spiritual perspective on music

Songs toward paradise now

Springsteen's response to 9/11

I'm glad Bruce Springsteen didn't take his usual two or three years of writing time and studio collaboration with the E-Street Band to produce "The Rising." Many people are still struggling to come to grips with the events of last September 11, and Springsteen's new release brings a modest, timely touch of empathy that, to this listener, feels genuine.

Most of the songs in "The Rising" take us back to the mental climate in the US before the war on terrorism—to those first days of grief and gratitude when Americans awoke, sobered by terrorism, to find themselves gifted with many heroes. In "Into the Fire," the Boss mourns their loss but celebrates their selfless courage: "May your strength give us strength, / May your faith give us faith, / May your hope give us hope, / May your love bring us love." These lyrics also could be taken as a prayer. It's saying to me, "Yes, our better selves do mirror the infinite, and this Lord of wholeness is the source of all that's good in us."

Looking back, looking forward
September 9, 2002

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