English Comp. 2
Essay #3: My Hometown by Bruce Springsteen
The “Hometown” by Bruce Springsteen is one of his most personal songs. In the beginning of the song, Bruce reflects on his childhood and the memories he shared with his father. The song illustrates a small, quaint neighborhood that is undergoing a tumultuous period with segregation and constant change. The line “I’d sit on his lap in that big old Buick and steer as we drove through town He’d tousle my hair and say son take a good look around this is your hometown ” clearly indicates how vital and valuable it is to be happy and proud of where you grew up. This line exemplifies the message of the song, because it proves that your hometown will always be your hometown despite inevitable changes.
The lines in the song depict the close relationship between young Bruce and his father. It is a very intimate relationship, and it shows how much his father cares in instilling the important things in life to his son rather than the superficial. In the end of the song, it must have been a hard choice for his father to leave and take his family to a new place. However, this further indicates how much his father cares for young Bruce, because he wants a better future and life for his family. Young Bruce seems to adore his father as he fetches him a newspaper and sits on his lap. The relationship between father and son make this song even more nostalgic and personal as it brings back the good old days.
Nettles and Praise song for my mother both explore the themes of child parent relationships and the duties the parents have in protecting and caring for their child. Nettles is written from the fathers perspective and is about one event which occurred where his son fell in a nettle bed and the father helps him recover. In contrast to this praise song is written to the mother from her daughter ...
The song proceeds to reflect on Bruce’s adolescent life describing the racial violence and economic fallout that occurred during this time period. Crime found its way to his hometown and all of a sudden it was turning into a dangerous, unfamiliar place. In the 60’s, race riots were very common whether in school or in the middle of a traffic light. It was a time in which boundaries were being tested and people were either too ignorant to care or became ardent supporters of equality. In conjunction to the violence upheaval the economy began to collapse. The closing down of the textile mill and vacant stores was the result in a lot of people losing their jobs. Therefore, it forced many of those who have lived in the town for years to move out and find opportunities elsewhere. Each neighborhood has its flaws and gems. Some flaws diminish over time and some just linger on. Ultimately, some individuals decide to stay and ride the wave or some dash out the door to escape the mess.
The last line of the song reiterates the idea that where you grew up is a sacred place that holds many memories, and it is a place where you will never truly leave at heart. The memories will always be embedded in your mind. Especially, the rough times that left you scared and confused. It is those times that shape and mold you and will make you stronger.