Thursday, February 21, 2013

Can Someone Help Me Interpret This Springsteen Song?

The religious imagery in Springsteen's "I'll Work for Your Love" is so overt and powerful. I listened to this song over and over again on my ride from Washington D.C. to Harrisburg, PA yesterday and I still don't understand all of it.

Is this a Catholic song (as opposed to a Protestant song)?  I imagine this could be one interpretation of the line "What others may want for free, I'll work for your love."  Is Springsteen saying that God's grace is something to be worked for (Catholicism) and not something one receives "for free." (Protestantism)?

Who is Theresa and what does she represent?   What about the references to the Book of Revelation, the Garden of Eden, 7 drops of blood, crown of thorns, piece of the cross, perdition, book of faith, and etc.?

Here are the lyrics:

Pour me a drink Theresa in one of those glasses you dust off
And I'll watch the bones in your back like the stations of the cross
'Round your hair the sun lifts a halo, at your lips a crown of thorns
Whatever the deal's going down, to this one I'm sworn

I'll work for your love dear
I'll work for your love
What others may want for free
I'll work for your love

The dust of civilizations and love's sweet remains
Slip off of your fingers and come drifting down like rain
The pages of Revelation lie open in your empty eyes of blue
I watch you slip that comb through your hair and this I promise you

I'll work for your love dear
I'll work for your love
What others may want for free
I'll work for your love

[Instrumental]

Well tears they fill the rosary, at your feet my temple of bones
Here in this perdition we go on and on
Now I see your pieces crumbled and our book of faith's been tossed
And I'm just down here searching for my own piece of the cross
In the late afternoon sun fills the room with a mist in the garden before the fall
I watch your hands smooth the front of your blouse and seven drops of blood fall

I'll work for your love dear
I'll work for your love
What others may want for free
I'll work for your love
What others may want for free
I'll work for your love
What others may want for free
I'll work for your love 


Here is the song:


1 comment:

Tom Van Dyke said...

She's losing her faith, he never had any. Now she should look to him for love instead of to holy books and other such unreciprocating loves.