Saturday, June 06, 2009

Songs of My Misspent Youth: Dancing In The Dark

1984 was pretty much when I started to listen to my own radio and watch music videos in my room. A lot. There wasn't much else on TV, really. Mr. Rogers, Inspector Gadget, Remington Steele, and then videos! Usually on Friday. At least I said it was Friday, it was after midnight so technically it was Saturday. So I guess it was some Saturday 25 years ago when I first saw Dancing In The Dark by Bruce Springsteen.

The video is one of those YouTube wants you to watch on YouTube, but really, who doesn't know the video? Man sings song, girl watches man sing, man stops singing and pulls girl out of the crowd to dance with, sax player plays sax.

I didn't get it. At the time it was okay, but it was on ALL THE TIME and I liked Rick Springfield and who was this Bruce guy and why was everyone making such a big deal out of him? I figured it out eventually, after I heard some of his other stuff. Only just before writing this, however, did I learn that Dancing In The Dark was the last song written and recorded for Born In The U.S.A. because the producer wanted a radio-friendly mega hit. Got one, yeah?

But those lyrics that Springsteen threw together at the last minute suddenly made perfect sense to me one day seven years ago, as the responsibility for trying to figure out a way to support my family and keep my house in its original piece hit me upside the crazy aching head. I was in between jobs. I was sitting in my car with the radio on. It was raining. I made the mistake of making eye contact with myself in the mirror. I decided to try putting more effort into the writing thing.

Still haven't been pulled out of the crowd. I'm enjoying the dance anyway.

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