5 Great Things About Bruce and “Working on a Dream”

Chances are good if you have a pulse, you watched the SuperBowl last night.  (I know some who didn’t; they’re not into sports, period.   That life is as alien to me as cannibalism.)  Hopefully you stuck around through Halftime to watch Bruce Springsteen.  I’ll be honest, I haven’t listened to Bruce in a LONG time; I did as a teenager but over the years I kinda lost my taste for him.  Some of his songs were too down for me, and on occasion it was a little too close to the bone.  That is, until last night.

“Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”.  I still have no freaking clue what it’s about but it just sounds so good and rocks so hard that I sang along, dancing on the couch.  What a great way to get the show started.  (It wasn’t lost on me when he slid into the mike stand and the director cut to a different camera.)  It refreshed my memory of what it felt like to be 16 again, cranking up Bruce tunes on the old tinny tape deck in my ’72 Bug or spinning “Born in the USA” on my turntable.  (Yes, I really had one. )  I knew “Glory Days” had to come along but I didn’t know he’d convert it to football.  Way to go, Boss!

Anyway, “Working on a Dream” hit a nerve for me, and here are 5 reasons why:

1.  Just the brief snippet sparked something in my head, and I had it downloaded before the first commercial after the show was over.  Maybe it was a live wire to begin with because I spent the weekend writing nearly 25 single-spaced pages on my latest WIP, but I actually think it had more to do with the fact that the song nailed my heroine’s story directly on the head.  Liz is working on a dream; she’s been working on it since she was 18, and 12 years later she’s about to watch it come true, and it has nothing to do with love.  That’s what she’s all about. 

2.  The song is what I’m all about too.  I came to work today listening to the song for the 3rd time on my iPod because it reinforces what I do every day, between writing and working full-time.  I’m working on my own dream. 

3.  For a little while, I was 16 again, all my dreams ahead of me, all my “glory days” going on around me.  Hearing a new Bruce song tapping into my imagination was just like when “Born in the USA” came out and I learned every word of the lyrics within the first few days because it all meant something to me then.  It still means something to me now.  That’s what makes Bruce so timeless.

4.  A positive message of inspiration.  I needed that.  Some days I forget why I’m doing what I’m doing.  Thanks for the reminder.

5.  The song got me back into Bruce again.  I’m going to go looking for my Greatest Hits CDs (the albums are long gone; pity) and maybe download a few I don’t have.  “Born to Run” will work well into the manuscript when Liz’s dream comes to fruition.  I also have to hear “The Rising” since I know it was played at the inauguration a few weeks ago.  Sure, Bruce has some real downers in his catalog (“The River”; oy) but the uplifting ones really do the job.  And really, it’s all about life and reality and what we’re really dealing with. 

Thank you, Bruce.  That was the best halftime show I’ve ever seen, and they’ll never top it.  Now I’ll go back to working on MY dream.