Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Springsteen Tests Your Lactose Intolerance

Here I am down in Kingstown again.

Some songs carry with them clear and vibrant associations, even if the associations make no sense.

When I first heard the Bruce Springsteen song "Hungry Heart," I wasn't thinking about the great Flo & Eddie (from the Turtles) backing vocals, or Springsteen's own vocal, which was sped up slightly to add urgency to the track. I wasn't thinking about how Springsteen wrote the song for the Ramones, but his manager (who had seen the future of rock 'n' roll and its name was Bruce Springsteen) said it would be a big hit and wouldn't let the Boss give it to someone else to record.

None of that.

What I thought about was the opening lines:
Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack
I went out for a ride and I never went back.

Instantly, the first time I heard it, I changed the lyrics in my head to:
Got a wife and kids in Monterey Jack
I put them in cheese now they'll never talk back.

It made little sense thirty years ago. And it makes even less sense now.

But I still can't think of that song without thinking of those lines which aren't even in the song and make no sense in or out of context.

For me, "Hungry Heart" is and forever will be the cheese song.

(Video filmed in 1995 in a small Berlin cafe.)

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