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Anyone got a good cure for goosebumps?

3.24.2009


I swear, all it takes is a mention of one of his songs--one that I love, that is--and I'm pulled back into my torrent of Bruce Springsteen enthrallment, however brief. The youtube videos alone can sustain it for days, weeks even.

Today's trigger is "Because the Night." Now it's rather disputed as to who wrote this song, but it seems to have been a collaboration between Bruce and Patti Smith. According to the song's wikipedia page, Bruce was in the same set of studios as Patti when he was recording Darkness On the Edge of Town as her group was putting together Easter. Some say the song was a created between the two artists: Bruce starting with the music and then Patti adding the lyrics. Others say they wrote the song together, and then the theory that Bruce wrote the song and gave it to Patti.* The wikipedia page says that Bruce wrote it but it wasn't fitting in with the rest of the album. This original version had a slightly latin feel, and masculine 'workman's lament'-centered lyrics.

Here's my favorite online version by Bruce.  The sound isn't synched well and the quality is only adequate, but the result is almost dream-like (or drug-like).  Plus, it's pre-80s, which is good.  This performance gives me some serious chills.  The dark piano intro as his eerie guitar joins before he sings...



His guitar solo from 3:51 to 5:50, starting especially around the 5:00 mark, is FACE MELTING.  
To quote one of the video page's comments: "He tore that shit UP!"

If you want to hear Patti's studio version, go here, but here is a live version:



I have to say her version is fantastic, but I think both stand on their own feet.  When Patti took it--either in its creative process or afterwards--she changed the lyrics. Here are Bruce's lyrics on the left, Patti's on the right:

Take me now baby here as I am Take me now baby here as I am
Pull me close try an understand Pull me close, try and understand 
I work all day out in the hot sun Desire is hunger is the fire I breathe 
Stay with me now till the mornin' comes Love is a banquet on which we feed 
Come on now try and understand Come on now try and understand 
The way I feel when I'm in your hands The way I feel when I'm in your hands 
Take me now as the sun descends Take my hand, come undercover 
They can't hurt you now They can't hurt you now
They can't hurt you now Can't hurt you now
They can't hurt you now Can't hurt you now

Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us Because the night belongs to lust
Because the night belongs to lovers Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us Because the night belongs to us

What I got I have earned
Have I doubt when I'm alone
What I'm not I have learned                                Love is a ring, the telephone
Desire and hunger is the fire I breathe                Love is an angel disguised as lust
Just stay in my bed till the morning comes        Here in our bed until the morning comes
Come on now try and understand                       Come on now try and understand
The way I feel when I'm in your hands               The way I feel under your command
Take me now as the sun descends                       Take my hand as the sun descends
They can't hurt you now                                     They can't touch you now
They can't hurt you now                                      Can't touch you now
They can't hurt you now                                     Can't touch you now
 
Because the night...                                             
Because the night...

Your love is here and now                                  
With love we sleep, we doubt
The vicious circle turns and burns without         The vicious circle turn and burns without
Though I cannot live forgive me now                  You I cannot live, forgive the yearning, burning
The time has come to take this moment and        I believe it's time, too real to feel
They can't hurt you now                                      So touch me now

Because the night belongs to lovers                    
Because tonight there are two lovers
Because the night belongs to us...                        If we believe in the night we trust...


"For Smith, "Because the Night" represents the hedonistic abandon she enjoys when in the company of a her equally enthusiastic lover. However, in Springsteen's lyrics, there's a few extra lines that put a different spin on what the couple in the song are up to: "I work all day out in the hot sun" and "What I got I have earned, what I'm not I have learned." So, instead of simple, wanton, wet, and sticky sex, Springsteen's protagonist seems to be using the rendezvous as an escape from a job he doesn't like. It's no longer about them, it's about him. How typical (right ladies?)."

You know I love Bruce, but Matt is right.  While I would never call Bruce a misogynist, some of his songs about couples are better than others.  Just small choices like "our bed" vs. "my bed."  So I am very intrigued by the skin-crawlingly-awesome duet of the song by Bono and Bruce (featuring Dave Stewart).  Bono switches it up a bit and says, "They can't hurt US now" as opposed to "you."  Or was that even Bono's decision?  Was it Bruce's?  Isn't it likely that Bono was more familiar with Patti Smith version (Bruce never formally released it except on a collection of live takes)?  I wonder if he had to learn the Bruce version?  Regardless, he added some of his own lyrics...





*Bruce has written many songs that either were, or were intended to be, hits for other artists. I.E., "Fire" for the Pointer Sisters (originally intended for Elvis Presley), or "Hungry Heart," originally requested by Joey Ramone for The Ramones.

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