What We Talk About When We Talk About Depression
The Rising is my favourite Springsteen album.
Born to Run is a close second –
it’s more popular, for sure, and song for song
Born to Run probably is better –
there are so many memorable moments to lose yourself in,
the enormous sound of ‘Thunder Road’,
or thirty-seven seconds into the title track when Bruce just wails,
Unless you’ve been to see The Boss live,
unless you’ve sung along with him and Steve
and heard the crowd screaming ‘Broooooce’,
it sounds like they’re booing,
unless you’ve heard that sound, you’ve never been happy.
A Springsteen show is like a piece of theatre.
You laugh when Bruce and the E-street band jam ‘Santa Clause
is Coming to Town’ in the middle of summer and
you try not to cry during the important part
of ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out’
when everybody pays tribute to the Big Man
and Jake Clemons steps forward, and in the spotlight
he calls to his Uncle on the saxophone,
and Clarence appears, a giant on the big screen.
Bruce was inspired to make The Rising after 9/11.
A stranger stopped him as he was pumping gas
and said, ‘we need you now.’
Pumping gas is a great way to say filling up with petrol.
We don’t have anything like that.
We’re generally bad at expressing ourselves –
we announced Bruce’s first UK show with posters that read,
‘Finally the World is Ready for Bruce Springsteen’
and Bruce tore them down. He wanted people to make up their own minds.
The Rising won a Grammy in 2013 for best rock album.
It was nominated for album of the year too,
but it got beat by Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me,
and since 9/11 it’s been used in response to other disasters.
‘My City In Ruins’ was used in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
and ‘The Rising’ was Obama’s campaign song and
depending on who you ask that’s considered a disaster too
but I don’t understand American politics.
The Rising is about finding the good that hard times hide.
It came to me when I needed it,
but unlike gas-pumping-fan I didn’t know I did.
Watch Bruce lift a child on his shoulders
as he and the E-Street band play ‘Waiting on a Sunny Day’
and tell me that doesn’t make you think
everything is going to be alright.
Even though sometimes we know better.