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Bruce Springsteen

Dancing In the Dark

Lyrics

play I get up in the  
play And I ain't got   to say
play I come home in the  
play I go to bed   the same way
play I ain't nothing but  
play Man I'm just tired and   with myself
play Hey there baby,
play I could   just a little help

play You can't start a fire
play You can't start a fire without a  
play This gun's for hire
play Even if we're just dancing in the dark

play Message   getting clearer
play radio's on and I'm moving 'round the  
play I check my   in the mirror
play I wanna change my clothes, my   , my face
play Man I ain't getting  
play I'm just living in a   like this
play There's something happening somewhere
play Baby I just know that there is

play You can't start a fire
play You can't start a fire without a spark
play This gun's for hire
play Even if we're just dancing in the dark

play You   around getting older
play There's a   here somewhere and it's on me
play I'll shake this world off my  
play Come on baby this laugh's   me

play Stay on the   of this town
play And they'll be   you up alright
play They say you gotta stay  
play Hey baby I'm just about   tonight
play I'm   for some action
play I'm   of sitting 'round here
play Trying to write this book
play I need a love reaction
play Come on now baby gimme just one look

play You can't start a fire
play Sitting 'round crying over a broken heart
play This gun's for hire
play Even if we're just dancing in the dark

play You can't start a fire
play Worrying about your little world falling apart
play This gun's for hire
play Even if we're just dancing in the dark
play Even if we're just dancing in the dark
play Even if we're just dancing in the dark
play Even if we're just dancing in the dark
play Hey baby

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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.’

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Lyrics in blue Chorus
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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.