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Dancing in the Dark - Bruce Springsteen

I initially chose this song based on the fact that I spent most of last night doing just that - dancing in the dark courtesy of Eskom. When life gives you Mondays and Eskom gives you loadshedding, there is nothing like just cranking up the music and dancing your troubles away. The best part of it is that you really can dance like no one is watching - one benefit to having no lights!


It had been a rough sort of day, was feeling a bit uncertain and lost, was grumpy as hell and it was generally just a bit of a blue Monday so dancing with careless abandon and letting loose was the perfect escape (and lets be honest, when this song came on, pretending I was Courtney Cox about to pulled up on stage to boogie with Bruce. You know, standard Monday night.)


There is an interesting story behind the song and a feeling that we can all relate to at one point or another. While a very upbeat and happy tune, it's actually a song of frustration of dealing with feeling lost and trying to find meaning.


Dancing in the Dark was the first single released on Springsteen's 1984 album Born in the USA. His manager and producer Jon Landau had been pushing him to add a single to the album which he wasn't very happy so the song is about Bruce Springsteen's frustration in coming up with a hit single, being an artist as well as finding meaning in his life and his struggle with perfection. (I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face)


I get up in the evenin'
And I ain't got nothin' to say
I come home in the mornin'
I go to bed feelin' the same way
I ain't nothin' but tired
Man, I'm just tired and bored with myself
Hey there, baby, I could use just a little help

The lyrics 'Can't start a fire without a spark'' highlight his frustration at being told to come up with a hit - he is saying that you can't just snap your fingers and a masterpiece appears - you need that creativity and spark to really get something special, not just being ordered to do something. He is looking for someone to be there with him, to help him through this dark and scary time.


You can't start a fire
You can't start a fire without a spark
This gun's for hire
Even if we're just dancin' in the dark




I really do believe that music holds so much power. There is almost always a song that you can relate to - be it a feeling, memory or struggle and think this one is a good reminder that firstly you aren't alone, everyone goes through this and also to stay true to yourself to find your 'spark' and what gets your fire going even when you are in the darkest of times and struggling.




1 Comment


salvesen1981
May 23, 2021

What a great song!! Thanks for the article Claire, sorry about the loadshedding ( I remember it well). Hope you had a nice dance ;)

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