Top ten Bruce Springsteen songs

3. The River
Taken from the album "The River" (Columbia, 1980)

This may look like an obvious choice since this song has become an evergreen and something larger than life. But if you look beyond the clich├Ęs and 80's classic rock radio you will find yourself looking at one of the best songs ever written. Songs don't just become classics without reason. The hardest part about writing about this song is that most have been written before, then again, the good part about writing this is that I can tell you what I find so fantastic about this song. It's not like I need to explain to you how it goes, I believe that each and every person who is older than say twenty five can sing you the chorus of "The River". I think you should go out and test that, just ask any random guy or girl.

So why is this song about a factory worker who gets his highschool girlfriend pregnant and then gets layed off work so damn good. Well for me it's a couple of lines in the last verse which to this very day gives me chills every time I hear the song. In fact, I wait the whole song just to hear those heartbreaking words.

"..Now those memories come back to haunt me
they haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don't come true
or is it something worse.."

That my friends is a whole book in just four lines. I get a lump in my throat and chills down my spine each and everytime. Just the way he delivers the lines, it's like his voice just can't take it anymore. Those lines tells a lifetime of stories, not only the story of the two people in this song, but people everywhere. Anyone who ever had a dream shattered will nod to those lines. Timeless, heartbreaking and real.

Bruce Springsteen - 112 - The River

Found at


fridaybrucefix said…
Hi Stian. Just found your blog while searching for Springsteen blogs. I like your writing and views on your top 10 Springsteen songs. I always find top 10 lists about almost anything tp be interesting. Of course it's usually subjective with no definitive right answer, but it's fun to see certain favorites emerge.

I'm asking people to vote at my blog on the three songs they'd play at the Super Bowl half time show, if they were Bruce. You're welcome to join in at

I look forward to your top 2 songs!