Taken from the album "Greetings from Asbury Park" (Columbia, 1972)
The finalè has come, and at number one we got an album track from Bruce Springsteen's debut Greetings from Asbury Park. That was the very first Springsteen album I owned. I got it for Christmas in 1989 or 1990 I think from an uncle. Then at the age of seven I didn't think that much of it, but after I grew up a little I understood how good this music really is. So when I look back, it's one of the best presents I ever got. Thanks uncle.
So what's so great about this song then? Well, first of all - everything. Three verses, three characters. Very emotional, good story telling in a poetic way and a lot of words. At this time in his career Springsteen used as many words as a line could make room for, sometimes even more. That gives these early songs a kind of flow that the later songs may lack - though they have gotten the less is more treatment which are different, but equally good.
The best thing about "Lost in the Flood" is just the feeling it gives me, the chills I get when Springsteen comes to the end of each verse and just lay every emotion he has in his body in the lines that ends with lost in the flood. The way you just understand how something bad has happened.
"He rides head first into a hurricane and disappears into a point
And there's nothin' left but some blood where the body fell
That is, nothin' left that you could sell
just junk all across the horizon, a real highwayman's farewell
And he said: "Hey kid, you think that's oil? Man, that ain't oil that's blood"
I wonder what he was thinking when he hit that storm
Or was he just lost in the flood?"
Or like in the last verse.
"..And that cat from Bronx starts lettin' loose
but he gets blown right off his feet
And some kid comes blastin' round the corner but a cop puts him right away
He lays on the street holding his leg screaming something in Spanish
Still breathing when I walked away
And somebody said "Hey man did you see that? His body hit the street with such
a beautiful thud"
I wonder what the dude was sayin' or was he just lost in the flood?"
So there you go, my personal favourite Bruce Springsteen track.
The album version:
|Bruce Springsteen - Lost In The Flood|
|Found at skreemr.com|
And the version that I think is the best ever recorded of the song. Live at the Hammersmith in London 1975. Which is also available on cd. Also on dvd if you buy the Born to Run boxset.