Friday, April 23, 2010

Bruce Springsteen "Living Proof"

PJ is taking some time off for the birth of his second child. Friend of mvyradio Susan McDonald and singer-songwriter and former Fresh Produce Artist, Phil Ayoub, both major Springsteen Fans, fill in.

Five Great Bruce Springsteen Songs About Fathers And Sons.

“Living Proof,” from the Lucky Town album is the final song in our series of “5 great Springsteen songs about fathers and sons”.

The beauty of these lines opens the song, and sets it apart as an emotional, almost heart-wrenching parent/child portrait:

Well now on a summer night in a dusky room
Come a little piece of the Lord’s undying light
Crying like he swallowed the fiery moon
In his mother’s arms was all the beauty I could take…

The Madonna and child image is touching, and he continues, giving religion a significant role:

Like the missing words to some prayer that I could never make
In a world so hard and dirty so fouled and confused
Searching for a little bit of God's mercy
I found living proof

They say one common characteristic of musicians and rock stars is that many of them had issues and problems with one or both of their parents when they were growing up. If you were to do a psychological study, you might learn than many of them also turned to rock ‘n roll in their search for a purpose or a place in life, or to change themselves or find out who they themselves are. If taken as somewhat autobiographical, “Living Proof” appears to touch on this notion, as these lines from the second verse show:

I put my heart and soul I put 'em high upon a shelf
Right next to the faith the faith that I'd lost in myself
I went down into the desert city
Just tryin' so hard to shed my skin
I crawled deep into some kind of darkness
Lookin' to burn out every trace of who I'd been

Bruce goes on in the song to talk about the boy’s mother, and how she rescued him from himself (“to show me that my prison was just an open cage”), but he returns to the beautiful intimate image of the family:

Tonight let’s lie beneath the eves,
Just a close band of happy thieves

He captures perfectly the feeling of being a new family: the wonder, the safety, security and timelessness…”looking for a little bit of God’s mercy, I found living proof”

“Living Proof “ as performed in Milwaukee on November 15, 2009. It was a “sign request”, and you can see Bruce cueing the E Street Band with hand signals:

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Susan - thought I'd get in here at week's end to give you a shout-out for your "arduous work" all week-long! See if you can find a copy of any of the great summer D+D recordings of this song - from Cincinnati and the one I heard live in Seattle. The solo-acoustic versions are fantastic. Enjoy your weekend, Ms. DJ :-)