Bruce Springsteen watched on helplessly with the rest of the world as the second plane flew into the twin towers on September 11, 2001. He was in New York, only 15 miles away and that afternoon could actually see in the distance the ash clouds. A passing driver recognised Springsteen, wound down the window and shouted, “Bruce, we need you.” The horrific images of 9/11 remained in Springsteen’s mind. He recalls in his autobiography Born To Run, “the picture I couldn’t let go of was of the emergency workers going up the stairs as the others rushed down to safety. The sense of duty, the courage, ascending into… what? The religious image of ascension, the crossing of the line between this world …the ground beneath your feet …and the next, flooded my imagination.”
Poets and Musicians have throughout history found words which have helped people to cope with terrible experiences. The Rising was one of the songs Bruce produced in response to a world shattering tragedy on his doorstep. There were 150 funerals in his County.
He says, “Our band was well built for difficult times…when people wanted a dialogue, a conversation about events, internal or external, we developed a language that suited those moments…The Rising was a renewal of that conversation.”
This clip is the opening track of Bruce and the E Street Band live in Barcelona.