Song Lyric Sunday #20
Jim Adams’ prompt for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday Challenge is Bird/Cat/Dog/Fish/Pet. I’m really not sure there’s anything in my record library that fits the bill. Oh, wait a minute, what about Reason to Believe by The Boss, Bruce Springsteen?
This is the last song on Nebraska
, his sixth studio album, released in September 1982 by Columbia Records. Springsteen recorded the songs as demos on a 4-track recorder, intending to re-record them with the E Street Band, but decided to release them just as they were.The album begins with “Nebraska”, a first-person narrative based on the true story of 19-year-old spree killer Charles Starkweather and his 14-year-old girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, and ends with “Reason to Believe”, a complex narrative that offers a small amount of hope to counterbalance the otherwise dark nature of the album. The remaining songs are largely of the same bleak tone. Springsteen stated that the stories in this album were partly inspired by historian Howard Zinn’s book A People’s History of the United States
Unlike previous albums, which often exude energy, youth, optimism and joy, the vocal tones of Nebraska are solemn and thoughtful, with fleeting moments of grace and redemption woven through the lyrics. The album’s reverb-laden vocals and mood combined with dark lyrical content have been described by music critic William Ruhlmann as:
One of the most challenging albums ever released by a major star on a major record label.
Because of the album’s somber content, Springsteen chose not to tour in support of the album, making it Springsteen’s first major release that was not supported by a tour, and his only such release until 2019’s Western Stars. Nebraska remains one of the most highly regarded albums in his catalogue.
Lyrics: Reason to Believe
Seen a man standin’ over a dead dog lyin’ by the highway in a ditch
He’s lookin’ down kinda puzzled pokin’ that dog with a stick
Got his car door flung open he’s standin’ out on Highway 31
Like if he stood there long enough that dog’d get up and run
Struck me kinda funny seem kinda funny sir to me
Still at the end of every hard day people find some reason to believe
Now Mary Lou loved Johnny with a love mean and true
She said “Baby I’ll work for you every day, bring my money home to you”
One day he up and left her and ever since that
She waits down at the end of that dirt road for young Johnny to come back
Struck me kinda funny, funny yeah to me
How at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe
Take a baby to the river, Kyle William they called him
Wash the baby in the water, take away little Kyle’s sin
In a whitewash shotgun shack an old man passes away
Take his body to the graveyard and over him they pray
Lord won’t you tell us, tell us what does it mean
At the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe
Congregation gathers down by the riverside
Preacher stands with a Bible, groom stands waitin’ for his bride
Congregation gone, the sun sets behind a weepin’ willow tree
Groom stands alone and watches the river rush on, so effortlessly
Wonderin’ where can his baby be
Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe
Songwriters: Bruce Springsteen
- Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
- Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
- Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
- Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
- Ping back to Jim’s post or place your link in his comments section.
- Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
- Feel free to suggest future prompts.
- Most of all, have fun and enjoy the music.