Analysis of “Dancing in the Dark”

IMG_3289Dissatisfaction with self, poverty, looks, address, lifestyle of young rebellious teenager, up all night, with a horndog look at the female wares on display, at the hangouts. Just give me a look, that certain look, and I’m all yours! A dance first, then straight to the Promised Land of plenty and a comfy bed, with you, yonder comely woman, eager. But I need that money first, that animal magnetism, that POWER, to get you. As it is, I am no one, with a massive itch to be that guy, the one everyone wants, and my power is in my song. And my Wranglers, on an album cover, with patriotic colors, a bandanna, and a guitar, which is my bitcoin in the race to get what is coveted, nay needed: a Woman!

Bruce Springsteen is a master of the poetry of song. The metaphors are surreal, and the melodies stick with you, year after year, dance after dance. They become your on Earth religion. You cannot ever have enough of it. They seep into you, like a cup of melted chocolate, so sweet, syrupy, rich and thick. You cannot untaste either the hot chocolate or him. They are inextricably linked. And so, Bruce becomes the unattainable, which he was once himself, when he was hungry as this artist, with nothing, nothing but the insatiable itch, that needed scratching. I am personally glad he got what he wanted and also what he needed. He had had some major success already, when Born in the USA hit, in 1984.

Who doesn’t want to “change my hair, my clothes, my face?” Only the privileged are satisfied with their identity, and all it represents, like the royalty of England, or the celebrities of the Red Carpet, America, both NY and LA. The glitterati. The curvaceous, tall, well oiled robber barons of industry, the alumni of the Ivy League, the rich, the famous, the actors, singers sometimes, the tall, the beautiful. Even the ordinary citizens who play on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are exceptional in their looks, and all make a living, to a certain degree. Otherwise they would be screened out. They do not represent the masses; they are other. Bruce was once one of us, the people, in his self doubt and ugliness, uncertainty about self, just a massive, gnawing hunger, and a talent, and a refusal to give up, even when the deck was stacked against performers retaining the rights to their own songs and performances. Bruce persevered and won! He is a legend today, still making music, still melancholy, but still opening up to us, his fans, who revere him.

And when Courtney Cox dances with him to this song, in the video, we are with her too, fulfilling a life dream, as we imagine we are her, up there. Dancing in the Dark, but everyone watching, mesmerized, because “this gun’s for hire,” and we are the bait, because we are WOMAN! THAT WHICH CALLS OUT IN THE NIGHT, A NEED, AND A WANT, BUT IT BURNS ACUTELY, AND WE MUST HAVE IT, or die trying. Such as it is, for me, in Bruce, and other men I have hungered for, some of which were caught, some not. And the music still slumbers arousal in me, as I see myself, dancing unadorned, in my birthday suit, in the mirror, and it satisfies, yet not. Because the need is nigh. Yes, tired we are, as it has gone on too long. I could just die from want of it. And that would be ok too, as an outcome. At least the unslaked thirst would abate then.

Even as we dance in the dark, and the light of day, naked. But in my apartment, because it’s verboten elsewhere. I am glad Bruce made his dream come true, against all odds. And made the Earth so much better for all of us, his fans. We are legion, the world wide. My love reaction is for him, and another, but he shall remain nameless, as it’s unfit for the light of day. Yes, I “…gotta stay hungry, Hey baby, I’m just about starving tonight…” He and   I have that in common, a burning desire, which does not let up. “I’m on Fire” is also a Bruce song. He got what he wanted, but I am a lonely poet, toiling in obscurity, on a lonely planet.

Please, God, let me have him! The object of my affections! I am so him, and he me…but only in my dreams. Like Fantine in Les Miserables, death is preferable to endless calumny, suffering. I am worthy of his love! But yet, it does not matter. I am forever dancing in the dark cave of silence, which is inky black and has no exit. My poetry is my voice. Crying out, forever, until my voice is finally silenced. At least it will live on after my voice. That is a consolation. Like a song it is, my voice, after I’m gone.


Analysis of “Jungleland,” Bruce Springsteen’s Opus

In an interview on TV which aired about a year ago, after having written his personal memoir, Bruce Springsteen was asked which 5 songs were his favorite Bruce songs, which is hard to do, when you are Bruce, and all your songs come from your very soul, your own life experience. For me, I had to think as a diehard fan, who has only grown in my admiration for this artist, as the time drones on. But I was pleased to have guessed 3 of Bruce’s actual picks from the best songs he has ever written. One was fairly obvious, the track “Born to Run.” But for me, “Jungleland” was a true masterpiece of length, of a story of young love, of the futility of trying to assert control over your own life and love. And Bruce did pick this song, to my delight. We were in agreement on what an amazing song this is, of the search of young love, and the things that get in the way. And in some ways, the song rings true for me too, in the ambivalence of choices made, at tender ages, “as the girl shuts out the bedroom light, in whispers of soft refusal, and surrender…”


Yup, I have a real life tale, at Philadelphia’s now torn down Stadium, when I saw Amnesty International do a mega concert, which had Bruce playing too, one of 5 acts that whole day, with a friend, who came with me, who has since passed away, one year ago. So no one has first hand proof of what happened to me when Bruce opened up with that famous chord that signaled the only dreamt of, long denied, suppressed, screaming from the depths of my soul, where I fell on my knees, hearing “Jungleland,” and truly astonishingly, had an unusual physical reaction, which was only in the realm of fairy dust and spells…it is not to be physically described here, but which remains with me, to my dying day, that reaction I had…Because needed things in the body of a true fan need no real explanation…just believe, and it will come. And that day, it did! Oh my!


And so, in listening, over and over, with a magnificent coda by the immortal Big Man, Clarence Clemons, on a brilliant saxophone solo, making you think about the boy and the girl of the song, with a backdrop of teen rebellion, and the law not far behind, chasing young Bruce, whether in Freehold, NJ, or out on the boardwalks of the shore, with a girl who captured his sweet stony heart, with her soft hair, and pearly whites, running, but not too fast, because she wants to be caught, by him….And the depression of not having the right keys to open the lock, at the right time, he gets and gives what he can, but it seems like not enough…

Because the price is too high. “He winds up wounded, not even dead…” A horrible epitaph of longing unfulfilled, which is kind of like the living death, because death is at least clean, done, no more awareness of what you cannot have, because you lack the key that opens that door. Yes, this song really hits home for me. And the mists of time swirl around you, remembering past loves, and the AGONY and the ECSTASY OF not ever getting what you need, not really want anymore….Because the longing has surpassed that depth, of the “lawman running down Flamingo, chasing the rat, and the barefoot girl…” The metaphors and imagery are beautiful, and yet somber. And they stay with you, forever, wondering if the breath left in the body is enough, to actually catch that boy, who is now long since, a man. And you are long since, also, a woman, who left her heart in a darkly shrouded room, somewhere near Flamingo Road, chasing the dream.