Sep. 23, 2005

Glory Days

by Bruce Springsteen

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Poem: "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen. Reprinted with permission.

Glory Days

I had a friend was a big baseball player
Back in high school
He could throw that speedball by you
Make you look like a fool boy
Saw him the other night at this roadside bar
I was walking in, he was walking out
We went back inside sat down had a few drinks
But all he kept talking about was

Glory days well they'll pass you by
Glory days in the wink of a young girl's eye
Glory days, glory days

Well there's a girl that lives up the block
Back in school she could turn all the boy's heads
Sometimes on a Friday I'll stop by
And have a few drinks after she put her kids to bed
Her and her husband Bobby well they split up
I guess it's two years gone by now
We just sit around talking about the old times,
She says when she feels like crying
She starts laughing thinking about

Glory days

My old man worked 20 years on the line
And they let him go
Now everywhere he goes out looking for work
They just tell him that he's too old
I was 9 nine years old and he was working at the
Metuchen ford plant assembly line
Now he just sits on a stool down at the legion hall
But I can tell what's on his mind

Glory days yeah goin back
Glory days aw he ain't never had
Glory days, glory days

Now I think I'm going down to the well tonight
And I'm going to drink till I get my fill
And I hope when I get old I don't sit around thinking about it
But I probably will
Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture
A little of the glory of, well time slips away
And leaves you with nothing mister but
Boring stories of glory days
Glory days well they'll pass you by
Glory days in the wink of a young girl's eye
Glory days, glory days

Literary and Historical Notes:

It's the birthday of the Greek poet Euripides, born near Athens in 480 B.C. Of the poets of Greek tragedy whose plays we know, Euripides' survive in the greatest number—19 of them—including Medea.

It was on this day in 1806, Lewis and Clark returned from their westward expedition after over two years away.

It's the birthday of Ray Charles, born in Albany, Georgia (1930).

It's the birthday of the singer and songwriter Bruce Springsteen, born in Freehold, New Jersey (1949). He was a working class kid. His father took odd jobs. His mother worked as a secretary. Bruce didn't do well in school. He didn't seem to have much ambition. Then he saw Elvis on TV, and he scraped together $18 to buy a secondhand guitar. Music was his way of being noticed by people. By the time he was 14, he was playing in local bands on the bar circuit, bands with names like the Rogues, the Castiles, the Steel Mill, Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom.

He played at prisons and mental hospitals, a rollerdrome, shopping center parking lot, and he played at firemen's balls. His first album was Greetings from Asbury Park (1973). In just a few years, he'd been on the cover of Time magazine. He was a best-selling artist.

Monmouth County, where Bruce Springsteen grew up, lost more people in the World Trade Center than any other county in New Jersey. He read the New York Times obituaries, and he saw how many times one of his songs was played at a memorial service and how many of the articles mentioned that the deceased had loved Springsteen's music. There was a headline for one man, Jim Berger, that read: "Fan of the Boss," so Springsteen called up his widow, Suzanne. Another fan was a firefighter named Joe Farrelly, and Springsteen called his wife as well. She later said, "I got through Joe's memorial and a good month and a half on that phone call."

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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