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Springsteen offers us relevance page 2

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Date published: 7/26/2002



In a recent interview with The New York Times, Springsteen told of a chance moment as he walked near his New Jersey home in the days after Sept. 11. A fan who recognized him and called out, "We need you" as he drove by. Springsteen was touched by that.

"That's part of my job," he said. "It's an honor to find that place in the audience's life."

With Springsteen, it's never about drugs or booze or busted up hotel rooms or assaults on photographers. Cliche or not, it is always about the music.

There's a reason he was selected to lead off the "America: A Tribute To Heroes" telethon last September, and that is because no one better than Springsteen could convey through music the grief and anger Americans were experiencing at the time, instill us with hope and express for us our certainty that America would bow to no challenge.

Last week I was about to step out of the car when I realized I was hearing the title cut from Springsteen's new album, "The Rising."

Of course it is great; it couldn't be anything but. So I sat and listened, ignition off, in a closed car on a 95-degree day. I had chills, not only from the song itself, but from the anticipation of 14 more songs on the new album that will be in my hands and in my ears on July 30. All but two were written after Sept. 11.

One of those songs is called "Into the Fire:"

The sky was falling and streaked with blood

I heard you calling me, then you disappeared into the dust

Up the stairs, into the fire

Up the stairs, into the fire

I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher

Somewhere up the stairs, into the fire

May your strength give us strength

May your faith give us faith

May your hope give us hope

May your love give us love

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