city’s in ruins

now with these hands
with these hands
with these hands
with these hands
i pray lord
with these hands
with these hands
i pray for the strength, lord
with these hands
with these hands
i pray for the faith, lord
with these hands
with these hands
we pray for your love, lord
with these hands
with these hands
we pray for the lost, lord
with these hands
with these hands
we pray for this world, lord
with these hands
with these hands
we pray for the strength, lord
with these hands
with these hands
we pray for the strength, lord
with these hands
come on
with these hands
come on

come on, rise up!
come on, rise up!
come on, rise up!
come on, rise up!
come on, rise up!
come on, rise up!
come on, rise up!
come on, rise up!

come on, rise up
come on, rise up
come on, rise up

For a good look at the decay of favored Eastern Seaboard spots make sure you check out the movie City by the Sea starring Robert De Niro.

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Radiohead

Radiohead never fails to impress. And this track is no different. Included below is one of their finest live reworkings of a song. The song, Fog, first appeared on the album Knives Out after being launched as “Alligators in New York Sewers” in Caesaria on July 9th, 2000.

From that first play, where Thom Yorke introduced it as “kind of a silly song,” it has matured and grown into something at once melancholic and beautiful. The version posted here comes from a single entitled Go To Sleep #1 and is a nice stripped down acoustic version with just Thom and Jonny.

mp3 : Radiohead – Fog (Again) (Live)

lyrics :

there’s a little child
runnin’ round this house
and he never leaves
he will never leave
and the fog comes up
from the sewers
and glows in the dark

baby alligators in the sewers
grow up fast
grow up fast
anything you want it can be done now
how did you go bad?
did you go bad?
did you go bad?
some things will never wash away
did you go bad?
did you go bad?

It Has Begun

And it has begun. I’ve once again been sucked into another online form of communication. Here I sit, a proud user of facebook, myspace, and xanga. And what am I doing? I’m plunging further into the void that is the interenets. I’m looking for another attention fix, another slice of alleged popularity.

But this will be different. This will be music. Yes, these posts will invariably contain a lot of me, how could they not when I’m writing them. But this blog will focus around music. Music will be my muse. It shall serve as our guide and together we will seek greater meaning in this life, kittens who never grow into cats, and rainbows that need not the rain.

Music.