Bruce Springsteen has a great new CD out called “We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions”, a collection of 13 songs popularized by Pete Seeger in the 1950s and early 1960s. This is the music Bob Dylan grew popular on then later famously “betrayed.” Anyway, these are great songs – there’s not a dud on the entire CD. It’s well worth buying.

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24 responses to “Springsteen

  1. Just remember what Frank Zappa said, listening to musicians about politics makes about as much sense as listening to politicians make music.

    According to the book Mansion On The Hill, a look at the business side of rock n roll, Springsteen is not very bright. However, he knows that he’ll never have the gravitas of Dylan, so he’s decided to become a prominent lefty. That’s his business. It’s my business if I decide not to buy any more of this particular limousine liberal’s recordings.

    Bruce should have stuck to Twist And Shout. He was a much better performer before the Time and Newsweek covers in the fall of 74 (or was it 75? it’s been a while).

    As for the songs on the album being the “music Bob Dylan grew popular on”, well, I’ll leave that to my fellow Dylanologist Mr. Yudelson, but it doesn’t sound historically accurate to me. Sure, Dylan played a ton of folk standards (and stole more than a couple of arrangements – most notably House of the Risin’ Sun from David Van Ronk, which was subsequently stolen by The Animals for their hit cover), but so did everyone else in the folk scene at the time.

    I wonder if Seeger ever apologized for being a communist. I certainly never recall him condemning the crimes of Stalin or Mao.

  2. And? They’re great songs.

    As for the political conspiracy theories, it’s really not how the music business works, no matter what you’ve read. It’s simply about selling records. No more. No less.

    Being a leftie won’t sell more records. Being good will. Springsteen is very good, and has been for almost 35 years.

    Very few artists will ever have the “gravitas” Dylan has. Dylan will be the first to tell you he doesn’t understand this.

    Being a leftie isn’t a crime. It may at times be stupid, but it isn’t criminal. Buy the CD. It’s a great piece of Americana.

  3. red

    BRUCE is the greatest rock performer of all time.SEEGER is the greatest folk song writer of all time.They are both leftist schmucks.But we still can enjoy their music.

  4. C-Girl

    Seeger is qouted as saying, “Music, in troubled times, brings people together.” He’s played more benefits and drawn in more money for causes aiding social justice, i.e. *real* tzedaka, than any of us losers posting here. We need more leftist schmucks like him.

    And as for Springsteen, don’t forget that he penned the penultimate ode to the Bar Mitzvah: “Mister, I ain’t a boy, no I’m a man, and I believe in the Promised Land.” Go easy on him, too.

  5. C-Girl

    Shmarya- new theme song for the site?

  6. C-Girl

    Oops, bad link. Try this:
    [audio src="http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/files/Bruce-Springsteen-We-Shall-Overcome.mp3" /]

  7. ibn tznunya

    To quote Dennis Leary, “If Springsteen is the boss, then I quit.” Now if you want some tasty Hebrew rock, a little Steely Dan might be good for what ails you.

  8. Isa

    Regarding the comment:
    “I wonder if Seeger ever apologized for being a communist. I certainly never recall him condemning the crimes of Stalin or Mao.”

    He only has to apologize if he was a Moscow Communist. Remember if it wasn’t for Stalin the Hun would have NOT lost.

  9. mikhaelmeir from Brooklyn

    Here in NYC, the local publicly-supported NPR station, WNYC, is having a pledge drive and if you donate $75 you get Springsteen’s folkie album (I gave them some 60 bucks for their winter pldge drive,and just got a tote bag!) Anyway, they keep playing this clip of a song about some guy called “ol’ Dan Tucker” and it is driving me up the wall. “Ol’ Dan Tucker was a fine old man, washed his face in a frying pan, combed his hair with a wagone wheel, died one day with a toothache in his heel..hey hey , ol’ Dan Tucker, something something get your supper!” I can’t get that ditty out of my head now. How the heck do you get a toothache in your heel?!

  10. Anonymous

    Shmarya, I didn’t know you listened to music during sfira!

  11. Only professionally.

  12. Anonymous

    Shmarya, I didn’t think you were the type to listen to goyish music!

  13. Nachum

    Ah, here it is:

  14. If you had been alive in 1955, and if you cared about ending segregation and other “leftist” causes, you would have sung these songs just like thosands of others did. The City Journal’s piece removes context (what do want, it is the City Journal, after all) to distort history. I’m not arguing that Seeger is a good guy or that his politics are good. But there is a big gap between being an American communist in the 50s and 60s, and being evil.

  15. I should also add that the “journalist” who wrote that piece completely misrepresents Dylan, who was very non-political. Only someone familiar with the surface of the music business could write the crap this “journalist” did.

  16. Dovid Lerner

    Hey! No promoting music during sefirah! 🙂

    (I bet this will provoke a heated debate on the origin of the custom…)

  17. Anonymous

    Jewish people don’t listen to goyish music ESPECIALLY not during sfira.

  18. Oooh! Is that a pesak din?

    Your ignorance is, as always, astouding.

  19. “But there is a big gap between being an American communist in the 50s and 60s, and being evil.”

    That gap is about as big as the gap between evil and supporting evil.

  20. Really? Such a bright little Rebbe …

    Now process: It was the COMMUNIST Czecks that saved Israel in 1948. Most of Israel’s founders were communists or socialists. Russia saved more Jews and liberated more Jews in WW2 than any other country.

    Was Stalin a good guy? No way. He was a disgusting sadist. Was he good for Jews? Mostly not. But people living in America, reading American newspapres and watching American TV had no way to know how bad Stalin was.

    People like you project back and think that people had access to all the info we have today. This is simply not true.

  21. Dovid Lerner

    During WW2 Stalin yimach shmo was refered to as “Uncle Joe”, and then after FDR lied about Yalta, Americans changed their opinions.

    He was a disgusting sadist. Was he good for Jews? Mostly not.

    DUDE! What the hell is wrong with you?! After he came into power he sent millions of Jew’s to their graves!! MOSTLY NOT?! Have you lost your mind?!

    Regardless of whether people had access to the information, the man was the essence of evil towards the Jews! You know history!!

  22. Except for the brief window of WW2, where Stalin’s Russia did a lot of good for Jews – along with bad, to be sure.

  23. Dovid Lerner

    I bought the CD, it better be good…:)

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