There’s a place out on the edge of town sir

For April 30, 2015

Today’s lyric comes from a song about a mansion at the edge of town that symbolized the better life that the narrator and his family would never have. The town I grew up seems like was larger than the one in the song so there wasn’t one mansion, but there were sections that spoke of a life that my family could only aspire to.

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To become a man and grow up to dream again

For April 29, 2015

So I’ve written about this before but it fits today so I’ll mention it again. When I was growing up I was pretty sure I had almost nothing in common with my father. I didn’t like to hunt or fish. I wasn’t interested in cars. I didn’t care about being handy around the house. And of course I thought my old man was hopelessly out of touch with my generation. He was a grown up so he no longer remembered what it was like to be young. Then I grew up.

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Ooh, what can I do, ooh, what can I do?

For April 28, 2015

I’ve been married a long time so it’s not news to say that I’m committed. I’m long since past the part of irrational acceptance and more at the point at which it would take something unusual and serious to jeopardize my marriage. It’s the same from my wife’s perspective. We’ve thrown our lots together for better or for worse and after all this time we think we understand those limits. This post is not about that.

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Eighth Avenue sailors in satin shirts

For April 27, 2015

I don’t really know what Springsteen was writing about in today’s lyric, other than it has a lot of words and images like everything else on his first three albums. The song is a series of set pieces that I’m not sure really add up to something coherent, but it doesn’t matter. It all holds together with a sort of dream logic that makes it work. But that’s not why I chose it.

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But this world’s filled with the beauty of God’s work

For April 26, 2015

If you have read this series then you know I’m not really into organized religion. One understandable takeaway is that I don’t believe in gods or God. I may have written that, I can’t remember. My feelings on this subject go back and forth, from feeling that if there is a God responsible for all this then her existence is beyond what I can understand, to feeling like I see Providence everywhere. So while I don’t believe in the stories of gods or God that you get from religion, I’m not completely closed to the idea that there is something greater.

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They destroyed our families, factories

For April 25, 2015

I grew up in the seventies and the eighties in a small city in Vermont. I say city because it technically was and still is a city, with a mayor and a board of alderman and everything. The population is somewhere around 12,000 or so and there are plenty of stop lights, two McDonald’s and even some Chinese restaurants. It was a great to place to grow up, not feeling too small until I was in high school. And I have no memory of how the city of my childhood compares to the city now, if there were as many closing businesses and empty storefronts during, say, the late seventies/early eighties.

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Gambling man rolls the dice, workingman pays the bill

For April 24, 2015

Growing up middle/working class, I always responded to the message that there was something authentic about middle/working class people, that I was part of the backbone or heartbeat of America. Springsteen spoke to that idea but it was pervasive, threaded through a lot of what I read and watched. It was an identity that I tried for years to keep up even when it was clear that I was no longer middle/working class.

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I promise pretty darling, I didn’t know what I was saying

For April 23, 2015

One of the most upsetting things in a long relationship is that you end up saying things you don’t want to say, things you immediately regret. I can no longer remember when civility ended between my wife and I but it’s safe to say it was early on in our relationship. It’s just difficult to be around someone who much and at some point not be able to not be upset. (Note that this goes both ways.)

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We won’t be dancing together on the high wire

For April 22, 2015

I’m a little late to this but April 17 was the anniversary of Danny Federici’s death. If you are a Springsteen fan, and I assume you are if you are reading this, then you still think about Danny when you hear “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” or “Bishop Danced” or a bunch of other songs. The E Street Band has continued, as it should, but we miss him.

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Inside Amy Schumer Season Three

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Amy Schumer has been funny for a long time, and it feels like she is now breaking out. It’s well-deserved. If you’re not watching Inside Amy Schumer then you have no idea what people are laughing about the next morning.

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