“Sandy, that waitress I was seeing lost her desire for me. I spoke with her last night. She said she won’t set herself on fire for me anymore. She worked that joint under the boardwalk, she was always the girl you saw bopping down the beach with the radio. The kids say last night she was dressed like a star in one of those cheap little seaside bars and I saw her walk with lover boy out on the kokomo.” 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) by Bruce Springsteen.

When you write these lyrics out like this, you could easily be reading them in a short story. The whole song is a story, and reads like one. There’s a whole life in those words. Bruce Springsteen’s songs really shine because he finds a character, and lets us into their life, their soul, their heart.

I don’t think anything’s more evocative than ‘She said she won’t set herself on fire for me anymore.’

Somebody, somewhere is cringing because I’m attempting to write about his favourite man, but I struggle to find the words, really. The songs say it all. So all I can say is thank you, Bruce, for your stories, and your heart.


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