The Meaning Behind Eric Church’s Nostalgic Anthem “Springsteen”

In 2012, Eric Church‘s country music career hit new heights with the release of his celebrated single, “Springsteen.” Although the song title may lead you to assume it’s simply a tribute to rock icon Bruce Springsteen, the track actually reflects the magic of first love and the freedom of youth.

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“Springsteen” was co-written by Church with longtime guitarist Jeff Hyde and award-winning songwriter Ryan Tyndell. The country star explained to Taste of Country that he first conceptualized the track while on the road and predicted it would be a hit. “It’s been one of the best songs we play live,” he said.

[RELATED: 6 Songs You Didn’t Know Eric Church Wrote for Other Artists]

In a 2014 interview with The Boot, Church revealed that the song’s lyrics were based on his experience attending a show with a romantic interest. He didn’t reveal what artist performed that fateful night but confirmed it was not Bruce Springsteen.

“I went to a concert when I was younger with a girl, and to this day, when I hear that artist, it’s the soundtrack to that girl,” Church explained. “I never think about her any other time, except when that song is on.” 

The decision to swap out that unnamed artist with Springsteen was born out of Church’s immense respect and admiration for the influential rocker. “He seemed to be the perfect guy to craft that story around because of my love for him,” Church added. “I have such a reverence for Bruce Springsteen’s career and how he’s built it.”

Those creative decisions turned into gold for Church, earning a No. 1 hit on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart and his first Top 20 track on the all-genre Hot 100 chart. The track also earned Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song nominations at the 2013 Grammy Awards, although Church lost in both categories.

Over a decade since the song’s initial release, “Springsteen” has been certified platinum six times over and is still regarded as one of Church’s best releases, thanks to its descriptive, heartfelt lyrics and polished, rock-tinged sound.

Photo Credit: Reid Long

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