Friday, May 24, 2013

Stuck in My Head: Adam Raised a Cain

Early on in my Springsteen fandom, I was at a show that opened with this song. The seasoned fan near us said, "oh he's pissed tonight." I always marveled at the perfection of that. The song seethes with power and rage, generation after generation.

I've been reading Bruce by Peter A Carlin, and it has a really awesome story about the mastering of this song:
Coaching mixer Chuck Plotkin on how the song should sound, Bruce described a movie scene showing two young lovers sharing a picnic in a sunlit park. The sun would be shining, the grass would be emerald, the ducks paddled across the pond before them. Then the camera would zoom out to reveal, just behind them, a human corpse lying in the bushes behind them. Aiieee! “This song,” Bruce told Plotkin, “is the dead body.”

Adam Raised a Cain
by Bruce Springsteen

In the summer that I was baptized, my father held me to his side
As they put me to the water, he said how on that day I cried
We were prisoners of love, a love in chains
He was standin' in the door, I was standin' in the rain
With the same hot blood burning in our veins
Adam raised a Cain

All of the old faces ask you why you're back
They fit you with position and the keys to your daddy's Cadillac
In the darkness of your room your mother calls you by your true name
You remember the faces, the places, the names
You know it's never over, it's relentless as the rain
Adam raised a Cain

In the Bible, mamma, Cain slew Abel and East of Eden, mamma, he was cast
You're born into this life paying for the sins of somebody else's past
Well Daddy worked his whole life for nothing but the pain
Now he walks these empty rooms looking for something to blame
But you inherit the sins, you inherit the flames
Adam raised a Cain

Lost but not forgotten from the dark heart of a dream
Adam raised a Cain

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