Every day at work I have an epiphany. It happens at about 3pm, just as I’m about to tackle my afternoon workload, mug of tea in hand. At this time, every day and without fail, I’ll suddenly realise how much I adore Bruce Springsteen
‘s music. I’ll be working away, and then it will unexpectedly hit me, like it’s never happened before. I’ll turn to my colleague and say, as if it’s the first time I’ve exclaimed these words:
“I just love Bruce’s music. I love it.”
She’ll politely nod at me, like she does every day, pretending she’s never heard me say that before. She’ll smile, and comment about how she knows. I’ll beam at her, glaze over for a minute or two, and then heave a happy sigh and get back to work.
But then the other day my colleague unexpectedly responded. “Isn’t it amazing that it’s like you are realising this for the very first time every day”.
I thought to myself, it really is. Every time I listen to one of Bruce’s songs, whether it’s a 1985 version of The River, a fan’s You Tube video of Badlands, or a live version of a song from one of the concerts I’ve been to that year, despite knowing all the lyrics and every chord change, I feel like I’m hearing his music for the very first time. Every day I discover the joys of Bruce’s songwriting, as if I’ve never heard him play before. Every day I realise what a genius the guy really is.
I might just add here that I’ve not had one too many drinks, although I appreciate it might sound like I have…
Bruce’s music means a lot of things to many people, but that moment of discovering how brilliant it is, every single day, has made his music my crutch. Every day I take comfort in his writing. For Bruce Springsteen’s fans, his music is our support, easing us through the day and making any difficult moments that bit better.
It’s not just me. Luckily in my life so far I’ve suffered relatively little heart ache, or loss of family members and friends, or serious illness. But I know a lot of fans who have, and everyone single one of them tells me how Bruce Springsteen’s music carried them through. Music can instantly lift you from a sad or lonely or scary place and help you face some difficult times. No matter how big a problem or how small, Springsteen’s music gives his fans hope. It makes us happy. I get to feel that happiness like it’s the first time every single day.
After going through this realisation process I had an urge to share it, because surely there’s other people who will feel the same way as me. Fans who are being carried through the ups and downs of life by his music. Fans who have been listening since the 70s, but every day they hear Bruce sing for the first time.
Maybe it’s all a bit heavy, but sometimes I think, where would we be without him.
So I’ll end with a thank you. A big thank you, to Bruce.