by Bruce Springsteen
~ Songs that sum up a lifestyle ~
There are songs that tell stories and songs that extol people and songs that try to capture an emotion and some songs that are quite frankly just kind of dumb.
But then there are songs that try to capture the spirit or feeling of a time. The German word is zeitgeist, and it’s been appropriated by plenty of Americans over the years even if they’ve horribly misused it.
This one sets out to capture the zeitgeist of the late ’70s late teenagers who felt helpless, hopeless, and stuck in dead-end situations and dead-end towns whose only release was to hop in a car and go somewhere. You get this on screen with Dazed and Confused and you get it in song here with Bruce. It’s almost ironic that this song didn’t make it onto the soundtrack, especially since the song was released before the movie takes place.