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Bruce Springsteen

Dancing In the Dark

Lyrics

playI get up in the evening
playAnd I ain't got nothing to say
playI come home in the morning
playI go to bed feeling the same way
playI ain't nothing but tired
playMan I'm just tired and bored with myself
playHey there baby,
playI could use just a little help

playYou can't start a fire
playYou can't start a fire without a spark
playThis gun's for hire
playEven if we're just dancing in the dark

playMessage keeps getting clearer
playRadio's on and I'm moving 'round the place
playI check my look in the mirror
playI wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face
playMan I ain't getting nowhere
playI'm just living in a dump like this
playThere's something happening somewhere
playBaby I just know that there is

playYou can't start a fire
playYou can't start a fire without a spark
playThis gun's for hire
playEven if we're just dancing in the dark

playYou sit around getting older
playThere's a joke here somewhere and it's on me
playI'll shake this world off my shoulders
playCome on baby this laugh's on me

playStay on the streets of this town
playAnd they'll be carving you up alright
playThey say you gotta stay hungry
playHey baby I'm just about starving tonight
playI'm dying for some action
playI'm sick of sitting 'round here
playTrying to write this book
playI need a love reaction
playCome on now baby gimme just one look

playYou can't start a fire
playSitting 'round crying over a broken heart
playThis gun's for hire
playEven if we're just dancing in the dark

playYou can't start a fire
playWorrying about your little world falling apart
playThis gun's for hire
playEven if we're just dancing in the dark
playEven if we're just dancing in the dark
playEven if we're just dancing in the dark
playEven if we're just dancing in the dark
playHey baby

Video
Play with the song, fill the gaps

meaningMeaning

It was in response to Jon Landau (his manager). Landau wanted Born in the USA to have a massive commercial hit, which went against Springsteen’s ethos over music and creativity, so they had a big dust-up over it.

Springsteen went home and wrote Dancing in the Dark that same night. He wrote about the difficulties of being an artist (“check my look in the mirror, I wanna change my clothes my hair my face”), the pressures of commercial success and the line between maintaining his artistic integrity. He is saying it’s impossible to just click a producer’s fingers and get a hit.

“Can’t start a fire… can’t star a fire without a spark”
“This gun’s for hire, even if we’re just dancing in the dark”

He’s saying ‘you need a creative spark to be creative, not somebody ordering you to be creative’ and ‘you can ask for a hit, and pay me for a hit, but it doesn’t mean I’ll write a hit. I need a creative spark to write a hit, not the orders of my producer.’

Legend
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Lyrics in blue Chorus
Tags

vocabulary Vocabulary

sit around

be idle, lounge about

  1. lf l just sit around, the little guys are going to pass me up!

carve sth up

cut into pieces

  1. After the war, the victors carved the defeated nations up into new administrative regions.

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