3 Eternal Classic Rock Songs by Bruce Springsteen

Born on September 23, 1949, in Long Branch, New Jersey, 74-year-old Bruce Springsteen has been a mainstay in music since his early days “down the shore,” as those in the Garden State say. From brash up-and-comer to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, few frontmen have done more than “the Boss” over the past five-plus decades.

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And over the course of his career, he’s even put out a few songs that will last forever. Indeed, here below we will dive into a trio of eternal Bruce Springsteen classic rock songs.

[RELATED: How Bruce Springsteen Became a Cultural Icon—We Asked an Expert]

“Thunder Road” from Born to Run (1975)

This song comes from Springsteen’s star-making 1975 album Born to Run. It was born from several songs he’d written over time and finally happy with the composite composition, Springsteen dubbed it “Thunder Road.” It’s about hope and that one shot so many speak of to make it in a world that wants you to do anything but. On the swelling offering, Springsteen sings,

The screen door slams, Mary’s dress sways
Like a vision, she dances across the porch as the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey, that’s me, and I want you only
Don’t turn me home again
I just can’t face myself alone again

Don’t run back inside
Darling, you know just what I’m here for
So you’re scared, and you’re thinking
That maybe we ain’t that young anymore
Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night
You ain’t a beauty, but hey, you’re alright
Oh, and that’s alright with me

“Born in the U.S.A.” from Born in the U.S.A. (1984)

Often confused as a big-voiced song of patriotism, this song from the 1984 album of the same name is about the paradox of being a solider. On the one hand you’re fighting for your country; on the other, when you come back from war, like the one in Vietnam, you often feel out of place. On the song, which will live on perhaps longer than any American-born rock song ever, Springsteen sings,

Born down in a dead man’s town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
End up like a dog that’s been beat too much
‘Til you spend half your life just to cover it up, now

Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A., now

Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hands
Send me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man

“Born to Run” from Born to Run (1975)

Released on the 1975 album of the same name, this composition is a frenzy, a love song, a fever dream through the mind of Springsteen, as well as the streets of the Jersey beach town he’s from, as well as of America, on the whole. It’s an entirety to escape. Where? Who cares. On the song, which is equally good acoustic as it is with a full E Street Band, Springsteen sings,

In the day we sweat it out on the streets
Of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through the mansions of glory
In suicide machines
Sprung from cages on Highway 9
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected, and steppin’ out over the line
Oh, baby this town rips the bones from your back
It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we’re young
‘Cause tramps like us, baby, we were born to run

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Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns

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